Sorry, You Don’t Get To See Your Child, Flight is Overbooked.
Your fist trip to meet your child is both exciting, and nerve wreaking, and the last thing you need is another wrench thrown into it by an airline, but it happens.
Airlines screw up. We don’t want them to, they don’t want to, but it’s a fact of life – things don’t always work out perfectly. Our family today had a run in with this fact of life.
An airline overbooked a flight, and our family couldn’t fly out. It wasn’t even an international flight, it was a domestic one. They couldn’t even get to JFK to fly out on time, it just wasn’t happening, instead they got routed through Heathrow, London.
One of the least pleasant options for an air traveller is being routed through Heathrow. It’s one thing if you voluntarily chose to fly though Heathrow, and thus brought upon yourself everything associated with a connection through there, but being told you have to get a connection there is just about synonymous with being told to kiss your travel plans goodbye, because you are going to be late.
In my many connections in Heathrow I have never ever expected a flight to leave on time. It does, sometimes, work to your advantage. Just because your flight is 4 hours late coming in, doesn’t mean your flight out of Heathrow already left. You may just have to wait another 4 hours, and you have time to relax, get some food, and stretch your legs. It’s not bad on your way home, but not when you actually need to be somewhere.
So, routed through Heathrow and by the time our family landed in Moscow their connecting flight was long gone.
What do you do in this situation? Well, you call us. Call our office, call our Moscow coordinator, call our in-country staff, just get in touch with one of us and we will take care of it. Whomever you’ll get a hold of will get in touch with the people needed, and get things going. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of phone calls and you are on your next flight, but if the need arises – they’ll literally hold your hand and walk you all the way thought to the next departure gate.
As I was finish up last paragraph I received an update that the family is scheduled for their next flight, which will be departing shortly, and our regional coordinator called to confirm arrival time and is ready to meet the family. So, it’s all taken care of.
We can’t make the planes fly on time, but we can take care of things when they don’t. However, please do remember that arriving for your flight early (very early), or even checking in online hours before making it to the airport is a good idea, and making use of modern technology to avoid unnecessary delays is… well, that’s what it’s there for – to make our lives easier.
Do what needs to be done to get on that flight, you don’t really want to hear “Sorry, you can’t go see your child, flight is overbooked”, do you?