26 February 2010

Unexpected gifts

The plan was to fly from Chicago to Winnipeg on Tuesday evening, stay overnight, do some shopping Wednesday in the city, and then drive home.

My brother and nephew drove us to the airport, avoiding the need for a taxi. We had checked in online and the luggage drop off line was short. The security check was surprisingly fast and smooth. Breathing sighs of relief and happy to be headed home, we walked to our departure gate.

While Rick was off finding us something cold to drink, I noticed on the info screen that they were looking for people who would voluntarily give up their seats and that interested parties should check with an agent for info about compensation. I mentioned this to Rick when he returned, Pepsi bottles in hand.

When a United employee appeared at the desk I went up and asked if they still needed volunteers. When he said they did, I asked what time the next flight would be. "9:54 tomorrow morning" he replied. He assured me we would have a seat on that flight. I asked what amount they were offering as compensation. $600.00 in travel vouchers. $600.00 ! I thought that was for the both of us, but he said it would be $600.00 for each of us.

"I'll go talk with my husband" I told the agent.

As I started to walk away from the desk he added "And we'll put you up in a hotel for the night too."

Rick agreed that it would be silly to pass on the offer, so back to the desk we went and spoke to another agent who took our names and said she would call us if they needed our seats. About fifteen minutes later, she printed out new boarding passes for the morning flight, handed us a voucher for the hotel, told us where to catch the shuttle and then placed a stack of eight $150.00 travel vouchers in my hand. $1200.00 good anywhere on United Airlines. We called the hotel in Winnipeg to cancel our reservation, saving that money as well, and set off to find the shuttle bus area.

At the hotel, I felt like Ree, the Pioneer Woman when she was on her book tour, taking pictures of her hotel rooms. I was glad Rick had his camera because it was a more luxurious hotel than we could have afforded to pay for.

Those of you who have been following my posts know it had been a difficult trip and I was so thankful that God would give us this indulgent gift.

Security and check in went smoothly in the morning, the plane departed only a bit later than scheduled. It seemed that God was teaching us to always be prepared for a course change, our plans are not in our own hands, but in His.

Now... if they would only find and return our luggage. I know that's in His hands as well, and I must trust that He will make sure they are here in time for me to wash and repack clothes for our next trip - leaving Tuesday.


S. Etole said...

doubly blessed in a most unusual way ...

WhiteStone said...

Ah, the Luggage! Topic for another post! lol

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is amazing :)

Only Him.

He is so good to us!

I am so glad you had such a great hotel...and those travel vouchers...that rocks!

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