Tickets Given To Wrong Person

August 25, 2010

in Odds & Ends Stories

That this happened 20 years ago is immaterial – the lesson’s the same.  I was checking in with my wife for a flight to Europe from LAX.  As we were visiting a company office, I had a box of samples with me as excess baggage that would be paid by the company credit card.  We did curbside check-in and explained that the charge for the box would be paid by company credit card.  The porter checked us in, took the box, my credit card and our tickets and said he’d take care of it inside.  He came back and directed me to the first agent who had my card, the excess baggage bill and my tickets.  For all this service he got a good tip!  As it turned out he should have given me one.

We went to the agent and got the card, got the excess baggage and the bad news: “I don’t have your tickets, the porter has them.”  Out to the porter, he mumbled something like “Mr. John Jones, come with me.”  We went downstairs and he looked around and then disappeared. Evidently he didn’t see, or didn’t recognize, Mr. Jones.  Back upstairs to the agent who wouldn’t look me in the eye as he poked his computer and mumbled “We can’t do anything up here, go downstairs.”  After another trip downstairs I was getting just a little hostile.  I demanded the manager only to be told “He’s not available.”  As our departure time was getting close I was getting frantic.  Finally someone pointed out a harassed looking man. When I approached him, with one look at my expression, he said “Oh, oh.”  I told him the story – that his stupid porter had given my tickets to someone else.  He got on a computer, printed out boarding passes and we got on the plane. 

We got off the plane in Newark. I don’t recall if it was a plane change or a layover, but they wouldn’t let us back on the plane, and in the manner of airline people all over the world wouldn’t tell us why.  After everyone got on the plane they let us on, of course with no explanation or apology.  Just before landing my name was called.  An organized passenger, checking his paperwork, discovered both his tickets and our tickets.  That was good because it eliminated the problem of getting tickets for the return flight.

Lessons learned: 1) Don’t give up the actual tickets too easily.  2) When you get to the top guy (not easy to do),  it’s amazing what they can do on a computer terminal.

– Richard S, Shoreline, WA

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

david August 29, 2010 at 10:01 am

I find it a little fishy how you can remember what they said and other info from 20years ago, and you cant remember if it was a plane change


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