Jenny, Your Much Needed Reminder Caused My Flight To Be Delayed

I just read Jenny’s blog post entitled “A Much Needed Reminder” and couldn’t help but respond. I was in Indianapolis over the weekend and was due to fly back to San Diego on Sunday evening.  The first leg of our flight was from Indy to Phoenix on a plane arriving from Philadelphia.  While we were waiting for our flight, we received the fateful call from US Airways saying our flight was delayed by an hour because of the rain in Philly.

Jeremy's reaction to a delayed flight.

Jeremy’s reaction to a delayed flight.

I’ll admit now that this is where the similarities between my post and Jenny’s stop but I thought the connection was too good to pass up.  Because of our delayed first flight we would most likely miss our connecting flight from Phoenix to San Diego.

We headed back to the US Airways counter and the friendly agent we worked with earlier smiled and said “You’re not supposed to be back here.”  In the midst of a difficult situation, here’s what US Airways customer service did to make the best of a difficult situation:

1. They Smiled: This requires a ton of sensitivity to the situation but sometimes a little humor can take the edge off of a situation.  If done properly this makes an emotional connection with the customer and can even be a show of empathy.

2. They Explained Our Options Clearly: In this situation our options were to wait until Monday and do the entire trip from Indiana to San Diego in one day or continue on with our Indiana to Phoenix flight and do the second leg on Monday.  They recommended option two and we agreed.

3. They Didn’t Make Excuses: The customer service agent didn’t spend any time trying to make excuses but rather focused their energy what they COULD do.

4. They Made The Best Of The Situation: The agent was able to get us on the first flight out on Monday which was the best possible solution given the situation.  He even went the extra step of improving our seats so we could be closer to the front of the plane.

As a traveler, delays really stink but are mostly inevitable.  Kurtis from US Airways made the best out of a difficult situation and even though we had to spend an extra night in a hotel we made it home safely.  I guess the same rain that reminded Jenny of the importance of rain gave me a great example of awesome customer service in difficult situations.


Jeremy Watkin is Director of Customer Experience and Support at NumberBarn. He has more than 19 years of experience as a customer service and contact center professional leading high performing teams in the contact center. Jeremy has been recognized numerous times as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, product marketing, social media, and more. When not working you can typically find him spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis. Be sure to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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