Traveling American

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” ~ Henri Matisse

Last week we had a sudden death in our family. I needed to travel from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin so I went online to make airline reservations.  Since I had to fly in two days, the fares were close to $1,000; normally it’s a $300+ flight.  Someone mentioned a “bereavement fare.”  I called the airlines, gave the information they needed and was booked on a flight at a closer to normal fare.

Soon after the funeral bad weather thundered across the Midwest.  Massive storms dumped snow and ice.   Shortly before I was to leave for a 2-hour drive to the airport, American Airlines called with news.  My flight was cancelled and I was re-scheduled on a Tuesday flight.  I stayed in my hometown another night.

On Tuesday, the first leg of my trip was delayed.  That delay jeopardized my connecting flight.  The agent at the counter quickly put me on standby for an earlier flight.  Subsequently I was seated on that and made my connection.

Several years ago my husband traveled a lot for his job.  His words of advice came back to me.   “You just go with the flow.”   So during my Tuesday travels I did that.  I also watched other travelers (a favorite activity of writers, I think).  While many sat back with books or laptops, or simply rested, others whined — about everything.  I heard way too many gripes about airlines overbooking, lost luggage, and delayed flights.

It is because of those complaints that I’m writing this post.  Throughout my journey I saw only kind, professional helpfulness.  My sincere thanks to American Airlines and its hardworking employees.  Thank you…

  • to the ticket agent who walked me through the bereavement fare and booked my original flight
  • to management for the call notifying me of the weather related cancellation and rescheduled flight
  • to the agent who offered a standby change so I could connect to my final flight
  • to those who de-iced the plane, the mechanics and ground crew who kept things safe
  • to the flight attendants who brought me a sense of security
  • to the pilots who kept the flights on course
  • and finally, to the baggage handlers who brought my suitcase home safely.

You all made this emotionally draining trip easier.

Some folks seem to believe that the purchase of a ticket in life buys nothing but smooth sailing.  It usually does but sometimes bad things happen beyond control.  When they do just go with the flow and thank the person who guides you through, whoever that may be.

For now I’m saying thank you to American Airlines.

13 thoughts on “Traveling American

  1. Sorry to hear about the death in your family, Debra. It’s amazing you came home with such gratitude and appreciation. Then, I suppose your opening quote says it all 🙂

  2. Thank you, Penny and Vikki. They were random thoughts that kept running through my mind during my day of travel.

    The older I become, and the more death touches my life, the more I realize that life is too short and too precious to be filled with negativity. Focus on the positive. Lots of positive things happened during this trip home.

    Thanks again to both of you for your kind words. 🙂

  3. My condolences on the loss of a family member. You are so right about it touching our life more often as we get older and our need to focus on the positive.

    I’m glad you made it home safely.

  4. Deb,

    I’m so glad you made it home but sad we couldn’t get together. I’m posting late to you because I ran away today–literally ran away. One of the activities? See The King’s Speech which is phenomenal!

    Take care.

    • I was sad too, that we couldn’t meet up on this trip but the weather just didn’t cooperate.

      I’m so glad you ran away! Sometimes we just need to do that, and your time was right. The King’s Speech was a very good movie. Tom and I saw it a few weeks ago and loved every minute. Right up there with The Queen. You know, we may not want to be governed by royalty in America, but they do make for fascinating film topics, don’t they? Take care, my friend.

  5. I really liked your post and this is why: we never and I say never understand that these people are just doing their jobs. Once my flight was delayed and I remember…I did nothing, I said nothing, and I waited patiently for my flight. People were yelling and arguing to the agents when really, they just couldn’t do anything but their jobs. Sorry to hear about the death in your family and bravo of thanking these people who made sure you get home safe.

  6. Thank you for your comments, Ladystou! Yelling and arguing won’t accomplish a thing except maybe raise the stress level. Don’t need that in today’s world. Love your Smurf avatar! Thanks again for stopping in.

  7. Deb your last paragraph of your post was so eloquent and full of meaning………………..

    “Some folks seem to believe that the purchase of a ticket in life buys nothing but smooth sailing. It usually does but sometimes bad things happen beyond control. When they do just go with the flow and thank the person who guides you through, whoever that may be.”

    True for airlines, yes – but also life in general….that is a quote worth keeping and passing on…..very profound

  8. So very perceptive of you, the observer of life. Few of us take time to look around and realize “it” is not all that bad out there!

    • Thanks, Linda. One of the traits I enjoy about writing, as I’m sure you do as an artist, is observing life. I always take a book with me when I travel but seldom read much in airports. Too much to watch and listen to. 🙂

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