Airline Bulls***: Part II (The amazing Ann)

Photo on 2009-12-22 at 17.11 #2

Last I left you here, I was ranting about airlines, and how they routinely d*** people over.

Then something unprecedented happened.

The blond woman in the above photograph is named Ann. She is a supervisor for Northwest/Delta at Laguardia. Last night, she was the one who—last minute—found a spot for me on the plane (Granted, it was behind a person who, literally, farted for 2 1/2-straight hours. But that’s really beyond Ann’s jurisdiction). In the midst of chaos, she was an angel—calm, polite, decent, accommodating. It wasn’t her fault the airlines overbook flights; wasn’t her fault seats weren’t assigned. She just has to deal with the aftershocks, ie one furious holiday flier after another after another after another after another after another …

Anyhow, last night, just as I was about to walk onto the airplane, Ann grabbed my boarding pass and wrote a phone number and her name on the back. She said, “If you need to change your return trip, call this line. Tell them you spoke to me.” Well, this morning I called the line, hoping to alter the flight. Who answers? Ann! “I thought about you driving in this morning,” she said. “I was hoping everything worked out OK. I felt bad how much you went through …”

This was not a woman hitting on me (My wife dropped me at the airport) or bulls***ing me. She wasn’t trying to score points with anyone or earn a holiday bonus. She was, quite simply, an angelic human being; the type of person we too infrequently encounter. We live in the time of non-humanity; of recorded phone messages and press ONE for this, TWO for this, THREE for that. It’s nearly impossible to get a person on the phone or a supervisor face to face. It … just … doesn’t … happen.

Thank God for Ann.