I was travelling on staff tickets with my extended family to Amritsar from Delhi after attending a wedding. These tickets are unconfirmed and subject to load. We usually have to hustle for these. Last minute anxiety causing struggles.
Weather was bad that day. Flights were rerouting the Toronto, Newark and London passengers who were unable to land in Amritsar earlier through Delhi. All flights were full. No seats available.
The hustle began. Frantic calls to coordinate with unknown captains for jump seats with little success. Delays piled up. I felt the pressure as I watched my parents and little kids wait at the counter with expectant and helpless faces. Tired and questioning.
The discussion in the huddle was about the viability of these staff tickets and how trains were a better option. The family spoke in whispers so that I won’t overhear and feel badly about it.
After many hours and failed attempts, luck struck and one of the captains I called found a contact who released scattered staff seats for us on the 777 aircraft was coming from London and going to Amritsar.
My sister and husband sat on the foldable cabin crew seats in the galley, others in scattered in the cabin, we reached Amritsar eight hours later, dead and tired.
Checked into the hotel and crashed out. The hearty Amritsari meal lightened our spirits and the late night walk to the magnificent Golden temple filled our hearts.
I woke up with a rude shock the next morning. I got a text message from the captain who had facilitated the jump seats. He expressed his disappointment about not hearing back from me once the seats were done.
In all my preoccupation of handling the family, I missed sending him a ‘thank you’ text once we boarded.
I apologized profusely while feeling both embarrassed and annoyed. The typical “He doesn’t know what I went through!” reaction. I don’t know if he felt my apology then. However, this incident taught me a lesson for life.
Always say express your gratitude and validate people’s efforts. It mean a lot and will go a long way. I have never forgotten it since and I remember him fondly for that life lesson.
Be Kind! Be Grateful! Be Empathetic!
Until next time…@thethinkingcaptain