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.
For more info on Cranky Concierge, go to crankyconcierge.com, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at (707) 797-7474.
Whilst I appreciate you’ve got to earn a living, this blog has gone from being informative to being a constant advert/self-promotion for your new business venture – no more please!
I know what you mean but Cranky provides great posts every working day of the week 365 days a year (nearly!). Not just repeating press releases or scraping debate from FT its genuine reporting. What do we pay for this, nothing. Therefore I have no problem reading a post like this every now and then, if it helps to keep the fresh content on this blog coming then i’m all for it. Its pretty clear what the post is about in the title, no one is forcing you to read it.
Hyperbole much? I for one find Cranky’s posts about CC interesting — It helps *me*, as an informed traveller, to know what my own options are and how to approach flight problems. I’d even be interested to hear about situations where CC failed to find an optimal solution (If you’re willing to share, Cranky!)
I have to admit when I read this blog this morning before any comments were left the first thing that popped in my head was ‘…seperation between church and state’
But it’s his blog and he’s just trying to earn a living just like everyone else. If this type of blog was an every day event that would be different,
and you can learn from it. As a former airline employee who flew standby I knew to go between two cities may be very creative and take you on an adventure. Like the time I wanted to go between LAX-MSY but due to a maintaince issue and an emergency landing, my journey went like this LAX-JFK-BOS-JFK a bus to LGA then to MSY on another airline. All planned on my own while enroute, so anything you can learn from some one with a travel issue like Montezuma could come in handy. Oh and I only arrived in MSY a little over an hour after my friend did instead of an hour before like I was to have been there (he was on WN).
Besides Cranky’s service may come in handy one day for you when that Family Airlines 747 is cancelled and you need get home and no one else with except their tkt…….lol
I found the post interestingAndrew wrote:
The great thing about the Internet? No one is forcing you to read this blog.
I love it. And having used the Concierge service, though without the weather drama described here, I still found it useful and well worth the money.
Keep up ALL the good work, CF.
Awesome! Looking forward to use CC as my guardian angel next week.
Not to pile on…but Cranky is pulling the curtain back on what’s going on behind the scenes. And I must be some sort of nerd, because I find it interesting!
Actually, I would have liked a little more detail about what the problems were and how they finally got resolved.
A CC story every once in awhile. Fine in my book.
Anyone who travels can learn something from that post — even if they never subscribe to that service. It is really about learning how to color outside the lines.
If you are in a city where the snow is falling and flights are canceling, get to “another go” and reconfigure your flight schedule from there (even if you have to book on the worst airline ever!)
Thank you for this blog, and if the price is the occasional post that discusses the services you offer, so be it, that is a price that I will gladly pay.
Like was said, you don’t have to read everything, but Cranky is sure interesting.
Of course, I found my Mom’s hometown paper story interesting too:
“Police: Amish Man Found Drunk Asleep in Moving Buggy!”
I’ll bet Cranky could have helped out this poor man, if only he had signed up for “Cranky Concierge!”
As an airline geek the Concierge is of limited use to me, but if he didn’t write blog entries like this what would I forward to by non-geek friends to say “you need this service.” A friend’s 100 year old grandmother is set to fly cross country this winter and I’m trying to sell them on this service. Stuff like this lets them know their options well.
I found the post interesting and informative. It helps me with ideas to try on my own, but also to know what CC would do if I were using it and got into “travel complications”. Look forward to trying the service sometime.
Somehow I think our definitions of “constant” are very different. I know people don’t come here solely to read about Cranky Concierge, and I’ve only had a couple of posts on it so far. The fact is, I’m really proud of what I’m building here, and I do think that the tales can be helpful to readers, so I want to share on rare occasion.
As Alex said, I am writing detailed posts every weekday (not quite 365!) and though I have limited ad revenue, it’s certainly not paying for the time I pour into this. I love writing the blog, and I love reading the comments, so I want to do whatever I can to make sure that I can continue doing this. That being said, I have a family and I need to make a living.
When I decided to build the Cranky Concierge business, I saw it as a perfect solution. It fits well with what I do here on the blog but on a more personalized level, and it helps me make a living. So I can continue with the blog while I’m helping people. What can be better?
The only impact on you? I’m going to write about it here from time to time, and I’m going to do my best to make it interesting and helpful. From some of the other comments here, it sounds like I’m at least on the right track with the stories I post. I am always open to feedback about how to make it more interesting.
Can that include failed situations as Andrew suggests? Absolutely. I have yet to have a situation that I think has been a complete failure. Sure, not all end the way this one did. I had a client who was flying from LaGuardia to Norfolk on a rainy night, for example, and he was delayed for hours on end. There was nothing I could do for him, sadly. Even though I may have failed to find him an alternative flight, I know that he was very appreciative of the constant communication about what was happening, where his airplane was, etc. They can’t all be miracles, but they can (and should) all be helpful.
There have been situations that could have turned into failure. I had a client traveling in Southeast Asia on an airline that didn’t provide any sort of flight status information. There wasn’t much I could do to help, and if things went wrong, it would probably have been difficult. Fortunately, they didn’t.
Now, if Family Airlines does get started (David), that might be a tough one. Then again, nothing would be tougher than helping the drunk Amish guy, JayB. (I found the story online, hysterical.)
Frank V – I see that you say you’d like more info on problems and how they were resolved. I’ve started posting more frequently on my Cranky Concierge Facebook page, and I’m happy to give more info on there. Just hop on and ask questions if you’re curious about something you see.
So, to conclude, I really appreciate all the comments on this post. I’m happy to try to tweak these posts to make them more interesting, but these types of posts aren’t going to stop. If that’s going to bother you, then I’m very sorry.
Keep ’em coming!
My only question is why on earth Montezuma was traveling from MDW-DFW via MSP, unless this was an end of the year mileage run to maintain his basic Medallion status?
This was just one part of a bigger trip, all on Delta. Unfortunately, there aren’t many great ways to get from Chicago to Dallas anymore on Delta, so this was his best option.
Cranky – I love it! Keep up the great work and don’t let people like “QuercyNomad” bring you down.
get this magazine on subscription, then you’ll have plenty to read when delayed!
Totally agree – this is nothing that any normal traveller wouldn’t do themselves and it is not interesting. Really cut down on checking this site out and the same is true for a lot of the people I know.