05162021Sun
Last updateFri, 14 May 2021 4am

‘We are experiencing high call volume’

One of the inconveniences seldom talked about during a pandemic is flight cancellations, and how to regain funds, obtain credits, or even get a seat upgrade to something suitable for primates.

Remember, to get back one’s money for airline non-performance is like pulling out your own teeth with a string tied to a doorknob.

They may give you a renewed ticket with an equal value, if you travel at 4 a.m. and you book your ticket in the next five business days. Everything commercial today is in the measure of business days.

But to start this process, you would of course have to call the airline “hotline.” A hotline means that you get right through with your emergency. Or, at least that’s what it meant 50 years ago. The word now only has meaning when prefaced with “suicide.” Hotline responses are eloquently polite: “We are experiencing high call volume. Your call is important to us, so please call back within five business days.” When they are really saying: “We got a lot of pissed-off people on hold here, so please get the hell off the line.”

Or, you may get the, “let me switch you over to our ticket credit department.” This would be after you explained your entire story, trauma by trauma, frustration over frustration, for half an hour, and dug up every reservation, order, booking and ticket number you could find online and in your “Go Lickety-Split Airline” welcome envelope. And this person you are switched to greets you with, “Hello, how can I help you?” This is where you curse out loud to the people on your call who have “monitored it for quality assurance.”

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