October 29, 2010

Fact is Better: My Advice? Hang Up Before She Snaps Her Gum In Your Ear

Even though Expedia.com confirms your flight for you, they still suggest you call the airline directly 24-hours in advance if your trip is within the country; 72-hours in advance if your trip is international.

Getting ready to fly to Philadelphia, I thought our seat assignments looked a little weird.  We had 11A and 11C going one way, and 22A and 22C going the other.  I assumed, because we weren't in seats A and B, we weren't sitting next to one another.  So, I thought I'd call to see if there was a mix-up, or if they just created the seating on their planes stupidly.

Me: *dials U.S. Airways*
Automated U.S. Airways Person: “Hello, and thank you for calling U.S. Airways.  For English, press 1.  Para Espanol . . .”
*I press 1*
Automated U.S. Airways Person: “Thank you!  If you’re calling to purchase tickets, please press 1.  If you’re calling to confirm tickets or have questions about your seating assignment, please press 2.  If you . . .”
*I press 2*
Automated U.S. Airways Person: “Thank you!  We will transfer you to an agent immediately!”
*bad music plays for a few seconds, and then it sounds like someone picks up the phone.  I hear heavy breathing and obnoxiously loud gum chewing.  A FULL MINUTE of this goes by.*
Me: “Um . . . hello?”
Laverne the Awful US Airways Agent: “This is Laverne, what can I help you with?” *chews gum loudly*
Me: “Oh, um, hi.  I, um . . .  sorry.  I’m calling to confirm my trip.  I also had questions about my seating assignments.”
*another FULL MINUTE of loud breathing and gum chewing go by.*
Me: “Hello?”
Laverne the Awful US Airways Agent: “YUP?” *chews gum loudly*
Me: “Um, I just . . .can I confirm my trip?”
Laverne the Awful US Airways Agent: “YUP.” *chews gum loudly*
Me: “Okay . . . do you want my name or . . .”
Laverne the Awful US Airways Agent: “Please give me your transaction number.”
Me: “Um, I don’t have that, but I . . .”
Laverne the Awful US Airways Agent: *begins talking to me loudly, annunciating certain words like I'm either deaf or foreign* “Please GIVE ME your TRANSACTION number.”
Me: “Right, I purchased these tickets off Expedia.com, so I have my confirmation number.  I can give y. . .”
Laverne the Awful US Airways Agent:  “LAST NAME?” *chews gum loudly*
Me: “Deschenes.  D-E-S-C . . .”
Laverne the Awful US Airways Agent: “Yup, you’re confirmed.” *chews gum loudly*
Me: “Wow.  Okay.  That was fast.  Now, I also had a question about my seat assignments.”
*another FULL MINUTE of loud breathing and gum chewing go by.*
Me: “Um, my seat assignment?”
Laverne the Awful US Airways Agent: *annoyed* “What about it?” *chews gum loudly*
Me: “Well, it says I have 11A and 11C?  I just wanted to make sure those are sitting next to one another.  ‘Cause, you know, it seems there’s a letter missing!”
Laverne the Awful US Airways Agent: *even more annoyed* “YUP.” *chews gum loudly*
Me: “Yup, what?”
Laverne the Awful US Airways Agent: “They’re next to each other.  What else can I help you with?”
Me: “Um, nothing I gue . . .”
Laverne the Awful US Airways Agent: *rudely interrupts* “Thank you for calling U.S. Ai . . .” *she hangs up before finishing her sentence*


True story.

Further proof that fact is better than most customer service or fiction.