I thought our story was over, but it just took one more unexpected twist.
Today I received a call from Tadesse, the Ethiopian Airlines Bangkok station manager I praised for handling my situation as well as he could. I didn’t answer it, but he left a short message saying to call him back.
Laos is out of network for T-Mobile’s generous worldwide data plan. In Laos, calls are $4.50/minute and text messages are $0.50 each. Before I could even get back to the Crowne Plaza in Vientenne to use T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling, he sent me an email.
Here it is, unedited—
Dear Mr Matthew !!!Greetings from Ethiopian airlines Bangkok!!In the first places we sincerely apologize for the in convinces encountered due to internal system error while calculating your tickets trips on22may,BKK-YYZ, taking in into consideration your valued customer , case has been reviewed separately by HQ level , and has been decided honors your C9 class seats BKK-YYZ, on next available flight , hence , once again regret the error on behalf of Ethiopian airlines and conform willrespect your C9 class on next available flight,Kind Regrds,Tadesse
A little late…
C9, in case it is not clear is “Cloud 9” business class.
I had just confirmed the Biman reservation and purchased the ticket via Vayama so that I could pay with my American Express Platinum card (I’ll have a whole post on the difficulty I had booking this ticket).
Even had I not booked Biman yet, if I left tonight from Bangkok, I’d not arrive in Toronto until Thursday morning, not giving me enough time to fly to Madrid to catch my Iberia flight home to LA.
I wrote him back—
I was very surprised to read your note. Thank you for writing
it and for the favorable change in opinion from HQ level.
First, I want you know how much I respect you. You treated me with
kindness and professionalism last night. I will not forget that. I
hope that should you ever try the new Addis to Dublin to Los Angeles
service, you will come over to my house for dinner. It would be an
Second, unfortunately I have booked an alternate ticket back. I have
to make extra stops, but I will fly Biman to London via Dhaka then
Iberia to Los Angeles via Madrid. I’m all set now and those tickets
cannot be refunded. Please convey to HQ level that I appreciate their
change in heart and I will try to come up with a solution.
I am sure that our paths will cross again.
And I mean what I wrote.
Now I’m in the middle of my Biman trip and not sure how to handle this. I welcome your thoughts. I’m tempted to ask them to change the round-trip to Los Angeles to Bangkok on the dates of my choice.
I don’t know if was my blog (the Twitter team reached out to me yesterday and I did not respond), Tadesse’s persistence, or something else, but it does appear Ethiopian Airlines had a change of heart. What a shame that change did not happen on Sunday instead of Tuesday…