NOTE: STI-TEC employee, David Lee, had his travel schedule impacted by the WWII B-17 crash closing Hartford’s Bradley International Airport. Having booked his travel through Concur/Safe Harbor, they assisted Mr. Lee amend his itinerary. This is his story:
Virginia Beach, VA – October 2, 2019 – I set out to travel to New Haven, CT, in order to perform QA inspections on two 49’ BUSL Coast Guard boats at ANT Long Island Sound in New Haven, CT. The USCG Yard was performing VHF radio system upgrades and I am responsible for inspecting their installations to ensure they are performed in accordance with the drawing plans and applicable USCG Standards. This was supposed to be an easy two-day trip that included a couple of days onsite and some short/uneventful air travel. It was anything but, read on…
Upon deplaning at Baltimore / Washington International (BWI), I received an email from Southwest Airlines that Flight #1141 to Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Hartford, CT was cancelled, and I would need to reschedule or request a refund for the flight.
I then spoke with the Southwest ticket agent at the gate and she informed me that a WWII B17 plane had crashed on the runway at BDL and all flights into Harford were suspended and the airport was temporarily closed. I then requested to be re-routed to T.F. Green Airport (PVD) in Providence, RI, since it was only one hour further away than Hartford, CT was to New Haven, CT. She was able to check me into the 3pm flight to Providence, RI and told me to collect my baggage at carousel #1 and check it in at the ticketing counter.
Upon collecting my baggage, I realized that the boarding pass I was given by the Southwest agent was for “Patricia Lee” not David Lee. At this point, I realized I was going to have to wait in an extremely long line, in order to get a new boarding pass and check my baggage.
Thankfully, I then received an email from Janell Prater (Safe Harbors) letting me know that she knew about the plane crash in Hartford and was already on hold with Southwest Airlines trying to get me on another flight. I then called her to discuss my plan to reroute to Providence at 3pm and she said she would do her best to make that happen. She also offered to amend my rental car reservation, so that I could pick up the car in Providence and drop off in Hartford. She was able to fix the car reservation; however, she was unable to reroute my flight over the phone since I was in a “mid-trip” status according to Southwest Airlines.
At this point, I waited in line to get my reservation changed to fly into Providence instead of Hartford. I then notified Janell that I was in a standby status on two flights but booked solid on the 7:20pm flight.
Janell continued to monitor my flight situation throughout the afternoon and into the evening hours to see which flight I was able to board. Unfortunately for me, I was unable to board the standby flights and left BWI at 7:20 to fly to Providence. Based on the fluid flight situation, she updated my rental car pickup time on several occasions to ensure they knew when I would arrive to pick up my car.
Throughout this entire process Janell was extremely professional, helpful and absolutely concerned about my travel situation. She provided invaluable assistance, which kept an already bad situation from becoming much worse!
David Lee (STI-TEC)
C3Cen CT-R Project Coordinator