being human

I think it’s fair to say we have all “been there” when it comes to the trials that are sure to arise when traveling due to flight delays, weather complications, etc. It’s totally frustrating, right? Being stuck in an airport with nowhere to go and hanging out to fill time for hours on end and attempting to sleep in public in completely uncomfortable circumstances on chairs/benches.

Our latest traveling fiasco came in our attempt to leave Shanghai. The smog/fog/pollution was disastrous. We woke up to an exceedingly high pollution level (3x worse than second-hand smoke if you’re curious) in a sickly fog that covered the skies and the roads and all visibility. En route to the airport, I figured incoming flights would have trouble but since it was 6 am and our flight was due for take off at 8am I figured we would be OK thinking our plane would have arrived the prior evening before the current scenes from the Lorax showed up in Shanghai. This was not the case.

Our incoming plane was rerouted to Hong Kong instead and sat there for roughly 12 hours. This meant we sat around for those same 12 hours just to catch our first flight. Our half day of travel to arrive in Bali quickly turned into 30 hours of travel when all was said and done.

I’ve learned to not expect too much when traveling and just hope for the best. Sometimes its smooth sailing and we breeze right through and other times we are running through airports trying to make connecting flights only to find the doors closed minutes ago whilst the plane is still at the gate.

More often than not when traveling I feel like just one in the herd being moved along from point A to point B. You suffer the tolls of travel and trudge through the mishaps. This story, however, is one about being human. Or, at least being treated like one. Several hours after learning of our delayed flight, Singapore Airlines did everything I never thought an airline would do. We were offered a hotel room at the Ramada near the airport so we could rest up a bit and shower. Our stay only lasted 6 hours there but after spending the morning hours cramped in funky positions trying to get some rest, I was grateful. Upon arriving at the hotel, we were informed that a Singapore Airlines staff member would be waiting in the lobby to keep us updated on the flight status. After a good nap and a fresh shower, we made our way to the restaurant for a quick bite. Singapore Airlines had also arranged for a meal on our behalf. Wow! We had made friends with an Australian couple who were stuck as well and joined them in the lobby bar for a drink after dinner. Since the airline hadn’t addressed the drinks at the bar as being on our own tab….which we fully expected…..they paid for the first round of drinks since they failed to tell us. Bonus! Once we arrived back at the airport, we stood in our que waiting to board. A gentleman came around passing out flyers. I questioned him as to why we were receiving more notices because, really, we just wanted to make sure our flight was going to take off. We were each receiving roughly $250 USD reimbursement for our flight delay. Ok!!! Don’t have to tell me twice. Finally, once we were comfortably seated on our flight another gentleman came aboard and came up to each couple/group and apologized in person once again for the flight delay. Totally above and beyond expectations considering all this had zero to do with the airline and completely rested with mother nature. As one who has always worked in customer service, It’s been challenging being in country where even basic customer service is the exception and not the rule. As you can imagine,we were quite pleased.

Singapore Airlines. Fly them. They Are Amazing.

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