I really don’t like being one of those people…
…..you know, the ones who consistently wave their status around at airports and hotels. The DYKWIA crowd. However, I had to employ those very same tactics myself on a recent flight home from Charlotte.
I was returning from Bangkok and it had been a very long travel day(s). Eleven hours in the air from Bangkok to Frankfurt with a three hour layover in Frankfurt. This was followed by a ten and a half hour flight from Frankfurt to Chicago and another several hour layover at ORD. It was snowing when we landed so my concern at that point was being able to make it out of Chicago, but we were lucky and departed on time.
An hour and a half later, I arrived in Charlotte with a scheduled one hour layover and an estimated arrival time at home by 7 pm. Even though I had managed several hours sleep on the two longhauls, I was exhausted, coming down with a cold, and I think my body was still operating on Southeast Asia time. I was so ready to for that last flight home. I arrived at the gate to discover that my 5:50 flight had been delayed by almost two hours. I know this particular flight and it is often cancelled and I just didn’t want to take a chance with it. I asked to be rebooked on the 7:49 pm flight and luckily there was a seat available. I headed down to the end of E Concourse to wait for my flight. Finding a corner seat by the window, I knew as soon as I sat down I would probably fall asleep so I set the alarm on my phone for ten minutes before boarding. Waking up, I heard the Gate Agent announce that the flight was oversold and she was seeking two volunteers to give up their seats. Obviously no one jumped at the chance, and it was just a few moments later I was paged to come to the podium where I was summarily informed that I was going to be bumped from the flight.
While the offer for IDB (involuntarily denied boarding) was quite enticing – $600 and a hotel room with a flight out the next day – I was tired and just wanted to be home. Here is where it gets a little interesting. I asked if it made a difference if I were Chairmans Preferred and the Gate Agent replied quite rudely, yes, but that is not reflected on your record. I offered my Dividend Miles number but she said she wasn’t going to take the time to put it in my record and I would have to find another Gate Agent willing to do so. I looked at her incredulously, and turned to the other gate agent standing right beside her (who also couldn’t believe the first woman’s tone of voice) and politely asked if she would take care of that for me. She replied yes and asked if I had my membership card. Luckily, I do travel with all of my loyalty cards.
Dashing over to my bookbag, I dug around in the bottom, retrieved the wallet with my card, and made my way back to the podium. She looked at my card to confirm my status and then tried to input the information into my record. The funny thing is, the second gate agent was having a hard time and the first gate agent had to stop and help her anyway. Once my status had been added to the record (and I have no idea why it wasn’t still in there anyway), my new boarding pass was issued and my seat secured.
It may be one of the last times I get to use that status to my benefit… and even though I feel a little bad that someone else had to be bumped off the flight, I am also glad that, for once, playing the DYKWIA card worked in my favor.
Have you ever had to play the DYKWIA card?