I am writing this from the Admiral’s Club in Chicago, my second visit of the morning. Here’s how my travel has gone so far:
My friend picked me up on time to drive me to the airport, with ease and grace. As I waited to go through the security checkpoint for my flight to Chicago, I ran into a local friend whom I hadn’t connected with in a month; she changed seats to sit next to me and we had a good chance to catch up. I knew I had a two-hour layover before my connection to Phoenix for a Geotran class this weekend, so I looked for the nearest Admiral’s Club, only two gates away from the Phoenix flight. After hot chocolate and porridge for breakfast, with a chance to catch up on my email, and to reserve a shuttle to my hotel in the Phoenix, I wandered back to the gate in time for boarding.
Behold! They were overbooked, and offering $600 for volunteers to take a later flight. Usually I don’t have the flexibility but this time my gut whispered, “You could do that!” So I stepped up, the first in line … so long as they could get me on a flight today, so that I could be in class at 9am tomorrow. (I take the notes, so I need to be there, and on time.)
By the time the flight took off, they were offering $800, plus hotel and meal vouchers, to the volunteers who were able to fly out tomorrow — with the exception of moi. The efficient flight attendants had noted that I needed to arrive in Phoenix today without fail, and as I was at the top of the list, they assigned me the ONE available seat on the 1.50 flight, arriving at 4.40pm. Within an hour of volunteering, I had a new flight that was actually better for me, plus a voucher for $800, plus a fascinating conversation with a fellow travel volunteer, all before retiring back to the conveniently located Admiral’s Club for a second round of breakfast, mocha, and high-speed internet.
The moral of this story is to always listen to your intuition. I didn’t have to think it out; my gut said “This means YOU!” I stepped up promptly, and received the perfect solution to the airline, for my own travel needs, and for the fellow with whom I exchanged a friendly connection and contact information. Curiously enough, normally he also had tight travel arrangements, but this time had left a day on each end of his trip to Phoenix — and as he’d already been bumped off his earlier flight, his net gain was $1,500 in vouchers, with a room and meals in Chicago overnight, and an early flight that would still let him fulfill his schedule in Phoenix. Plus, of course, we each got to make a new friend as we waited happily together!
As Dame Julian of Norwich wrote: All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” Follow your intuition; it will never lead you astray. More to the point, it will guide you into serendipity, that journey of ease and grace, with unexpected delights along the way!