Because I’m a nice guy, I won’t mention the airline. But on a recent trip, the company that we will call “The Airline” flew me from Nashville to its hub—a major airport—then canceled its flight to my final destination because of weather.
That’s certainly fine because I like safe. But because The Airline re-booked me on a flight more than 24 hours later—too late to make a speaking engagement—my only option was to drive.
All I needed was my bag. Just one bag.
Before we go further, this is not a travel column. Nor is this about me and some hiccups on the way to an event. It is about us and what we as the Pregnancy Help Community offer to those who come in our door. A story about travel has implications for all of us.
As soon as I found my flight canceled, I hustled to a gate agent to tell her of my dilemma. “I just need my bag,” I told her.
She told me to go to customer service. “They will help you there,” she said with a smile.
The Customer Service Agent however, had another point of view. “No. Your bag stays with the plane,” she said sternly. “That is our policy.”
“But the plane isn’t going to the destination,” I said. “And I can’t go there, either. I’ll miss my speaking engagement—so I just need my bag.”
After hearing two or three times about “policy,” I politely (really, I was polite) asked to see a manager. “He left,” she said.
Finally, I convinced her to make a phone call and she told me to go sit down and wait for an answer. Dutifully, I sat. In a few minutes she came back with my answer. “That flight is operated by (a subsidiary airline), so that’s not us anymore. If you go to Gate B16, they have Customer Service for your flight there.”
So off I went to the another gate where the Customer Service agent told me I was in the wrong place. “If you go into that area over there, though, you will find Baggage Services. See what they can do.” This made sense.
Fortunately, I was wearing my FitBit as a traversed the airport, so I was racking up steps and celebrating milestones reached on my way to more than 3 million steps in 2016. But I digress.
At Baggage Services, I encountered two agents. The first was a man who, unfortunately, kept shaking his head while looking at his computer as he searched for my bag. “I don’t know,” he would say. “Doesn’t look like it is showing up.” Perhaps he was hoping his continued puzzlement would cause me to walk away. That was not happening.
“I need a great problem-solver,” I finally said. Aha. With that the other agent, a young lady, started typing into her computer, making phone calls and checking with other employees.
It took a while, but this agent would not quit. Three hours later, I heard her make a phone call to an inside guy somewhere in the bowels of the airport amidst thousands of bags. She smiled. Victory was at hand.
My bag showed up within 15 minutes and as I walked past her counter one last time, I slipped a $20 bill beside her computer. I was tired, but smiling.
Driving to my hotel that night, I looked back on my airport odyssey, thinking about the agents who found a way to move my situation to someone else; some with good reason and others who likely didn’t want to go the extra mile to solve a customer’s dilemma.
Tweet This: Customer service 1 key way #prolife #pregnancyhelp out-shines #PPAct, big #abortion. @KirkWalden
With this kind of customer service, I saw an impending problem coming. Though I had a flight out already booked two days later, I decided to fire “The Airline” and take my chances driving home. Turns out, I made the right decision. My flight was canceled anyway.
This also got me thinking about customer service and those in the abortion industry. When legislation is introduced requiring abortion centers to own their mistakes (such as the requirement that abortionists gain admitting privileges to a local hospital), suddenly they are howling like my cat when I miss breakfast time by 30 seconds.
Yet whenever something goes wrong, their reaction is, “It’s not my job!”
We, the Pregnancy Help Community, are the alternative. When a young woman comes to us with an unintended pregnancy and a desire for help, we begin looking for answers. We start searching for solutions.
In short, we assist our “customer” in finding a way to make it through a trying situation.
As the Geico commercial says, “It’s what we do.”
This is why the Pregnancy Help Community is growing in stature with potential clients and patients. More and more women now see us as “can do” people who are reliable and can be counted on.
While waiting for my bag in a major airport, I had plenty of time to think. And I realized our clients and patients are looking for someone they can trust and believe in to help them solve what is perceived to be a challenge of epic proportions—not even comparable to a lost piece of luggage.
Tweet This: Helping a woman consider her solutions. It's what we do. #pregnancyhelp #prolife @KirkWalden
I found one person I could count on in a sprawling airport and it changed everything about my small situation.
With this in mind, perhaps the message of the Pregnancy Help Community needs to include, “When an unplanned pregnancy arises, Count on Us.”
Trust is vital for those we see. While many still visit the Planned Parenthoods of this world, those who enter its doors do not inherently trust the abortion Goliath. Part of our expanding mission then, is to remind these same people that we are the home of trust, and a place where one can find “can do” servants committed to providing solutions.
A solutions-minded agent made my day. We do the same for those we see. And we need to make this truth an integral part of our presentation to those who need us most.