A Little Customer Service Goes A Long Way

When you travel as often as I do, it’s inevitable that you’ll run into your fair share of delays and travel hiccups. While it can be annoying, I try not to get too bent out of shape because I know it’s bound to happen and there (usually) isn’t much I can do. That said, when things do go wrong, a little customer service can really go a long way. My work trip to LA last night was a prime example, and I wanted to give some kudos to both United and Avis for making a pretty miserable travel experience a little less miserable.


My flight from EWR to LAX was scheduled to depart at 7:30 and arrive around 10:30. Just as I was getting ready to head to the airport, I received an automated notification that informed me my flight was now delayed until midnight, and wouldn’t arrive until after 2:30am. Wonderful. As I made my way to the airport, they made an equipment change, which moved my departure up to 10:40. Unfortunately, after both weather and mechanical issues had their way, we didn’t end up leaving until close to midnight after all, arriving at LAX at 2:15am.

Needless to say, I was in a pretty grumpy mood leading up to departure. However, the flight attendants onboard UA755 were really quite great, and made the whole experience much better. There wasn’t any one thing in particular, they were just friendly, cheerful, and very much on top of their game. I’m sure they weren’t thrilled about the delay either, but you really couldn’t tell from how they carried themselves. I want to say a big thank you to last night’s crew on UA755!


After the flight, I was therefore in a surprisingly good a mood, given that I was waiting for the Avis shuttle at LAX at 2:30am. Until the wait really started to drag on. And on. And on. It seemed like every other rental car company’s shuttle bus had come around multiple times before the Avis one finally did. At least SEVEN Hertz shuttles came around before the first Avis shuttle! I may or may not have vented my frustrations on Twitter, but I don’t know that anyone was really paying any attention at that hour of the night:

We pulled up to the Avis Preferred drop-off, and of course my name wasn’t on the board, which only delayed me getting to bed that much more. When I finally got to the rental desk, the agent who helped me out was very friendly and empathetic, and she really brightened my mood again. Oh, and the free upgrade to a Mustang certainly didn’t hurt! :)

My sweet ride

My sweet ride

I want to say a big thank you to LAX Avis agent working the graveyard shift last night!


I’m at the United Club at LAX right now, about to board my flight home after ~12 hours on the ground. Though I didn’t get much sleep, I still have a smile on my face because of the great customer service and decency of a few kind people. These little things really do make a difference, at least to me.

What are some of the little (or big) things that someone has done for you when your travel plans were disrupted that made things a little less painful for you?

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  2 comments for “A Little Customer Service Goes A Long Way

  1. Teresa
    July 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I stopped renting from Avis – LAX because of that wait for the shuttle. I cannot tell you how many times I had stood there and did the exact same thing you did…count the Hertz shuttles going by until I wised up and started renting from Hertz! I don’t care how many upgrades or smiles I got from Avis, when it is more than 20 minutes (often I waited even longer than that) for a shuttle to turn up, it is way too long.

    • July 9, 2013 at 2:22 am

      Hertz was my preferred rental car option, but unfortunately they’re no longer on the approved list for my employer’s corporate travel policy, so I don’t even get the option of booking with them anymore.

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