Dreams do come true! Recently, we took advantage of an incredible, last minute airfare price drop to grab our backpacks and set our sights on a dream vacation down under. Sure, we were scheduled on a milk run with stops in Calgary, San Fran and Melbourne enroute to Hobart, Tasmania. An itinerary that had us travelling for 40 hours. Small price to pay for cheap airfare, right? With hiking poles, camp stove and our Lonely Planet guidebook in hand, we confidently boarded the plane in Comox, full of optimism and excitement. Low and behold, just as we were walking down the ramp in Calgary to board our connecting flight to San Francisco, we received a text message stating that our trip to Melbourne was cancelled. FULL STOP. No directions or communication with respect to rebooking our plane, just a cold, hard cancellation.
After a few nervous hours in the air, feeling utterly helpless, we arrived in San Francisco, determined to take extraordinary measures to ensure our dream vacation didn’t end at the Golden Gate bridge. We certainly didn't want to leave our hearts in San Francisco! After numerous attempts to speak with a live person, we telephoned the Qantas Head Office, and we emailed the world, to no avail. It was then we decided to take our tale of woe to social media.
Within seconds of tweeting Qantas, we received a response and of course a request to take the conversation offline. No point airing your dirty laundry in public! Long story short, after 5 hours trapped in Twitterverse, and a Fitbit daily step total record created during an exciting baggage chase around SFO, we secured travel on a flight to Los Angeles connecting to Melbourne. The cherry on top? Unbelievably, we arrived in Australia an hour earlier than our original travel itinerary.
Reflecting on the experience, we marvelled at the power of social media. Disappointed at the apparent lack of customer care initially exhibited by the Qantas staff, we were beyond impressed with the hard-working Twitter team. They stayed with us for hours, working diligently on our behalf. Not only did they save our vacation, but in our opinion, they redeemed the reputation of Qantas.
Who would have thought a little blue bird and a bright red kangaroo would unite to salvage a vacation of a lifetime?