An Open Letter to the Alaska Airlines Gate Agent

142457_4059Dear friendly gate agent at Medford airport’s Alaska Airlines,

I am not a nervous flier. I have flown regularly all my life and quite enjoy it. I fall asleep almost immediately when the jet engines get going, and have been known to sleep with my mouth hanging open for hours. I know that flying in an airplane is astronomically safer than riding in a car. I also know that the odds of an airplane crash are extremely low. When I’m flying to Phoenix, Arizona from Medford, Oregon and I hand you my boarding pass, there are many things I am happy to hear you say to me after you check me in. These include, but are not limited to, “thank you for flying with Alaska Airlines; have a wonderful flight; and, Nancy, we’ve upgraded you to first class.” What I don’t want to hear, anywhere in the vicinity of an airport, particularly FROM AN AIRLINE EMPLOYEE WHEN I AM BOARDING MY FLIGHT, is “good luck.”

Really? Good luck? If this isn’t one of the first things covered in what not to say to customers when learning how to be an airline employee, it certainly should be. I might be more inclined to accept this if I was say, flying to Monte Carlo, but even then, I’d really like to hear it when I’m exiting the plane, not when I’m getting on.

Help me out here Alaska Airlines. Please remind your employees that good luck should be reserved for Caesars Palace employees at the roulette wheel. Let’s keep luck out of the airport entirely.


Sincerely Yours,

Nancy Bestor

You Take the High Road, and I’ll Take…

1414861_plane_silhouetteby Nancy Bestor

Have you ever been undercharged? Maybe you’ve bought groceries then returned home and looked over your receipt to see that you paid .50 cents for something that was supposed to be $5.00. Or maybe you ate out at a restaurant and discovered that your bill didn’t include a round of drinks. Do you tell the business? Or just count your blessings? What if you’ve been undercharged not by a small business but by a large corporation? Does that make it any different?

I recently read a story about a woman who booked an obviously incorrect fare ($595 one way from Myanmar to Canada, in first class) on Expedia’s website, then when it was cancelled by Expedia a few days before her flight, wanted Expedia and/or the airline to compensate her. The traveler admits to knowing that the fare was incorrect when she booked it. Consumer advocate Christopher Elliott says this is stealing, and not cool.

Was this stealing? Is it okay to book a flight you know for a fact is wrong? Is it like Robin Hood stealing from the “rich” to give to the “poor”? I’d like to think if I discovered this fare I would say to myself that this is “too good to be true” and take the high road and call the company to confirm the fare before trying to book it. But the truth is, I’ve never been in this situation, so I can’t say with 100% certainty that this is what I would do. Hmmmm…..what would you do?