Another nightmare

I was quite optimistic when I started off this morning. Bright and early into the office, a nice cup of coffee on my desk and my files stacked up neatly. If I call early like this I am sure to get someone wide awake and ready to help, I thought. I picked up the file and once more checked the schedule change notification that had come through from the airlines. Clearly this was a mistake. They had him travelling from Budapest to Amsterdam on the 12th and then from Amsterdam to Calgary on the 11th. Who did they think he was – Dr Who? Just let me pop into my Tardis time machine while I work out this flight. Oh well…..

Amazingly I got through right away. I kid you not, I nearly spilt my coffee all over the desk. I was totally unprepared as I had settled in for a good two hour wait while I finished my coffee and checked facebook and twitter. I so was not ready but managed to grab the notification out of the file –

“Hi, this is Lesley from South Travel in Calgary, I have a sked change notice under flight confirmation number CFD74J. There seems to be a mistake here.”

Buzz, crackle and rustle on the other side. “Yes, I see the booking.” ….. long pause … wth? “So what is the problem?”

“Well you have him going backwards in time if you just take a look at the itinerary. He can’t fly out of Amsterdam on the 11th if he only departs Budapest on the 12th.”

“Yes.” another long pause. “Hold on please”. Yeah right, I thought. I was celebrating too quickly about not having been on hold. The minutes clicked by and I searched through facebook again. Cannot believe she wore that outfit and then bragged about it. Looks awful.

crickets …. crickets …. crickets …. not even hold music to listen to.

“OK, I changed the flights so I have him flying from Vladivostok to Warsaw.”

I nearly fainted. What? Had he got my file mixed up. What an idiot.

I couldn’t believe my ears. I had never dealt with this airline before and had my trepidations about it as the fare was unbelievably cheap and you know what they say – cheap is expensive. But this was totally ridiculous. I would just have to be a bit more pushy and try to get hold of a supervisor.

“OK so where is your office located or are you working from home?” I asked.

There was a strange echo and then he started laughing, a bit like a nutcase if you ask me. He told me his office was in Transylvania. No, c’mon. I am not falling for that one.

“Oh and I suppose your name is Dracula?” I asked sarcastically. “No” he said. “Actually my name is Dave.”

“Well listen Dave, you better fix this file and fix it properly. Vladivostok and Warsaw are not parts of this itinerary – we need Budapest to Calgary, however you can work it.”

This time he did not put me on hold so I could hear the keyboard rattling away and him muttering under his breath while he struggled with the itinerary. I heard a few damn it’s and a couple of sighs before he got back to me and told me that the flights were now completely sold out but he realised that this was his error so he called the supervisor who gave him an override to allocate the washroom as designated seating for the passenger.

“You mean you want him to spend the whole flight on the toilet? Is that what you are telling me?”

He tried to reassure me “I put a note on the file for special attention and they will serve him meals from the first class galley. No problem miss. He will have a very good flight and just think of the benefits. No having to line up when he wants to use the bathroom. It will be good.”

No, this can’t be happening. Of course it can’t be happening. C’mon Lesley, pull yourself together. At that moment my alarm went off. OMG another COVID nightmare. This job is really getting to me!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. I had a WestJet flights that I booked last spring to Victoria got me in at 7:30 a.m. out at 7:30 pm, 12 hrs there, WestJet changed it to 11:30 a.m in, 12:15 p.m.out, 45 whole minutes in Victoria, I cancelled it they still havent reimbursed me for that and another, so much for our friendly airline?


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