Sometimes You Just Can’t Help from Afar

One of the things I value the most out of my frequent travel is being able to help my friends and family.  Whether it is getting to stay in a fancy hotel suite that has a fancy horse* shoe brush or upgrading someone on the sly, I love getting to share these experiences with those I love.

But the most stressful situation is when a friend or family member is somewhere else and has a flight problem.  I can communicate from afar, but I can’t physically try to fix the issue myself in most cases.  And I want to fix whatever issues happen to my friends and family.

Right before US Airways and American announced their merger, my brother was taking a vacation with his wife in the Caribbean.  Just as a hurricane approached.


His flight out was cancelled immediately and he was having trouble getting phone service–plus I think he was paying upwards of a dollar a minute.

I advised him to go to the airport to talk to them in person and I would try over the phone.  I was also pulling up flight availability at the same time.

This was pre-merger so I was no one with American and the call line was really long.

My brother messaged me from the airport that he was at the front of the line.  I saw a flight the next evening (more than 24 hours away) had seats left in coach.  He fed the agent the date and the flight number.  She said he was all set and that he could check in the next day.

Problem solved, right?


My brother got back to his hotel, pulled up the itinerary to check in later on, and found out the agent booked him on a flight on the wrong day.  Many, many days later.

I pulled up KVS and the flights the next day were extremely full.  My brother acted quickly, but by the time he went to check in, everyone else would have gotten their flights re-booked.

He was eventually able to get on a flight that was a little sooner.  Luckily, the hotel (which was an all-inclusive) gave them a huge discount, and the hurricane didn’t hit their island directly.

But it totally was killing me that I couldn’t help more–especially since we thought the issue was resolved.

*don’t try to brush an actual horse with the shoe brush in the room.  The hotel won’t think it is as funny as you do and they’ll probably think twice about that complimentary bottle of wine next time.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

Check Also

flight cancellations

How to Handle Sudden Flight Cancellations

How do you handle sudden flight cancellations? A few years back when I regularly flew …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.