Airline Employee Personally Pays For Airfare of Stranded Passenger of Competitor After Being Significantly Inconvenienced

M iriam Thomas is thankful for an employee of Alaska Airlines identified only as Judy, who reportedly paid for her airfare out of her own pocket after the ticket for the return flight operated by Delta Air Lines on which Thomas was to be a passenger was supposedly cancelled and would have resulted in her being stranded overnight — and you will not believe the reason why the return portion of the ticket was cancelled.

According to this article written by Hayley Cooper of News1130 in Vancouver — which describes what happened on the outbound portion of the itinerary from Vancouver to Ontario in California via Seattle and an unexpected stop in Portland — “She says after an hour of standing at the desk, she found out what happened. ‘When they had the mechanical maintenance and we ended up in Seattle and had to spend the night in a hotel there, they used the rest of the value of my entire ticket on that rescheduled flight that morning so there was no more money for me to fly home. They didn’t tell me that.’”

I have never heard of that policy before — but I suppose anything is possible once. Airlines typically compensate passengers with free lodging when irregular operations results from mechanical issues and the passengers are stranded overnight.

When a representative from Delta Air Lines allegedly informed Thomas that she will not be able to leave until the next day — without any arrangements of where to stay overnight — Judy offered her a travel voucher and paid for it with her own credit card so that Thomas was ensured travel back to Vancouver from Seattle that day. Thomas was even offered money for coffee.

If the above story is indeed true, Judy deserves to be recognized for going beyond the call of duty for assisting a passenger of a competing airline — which is why I am posting this article…

…and the world would be a far better place if there were more people like Judy. Representatives of corporate entities should do what they can to make things easier for people — not more difficult…

Photograph ©2013 by Brian Cohen.

9 thoughts on “Airline Employee Personally Pays For Airfare of Stranded Passenger of Competitor After Being Significantly Inconvenienced”

  1. Michael says:

    what a great story. Rarely are there random acts of kindness when it comes to flying.

  2. Ron says:

    This is one of the reasons that those of us in the Pacific Northwest love Alaska Airlines. Their representative waived checked baggage fees for me and my wife after we returned from and around the world business class award trip even though our Alaska ticket was a separate itinerary. Even though I am not crazy about turboprops all of my paid travel goes through Alaska Arilines.

  3. Bret says:

    So wait…you’re publishing a story…but the facts haven’t been verified? (“If the above story is indeed true…”).

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Well…I was not there personally to witness it for myself, Bret

  4. DL says:

    I have to agree with Bret….the facts haven’t been verified yet? I do like to hear stories of kindness, but the fact the Delta “used the rest of the value of my entire ticket on that rescheduled flight that morning so there was no more money for me to fly home.” Sounds very fishy to me.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That sounded fishy to me too, DL — which is why I chose to concentrate more on the act of kindness itself as the tone for the article, rather than what are supposedly the “facts” which led to the act of kindness.

      That is not the Delta Air Lines I know…

      1. Dan says:

        This whole blog sounds fishy to me now. No source cited, no fact checking, no credibility.

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          Included in the article I wrote, along with a link: “According to this article written by Hayley Cooper of News1130 in Vancouver…”

          http://www.news1130.com/2015/03/22/alaska-airlines-employee-pays-for-vancouver-womans-airfare-after-runaround-by-delta-airlines/

          Looks like a cited source to me, Dan

  5. Joseph N. says:

    I know the story sounds fishy, but the original article is pretty detailed, and from a real news station, not some no-name travel blog.

    I have made changes on Delta tickets myself, and the way the Delta.com system works, if you make a change to any leg on a RT ticket, then it reprices the entire ticket at the current price for each segment. If one segment is sold out, then you are SOL. If yo booked a long time ago and prices have gone up, SOL.

    I can easily believe that a novice, or just surly, Delta employee changed her ticket w/o working around my description above, and the return ticket ended up auto-cancelled.

    A very good story. 🙂

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