When I arrived at Gate K9 at O’Hare yesterday, it wasn’t a pretty picture. American Airlines flight 1400, delayed by an hour, looked completely full. A long line stretched from the gate to the McDonald’s across the hall.Even if they could squeeze one more passenger on the plane, they’d probably charge me. The agent would have been well within her rights to do that, since I had a reservation on the next flight to Orlando, which left two hours later.

Then I remembered that a little niceness can take you a long way.I smiled.

I asked if it was a full flight.

“Completely,” the agent exhaled.“How about the standby list?”

“Twenty four people,” she replied. “You’re not Executive Platinum, are you?”

“No,” I sighed. “Just haven’t seen my kids all weekend, and was hoping to get home a little early.”

She gave me a “there’s-no-hope” look.

Which is when I decided to try a little humor.“I’ll take the jumpseat,” I offered. “I’ll sit in the toilet. I’ll stand.”

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  • Elliott

    Christopher Elliott has been called one of the world’s leading travel experts. But his focus isn’t on the destination, or ev…

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