My industry, travel and tourism, is fairly easy to grasp. It is years, for me 33, of knowledge that makes the difference. This story is about my historical knowledge.
28 January. Friends were going on a holiday for a couple weeks and asked if I would like one of their winter blooming bulbs? Of course I said ‘yes, thank you”! When he brought over the flowers he also told me how their flights were being changed due to the coming blizzard. He indicated instead of traveling on Saturday, when the blizzard was arriving, the airline put them on a flight for the night, Friday, to JFK and then out on Saturday at 8 am to San Juan. I looked at him like he was nuts and said ‘no way you are getting out of JFK tomorrow morning’. He seemed surprised as the airline made the change. I suggested he call them, ‘as if one can get through to an airline during major disruptions’, and change the reservation to an afternoon or evening departure for JFK. Most often if the weather is going to be ‘bad’ in Boston it is going to be ‘bad’ in JFK. An early morning plane, needs to be at the airport the night prior. Often airlines will keep planes away from storms if possible. (A plane does not make any money buried in snow.) So if the plane is at JFK it needs to be cleared and de-iced. An 8 am departure makes that almost impossible as it was clearly going to be still snowing. Enough of what went through my brain as my friend stood perplexed in front of me! The long story shorter… Without being asked, I went to my computer to see what might be available to get them out prior to the storm. After much emailing back and forth to them, while they were on hold with the airlines, I found a nonstop flight at midnight to San Juan from Boston. The airline could not use my reservation, I knew, but meanwhile no one else could have those two seats. The airline quickly cancelled my reservation and booked the same on the miles’ reservation they had. They got out!
What is the take away from this story? First and foremost, use a travel advisor when you can. Second, when ‘bad’ weather is expected, be pro-active days in advance. Airlines do not like angry passengers stuck at airport. Changes can be made, do not wait until last minute. For that matter, whenever there may be a situation that needs resolution, call me immediately. Even if I did not make your reservations, I can often give advice. Third, if you need to be someplace on time, like a ship, plan for the unknown and depart a day early.
“Harriet got us out when even the airlines were struggling. We made our boat. Had we not it would have cost $1000s not to mention two days of stress and hours on the phone. Next time I’m calling Harriet first.” Ken