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Vietnam: The Airport

By on November 4, 2017 in Asia Travel, California Travel with 0 Comments

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Dalai Lama

In October, Elaine asked me if I wanted to go to Vietnam. She told me to find a friend and join her on her adventure. For more than a decade, I had talked about venturing off to Vietnam with Erin. I gave her a call, and the time was right. In March, the three of us ventured off to Asia.

Prior to our adventure. I spent a few days in Los Angeles with friends. On Monday, we were all slated to meet at LAX to fly to the other side of the world. Erin was driving from San Diego, and Elaine had flown from Florida. When I arrived at the airport, I texted my friends.

I saw Erin first, and we checked in. Elaine had arrived earlier than us, so we thought she was already at the gate. We were wrong. We saw her a few rows over. We joined her, only to learn there was an issue with her reservation.

Originally, she had booked her trip with a friend from Florida. Her friend bailed. When Elaine went to check in, the airlines had her listed as canceled. Somehow, her reservation had been mixed up with her friend’s. She called the travel agency to fix the problem. At 9:00 p.m., the corporate offices were closed. There was nothing they could do.

We had moved over to the side, while Elaine discussed her options with the travel agency. They offered her a flight the next morning, without a hotel for the night. This was unacceptable.

I wandered off, as I often do, and marched over to the check-in counter. I demanded to speak to a supervisor. I explained the situation. I did not understand why they could not give Elaine her friend’s seat since the other woman would not be traveling. They could, but only for a few thousand dollars on top of what she had already spent.

The manager on duty did not have the authority to help us. She said she could only get approval from the corporate office, but she doubted she would have any luck. I told the lady to call corporate.

This went on for about two hours. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 12:00 a.m. Now, we were cutting it close. At this point, Elaine’s situation looked grim. We thought she would meet us in Vietnam the following day. This would impact all of us negatively. How would we be able to connect with her to figure out our plans? The first few days were left open with lots of possibilities, but nothing solid. She would also be more exhausted than us and on a different clock. I had enough.

I informed the lady that she needed to rectify the situation right now. Otherwise, I was going to create a social media hell. I do not like threats. I do not like confrontation. I had reached my limits. I pulled out my cell phone, and I ripped out a Tweet, calling out the travel agency. A minute passed, and I posted another Tweet about the airlines. Ironically, within five minutes, our problem was solved. The man Elaine was speaking with said, ‘It’s a miracle. The system updated, and you are on the flight.’ Elaine was able to fly to Vietnam with us. I floated to our gate, giggling all the way.

I removed my post from Twitter. After all, I did not want to negatively impact the businesses. I only wanted them to fix their mistake. The next morning, the travel agency tweeted ‘they were sorry for the inconvenience, and they were happy my friend made the flight.’

The lesson? Fight for what you want. Stay calm. Stay focused. When one road is blocked, find another path.

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