The Reservationist Savant

I thought Air Canada did well by me yesterday, but their work on my behalf at the Charlottetown ticket counter doesn’t hold a candle to what they did for Jim and Helen Larkin.

Jim and Helen were originally booked on the same flight I was, Charlottetown to Montreal. From there they were scheduled to fly west, through some complicated and drawn-out route, to rendezvous with their daughter in Bangkok.

As they, like all others on the cancelled flight going west, had no hope of making their connections, it looked like the Larkins would be delayed by at least a day.

That is until the Reservationist Savant took on their case. This part-time employee at the ticket counter is reported to be a former travel agent. When the other clerks speak of her, it is with the reverence reserved for a master. And a master she was: in less than an hour she managed to re-book Jim and Helen through to Bangkok, going east rather than west, connecting through Halifax and London and then straight on to Bangkok on Thai Airways International.

Anyone familiar with the complexities of international travel will known that doing this sort of route planning is complicated at the best of times, let alone with weather bearing down and options quickly being eliminated.

So Jim and Helen ended up on the same flights I took: Charlottetown to Halifax, then Halifax to London. Of course, being upper crust Islanders as they are, they were in First Class while I was stuck back in coach (Jim’s explanation “we had enough points”). So I ate pancakes for breakfast after sleeping crooked in my seat while they undoubtedly dined on caviar and crumpets after climbing out of their sleep sacks.

By some miracle, their revised routing gets them into Bangkok 12 hours earlier than originally planned.

If you are ever in an Air Canada pickle in Charlottetown, it’s nice to know that there are miraculous skills available. Kudos to Air Canada. And to the mystery Reservationist Savant.

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