Thursday, September 07, 2006

Saying Thank You

By Nichole Giles

Last week I took a trip. It doesn’t matter where I went, or why. Only that I had to fly there. I showed up at the airport at 7:00 am expecting to check in and be on my way with no problems. But there was a problem—a big one. The airline attendant informed me, “Ma’am, your flight left two days ago.”

Okay—I admit, I am not the most brilliant person on the planet, but I knew what day it was. I stood there and argued with the woman, certain there was a major mistake.

Of course there was. They claimed it was mine, and I had booked the wrong flight. Hmm, bad deal. She continued to tell me my ticket was non-refundable, which meant I couldn’t re-book for the flight that morning. Well, actually that’s not exactly true. She said, “I can get you on a flight today, but you’ll have to purchase another ticket.” Guess how much? “It’ll be $1247.” Oh, ouch! Who can afford to pay that much for a flight they’d already paid almost $400 for in the first place?

As I stood in the airport with my bags at my feet and a computer over my shoulder, I was more than a little distressed. It was extremely important that I arrive at my destination that day.

So I prayed. Right there in the middle of the airport—in front of the check-in lady—I closed my eyes and silently begged my Heavenly Father for help. Guess what? Within five minutes that lady was on the phone making special arrangements, and basically jumping through hoops—all for me. The charge for the flight change turned out to be $100, and a short lecture.

After all this and the lines at the security checkpoint, I made it to the gate on time.

My first thought after boarding the plane was—I should write those people a letter. My second was—I should do a blog. It isn’t often that you find someone who is willing to help you at his or her own expense, and I got the feeling that this woman did just that.

I still haven’t been able to pinpoint the problem at the airline. My flight numbers were all correct, and my times were exact. The best I can figure is computer error, although I will admit, I could’ve been at fault. I may never know. The point is, I had a real adversity on my hands, and was sent immediate help from above.

Today, I’m using my writing skills to send a thank you letter to the airline. Whatever that woman did, she did out of kindness. That night, after arriving safely—and without any further stress—at my destination, I remembered to thank my Heavenly Father for his help. Without Him, I would not have arrived where I needed to be.

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