Chillaxin’ amid airport woes

I had an interesting experience as I flew home from a business trip in San Antonio last Wednesday.

As most travelers would agree, the airport can be one of the most stressful places with the most potential for things to go awry. From long lines to flight cancellations, frustration seams to be around every corner of the airport. It seemed for me that much of what can go wrong did go wrong on this particular trip home.

At the San Antonio airport, I stood in one line for a while, until I was informed I was in the wrong line. The new line only had 1 employee working it, and it was taking very long. Other travelers behind me were beginning to express their frustrations, and got more vocal as a couple of first-class passengers walked up and were taken before us. I kindly smiled at one of the ladies working the other line, and asked if there was any way for someone else to work our line, at which point she agreed and started taking from our line. Most who know me would not be surprised to hear that at this point, I was happily singing Jack Johnson and “Don’t worry, be happy”.

When I got to the counter, after shortly looking over my ticket, I was told I had gotten in the wrong line. While the top of the ticket predominately stated American Airlines, I was really flying Frontier, and had to walk to a different building to stand in the right line.

After my 3rd line, I was informed that my flight from San Antonio to Denver was delayed about an hour. This would mean I would most likely miss my connecting flight to LAX. Upon arrival in Denver, I Forest Gumped it to the terminal, only to discover my original flight to LAX was long gone.

When I finally got home to LAX, I waited and waited until all the bags at the baggage claim where taken, and mine was not included. I was told that since Frontier doesn’t use a baggage tracking system, they had no idea where my bag was, but that when it showed up, they’d get it to me. The guy apparently knew nothing about customer service and was telling me, “We’re only human right?”, “It happens all the time”, and “You’ll get your bags eventually”. I admit, this was the closest I got to loosing my cool. It wasn’t that my bag was lost, just to see this goob have no empathy and make excuses to downplay this mistake.

Over all though, I was totally happy and in a great mood the whole time. An important thing to remember at the airport, or any time you feel stressed or frustrated is that if it’s out of your control, there really isn’t any use getting flustered or angry. In fact, other people don’t like being around or helping people who are upset or angry…so staying happy, chillax, and clear-minded will increase the likelihood of having people help you get through your crisis with the greatest ease.

Another thing that helped me was remembering that it could always be worse. This was particularly easy as I remembered reading Ben Casnocha’s bog entitled “My Day in Airline Hell“.

Here is a joke I found that further illustrates my point.

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