Today’s blog comes from Singapore.  I am three quarters the way through a trip of a lifetime to celebrate a milestone birthday.  The events of yesterday reminded me of how much we are in control of our own state of being and am inspired to share with you.

The day started off at 5am and an early start for our drive from Tuscany to Rome airport.  After some delays due to traffic we arrived at the airport at 10am.  Rome airport was absolute chaos, I have never seen so many people gathered in one place and I remember thinking – is this normal?

It turns out it wasn’t normal – Rome airport had a fire in the computer room which resulted in all the check-in systems going down.  We were luckily enough to be inside the  airport, others were turned away.  As we stood in a ridiculously long queue at the British Airways check-in we were surrounded by many frustrated travelling starting to worry about their flights, the service, etc etc.  My husband and I decided that we cannot control the outcome, so lets make the most of it and started to connect with others around us and divert the conversation from being a negative one to actually having some fun and good stories to share while we all waiting to check in.  We stood in that line for two hours, but really it only felt like half an hour as we were having so much fun connecting with others.

When we reached the front of the queue our first reaction was to thank the check-in assistant for all her hard work and how we appreciated what a day she must be having.  The smile on her face reminded me on how one comment can help people through a difficult situation.  We then asked whether she could check our bags all the way through to Singapore ( we were travelling via London and Doha with another airline).  This was not an easy task for her, but given we had shown her kindness and appreciation, she went out of her way to get this done for us, entering in the system manually.

We finally got on the plane four hours later, which was already two hours behind the original schedule.  We had tried to call the other airline whilst waiting to discuss a solution to our problem as it was likely we would miss our flight and found that the number on the website was no longer in use.  So understanding we couldn’t control the outcome, we decided to go with the flow and at no point were we feeling annoyed or frustrated, we just accepted and were “being” in the moment.

We were so excited to be on the plane – only to discover that getting people on the plane was taking so much longer!  In addition we needed a tow/taxi for the plane and this was another one hour wait.  We chose to be friendly with the staff on board and encouraged them and made a few jokes to lighten their day, as sadly the majority of people were being rather unpleasant to them.  Yes we were going to miss our flight connection, yes we didn’t know what the outcome was going to be, but there was no point worrying about something outside our control.

The last straw for many onboard was as we eventually got into the air five hours later, the cabins staff then had to announce that they couldn’t serve any food as it had been onboard too long and therefore it was not safe to eat.  You can imagine the reaction.  We just looked at the head of cabin staff and laughed, continuing to be very supportive.  To our surprise (we were travelling economy from Rome to London) we were sent down some champagne from biz class – so unexpected, but when you are kind, people naturally want to do something nice in return.

So finally we get to London – knowing we have missed our flight, knowing that we don’t have boarding passes for the next flight due to the system issues, so we just headed to the correct terminal to start the “negotiations” with the other airline as to how we now get to Singapore.

Malcolm and I had already discussed on the plane, that no matter the outcome, we planned to continue to “manage our state” – don’t get upset about things you can’t control, have a friendly and kind attitude and what will be, will be.  However the other thing we did was set an “intention”.  Some may now be thinking… we go….but this is the key, stay in a beautiful state, but be clear on what you are asking for.  We were clear that we wanted the airline to put us on their next available flight to Doha/Singapore in Business Class (our original booking) at no financial impact to us.

It was a funny start at the transfer desk… you have your boarding passes?  Um…no sorry they were unable to issue in Rome due to system issues.  Do you have your baggage tickets?  Um..yes, but they are a little unclear due to system issues.  We were very friendly with the assistant and she said….. let me make some phone calls for you.  She did this and then passed over the phone to me.  A gentleman on the other side said……”your flight from Rome was not with us and you did not make your flight time and therefore you are a “no show” so you are not eligible to fly, we will not book you on another flight.”  I asked that he raise this with his supervisor as this was not a solution for us.  One hour later we received a telephone call back to say – “no, I have checked and you are a no-show and we are full, so you just need to go book yourself another ticket with Singapore airlines or British Airways as they have a flight this evening.  So I was still maintaining my beautiful state, but also having a clear focus on the outcome I was looking for.

So instead of reacting to his state (which was firm and negative and there was no way he was changing his decision), I reminded him of the following points which demonstrated that we were not a “no show”.

We had checked in online.  Our bags had been checked all the way through to Singapore, so they were aware of us and thirdly we had tried to call the London Heathrow office to discuss our predicament and the number is no longer in service.  I was being nice and asked him to reconsider this decision.  He went away to reconsider and we focused on continuing to focus on our outcome and focusing all our energy on this.

Half an hour later he called to say that they had reconsidered our situation and had verified the issues at Rome airport, the bags checked through and the telephone number issue and had made seats available on the flight and if we could be patient for a little longer our transfers person would arrange all our new boarding passes.  He reminded me that the issue was not theirs and they don’t have to do this.  A COMPLETE TURNAROUND.  We showed gratitude, kindness and friendliness to all the staff involved and we received the outcome we wanted.  This saved us a lot of money as well, not having to buy another one way business class to Singapore.  The funny thing is that we never considered looking into the cost of another ticket, as we never deviated from our intention!  The airline was correct, this was not their issue, but thankfully they came through in the end.

The story doesn’t end there as only one bag turned up  in Singapore and given our track record from yesterday, we definitely intend to set our intention for the bag to arrive today and continue to treat people the way we would want to be treated if we worked in their position.

I realise this is a very long blog to deliver a very simple message.  Yesterday could have been a nightmare if we allowed it to be – one full of worry, negative energy and frustration.  Instead we focused on what we could control and made a conscious decision to be respectful and kind to everyone involved.  Setting your intention and focusing on this is the key.

Hope this inspires you to be kind and be clear with your intentions

Gaynor x

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