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We genuinely want to help you the best we can. We would even want to go above and beyond, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE NICE.

Here’s a summary of a conversation I just had today, to cut their rant short.

For context, I’m part of a travel agency’s customer service and not from the airline itself, meaning, we are not in power over everything, we can only abide by the terms our partnered airlines allowed us to do.

Cx: I’m calling back because my flight is cancelled. You people cancelled my flight for the second time and I need your alternatives. I only want Des Moines to O’Hare rebooked, keep the rest of the flight like it is to Qatar. You must not change that, you understand? Now give me your new flight.

Me: (explained the airlines terms and options to set expectations and for them to understand the process; I’ll just list them down so you guys can understand)
1. The airlines reserve the right to cancel or modify their own schedules, we have no control over that but we’ll be happy to look for an option so you can still arrive at your destination.
2. Since you demand that we rebook only the Des Moines to O’Hare portion, and there are no other flights on that day to make a valid connection in O’Hare, you’ll have to cancel this entire booking and we’ll request a refund on your behalf and you’ll book a new reservation while being responsible for any ticket costs. (Since you’ll be accepting the terms that you’re no longer bound to this specific airlines terms once refunded) OR
3. We’ll be happy to look for an alternative but we will need to adjust your route so we can still arrive at Doha Qatar. Instead of the flight that connects through O’Hare, we can have the flight that goes through DFW, here’s the schedule (i provided a recap of the flight time schedule and connection time and he was hesitant at first. After understanding that it’s either this flight or to cancel the entire thing, he finally agreed to rebook. The new departure flight time and date is a minute earlier, the new flight time and arrival date is 2 minutes earlier compared to the new one)

Cx: Okay that’s not ideal but will work. Now book me that ticket and make sure the ticket you’ll give me will have my baggage in Doha, i don’t want to check them in again in DFW.

Me:explains that it is not the ticket type but the airlines baggage procedure that will determine if you have to check them in again to clear customs or they’d automatically transfer them to the next flight for you, I tried to place him on hold to check with the airlines if this specific international route can let the airlines do the transfer. Because the baggage procedures of airlines will also depend on the country or government mandates that they are traveling to. It does not always happen that all airlines for all routes will just transfer them for you.

Cx: okay fine but you must get me that type of ticket (still does not understand but he probably has a frequent flyer program enrolled to and thinks its the same)

Me: after checking, i updated him according to the same advice from the airlines reps i spoke to and i quote “for this type of international route, US to Doha with us, we will transfer his baggage automatically to the next flight, no need for them to pick it up. This is to avoid letting the passengers skip flight portions to later request a compensation that isn’t valid. This is the policy as of this day, may change during peak seasons of travel.”- end of quote.

Cx: this is bull&#!¥ you’re running a business here so why should I be the one to transfer my bag? I booked a flight from here to Las Vegas with you last month and you people did just fine and now that I’m taking on bigger travel plans you want to destroy it? Compensate me right now or I’m suing you!

Me: at this part, i just explained what i had already said, repeated what the airline had said, and explained the basic concept of how domestic flights are easy and international routes will have more restrictions because you’re not in the country that you’re used to. The mandates of governments in each country are different like how Canada’s government mandated that for specific flight tickets cancelled during 2020 are to be refunded(applies to some, but not all).

Cx: fine just book me that flight and I’ll deal with you later if there’s something wrong, what was your name so I can sue you next time?!

Me: at this point, i just don’t understand how else we can make them understand anymore, I gave him my pen name, not the real one since we have privacy rights as customer service too. And ye ended the call rudely.

That happened today, now compare it to this young woman from New York.

Cx: Hi, I’m calling about this ####, and I needed help. How can we proceed?

Me: (standard opening and verification and looked up the part of her trip that was affected) it’s the Phoenix to Hawaii route that was changed to a flight that departs earlier than her JFK to PHX flight.

( I gave her a reasonable flight time schedule that she can choose from, while trying to maintain the closest time of departure and arrival as originally booked. She took the one that departs 50 minutes earlier and arrives 20 minutes later compared to the originally booked flight)

Cx: I’m quite happy with this option, at least I’ll have enough time in Phoenix if the arrival is delayed, just in case you know? (I can hear her giggle in the call and she then asks me this is her warmest tone ever:) I know we’re limited to information, but could you tell me what terminal 0 means? I saw this schedule online but it doesn’t show me which terminal exactly, I wanna know if I need to change terminals in PHX or not.

Me: Terminal 0 is not the actual terminal designation but the airlines decision as to which terminal this specific flight number would arrive to is still on hold. You’re actually traveling during the holiday season, crowd control will be a big thing, so as of right now, they wont be able to confirm which one yet, but you may keep checking their website 2 weeks prior to your departure

Cx: thanks for letting me know, can I also request a seat assignment please?

Me: I let her know that only the departure from Phoenix to Hawaii can allow us to request a seat for the time being and she was okay, understood the procedure and what the airlines and travel agency is capable of, no questions asked, but I encouraged her to check back with us or on their website for further clarification and she was totally okay.

We ended our call and she said to have a good evening politely.

TLDR: Understand that a travel agency is not in the position to make their own decisions and is bound by the partnered companies. Inquiring and then deciding based on what is possible is ALWAYS BETTER than deciding on your own, setting your own expectations and later getting upset because you can’t get what you want.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments if you guys had experiences with flight cancellations, I’ll try to explain the general process or terms if you’d like.

What do you think?

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So annoying!

Customer didn’t read the instructions…