The first true winter storm of the year rolled through the middle of the country yesterday, and that was the first big test for Cranky Concierge. I’m happy to report that we had success. Here’s the story of a client who was trying to get from Chicago to Dallas via snowy-Minneapolis . . . and made it early thanks to Cranky Concierge.
Our client (let’s call him Montezuma just because that name is awesome) was scheduled on Delta 2978 leaving Chicago/Midway at 245p and heading toward Minneapolis. He was connecting to Delta 3380 arriving Dallas/Ft Worth at 747p. We saw the storm coming and prepared Montezuma to be patient. He knew we’d be there ready for him, and sure enough, we got him there early thanks to some quick thinking and flight changes.
Yesterday morning, his flights were still showing on time, but earlier flights had been canceled and delayed thanks to the snow blanketing both Chicago and Minneapolis. He was lucky to be flying out of less-congested Midway, but there were still bound to be problems. Montezuma finished up his work early and headed toward Midway. He told us he would be arriving at about 1130a so he could take an earlier flight out if there was one.
Unfortunately, the 1150a flight had already been canceled while the 111p flight was already delayed 30 minutes (it would eventually depart more than two hours late). This was not a good sign, so we sprung into action.
The weather that had snarled Atlanta the day before had moved out, and Delta had a flight heading there from Midway at 1225p that was actually on time. We figured that was Montezuma’s best bet. He went up to the counter and they put him on that flight, as airlines will do during bad weather situations. They also confirmed him for an Atlanta connection that would have him arrive at 718p in Dallas. There was an earlier connection they wouldn’t put him on for some reason, but we resolved to get that fixed when he got to Atlanta. We just wanted to get him out of Chicago.
Sure enough, his flight left town 3 minutes early, and he even scored a first class seat thanks to his basic elite status. Even after deicing, it arrived Atlanta just a few minutes late. We sent an email that was awaiting Montezuma upon his arrival telling him where to go to try to get on the earlier connection that the agents in Chicago didn’t put him. We were seeing plenty of availability on that flight, and the plane was already there so it was going on time. No sense in waiting around.
Sure enough, Montezuma went to the gate and he walked right on the airplane and into first class once again. He ended up arriving Dallas at 621p, more than an hour earlier than his original schedule and more than two hours earlier than his original flights actually got there.
What happened to his original flights? Well, the 245p from Midway was eventually canceled, so they probably would have put him (assuming there was room) on the very delayed 111p which eventually left after a creeping delay at 330p. That flight arrived Minneapolis at 520p and Montezuma would have had to schlep across the airport mall from the D gates to the F gates where he would luckily find his delayed flight to DFW still hanging around. That flight left an hour late and would have had him in to DFW just shy of 9p.
That was just over an hour later than he would have arrived otherwise, but think of all the stress and hassle he avoided. Having to deal with canceled and delayed flights is a real pain and we bypassed that for him completely.