So I checked our itineraries last night as I do from time to time. My nice evening of reading travel magazines our housesitters in Australia sent me vanished when I saw the schedule change. Our Cincinnati to JFK leg was moved four hours. And ten minutes. This put our arrival time at JFK at 20 minutes after our overnight flight to Rome leaves.
I girded myself for the battle. Got a glass of water, pens, paper, pulled up a list of all alternative flights on all Sky Team partners, and settled in on the couch with the phone. Here’s the recap.
Call #1: I dial the Silver medallion number for “special” member services. I launch into a torrent of “agent, agent, agent,” the tip I learned from theIVR Cheat Sheet. “I’m sorry I couldn’t understand that. Please wait while i connect you to a customer service agent,” the computer replied. I waited. And waited. Listened to Delta commercials. Ten minutes went by. Then success! An Ingrid came on the phone. I politely explained the trouble. No response. Then dead air. Then click and a ringing phone. “If you would like to make a call, please hangup and dial again.” What have I done recently to bring this bad karma upon myself?
Call #2: Dial again. Enter the skymiles number this time, then Agent, Agent, Agent. Wow! Straight to a person, Glenda. Glenda doesn’t like her job. Glenda doesn’t want to be on the phone with me. Glenda points out I got my tickets in August, of course flight times will change. Glenda wants to route us through Atlanta. Glenda is not amused by my hopeful suggestion that we takeDL0032 directly from Cincinnati to Rome. “These are SKYMILES tickets,” she said. She may as well have told me to eat mud and go play on the runway. Glenda found us an earlier flight that gets us to JFK hours and hours before our flight. “Please hold.” Fingernails clacking on her keyboard give way to Delta music. I wait. And wait. And wait. Then dead air. Then click and a ringing phone. “If you would like to make a call, please hangup and dial again.” I think my head might explode.
Call #3: Same routine. Hold again this time for ten minutes. A polite and friendly agent answers this time. I quickly explain, pleased to have someone who sounds so helpful on the line. “Oh, you need International,” she said. “But this is a Cincinnati to JFK flight,” I attempt. No matter. it’s an international flight, I must be put on hold for someone at the International desk. I’ve heard urban legends that customer service agents keep notes on customers who are nice and who are nasty. I try to always be nice with this in mind. Plus I know their jobs are no fun. But by the time I got through to the fourth person I found it difficult to be charming. I asked for some insight on the drastic flight change with no notification. He evidently works at an off-shore call center because I had a lot of difficulty understanding him. “They work their way down the list,” he explained. They would have let you know eventually.” “Eventually?” I repeated. “Yes, before the day of your flight,’ he said, seemingly surprised I would find this worrisome.
Sigh. To end a long story he put me on hold twice more while he made the changes. I dredged up the best thank you I could though I think it was pretty paltry. I hope he doesn’t put a black mark by my name in The Files. And I hope with 58 days to go they don’t change the flight too many more times.