And this time I didn’t even leave my apartment.
A couple weeks ago I scheduled a meeting in Toronto. Given that all the flights were basically the same price and that the meeting was going to be in downtown I made the quite easy decision to fly Porter Air for the trip. Yes, I’d be giving up some points in my normal loyalty programs but the experience flying with them is great and the fact that they operate from the City Airport right downtown is a huge benefit. So I made my booking online and went along on my merry way.
Fast forward a couple weeks to this morning. I no longer actually had a meeting to attend in Toronto and figured I’d be out the cash for the ticket. It isn’t the most expensive ticket I’ve had to throw away but it is still annoying to lose out, even though I paid a third of the refundable price for my limited ticket. And it is snowing. Not heavily and certainly not as bad as last week’s storm, but it is definitely coming down. Newark airport can barely operate on a decent schedule when there is no weather. When snow comes into play all bets are off. That means weather waivers come out.
Porter has issued a waiver for travel in and out of Newark today. My scheduled flight actually looks like it is going to be on time but there are a few others that have been canceled. And I don’t have any reason to go to Toronto today nor a return ticket. So I tried my luck with their call center to see what my options were.
After choosing between English and French on the IVR system the call was answered on the first ring. That alone is a big win, but it got better from there. As I explained that the weather was precluding me from getting to the airport to get to my meeting the agent quickly offered up the option of rebooking for another day. Generally a great thing but I don’t know when I’ll be back up that way so I just wanted the value of the ticket as a credit. This is where the agent went above and beyond to help me out. He really tried to stop me from just getting the value back in a credit, with very good reason.
The weather waiver permits him to move my booking to pretty much any day and any flight. But the credit is just the value amount and it is generally not enough for a last-minute purchase. He explained the fare structures and advance purchase concepts to me to make sure that I realized I’d be potentially losing out with my decision. I’m a big fan of customer service agents that are well informed about their own product and look out for their customers in this way.
In the end I got the credit as I desired and made sure that he knew that I understood the risks of such a move. And I continue to be impressed by Porter Air.
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