Friday, March 29, 2013

Thanks to the W Lakeshore in Chicago

W Hotel Logo.jpg
The joys of travel aren't really the joyful… frequently enough.  Here is a story that illustrates that.
Getting to Chicago from Kansas City should be easy enough, right?  Normally a flight from KC to Chicago Midway via Southwest is a one hour flight and you can catch one of many every day.
However, even that short hop can sometimes be stressful.  Thursday evening was a prime example of that.  I'm doing video work with my good buddy Dr. Lou Graham on Friday for Dental Products Report, so needless to say, I need to look my best.  The shoot came together kind of quickly so in order to not reschedule any patients (it's not their fault that my life is so crazy!) I grabbed the last flight out of KC to Chicago.  Of course the flight is delayed 40 minutes.  It's not that big of a deal, but it's been a long week and I just want to get to the W Lakeshore and climb into bed.  Now it will be just a little bit longer before I can do that.
Now shooting video meant i needed to have nice clothes with me and not only that, but a few different outfits as well.  This was one of those times where clothing was truly critical to what I was trying to do.
So when I get to Midway, I check the monitor and head to the proper baggage carousel to wait for my bag.  The line crowd keeps thinning as more and more bags come out, but mine is not one of them.  Finally the carousel stops.  There is just one other gentlemen & myself.  We look at each other and exchange the "oh no, not us" look.  We both turn and head to a Southwest employee who is stationed in the luggage area.
It turns out the other gentleman had checked his bag 3 hours before the flight and his bag had actually arrived on an earlier plane.  It had been sitting there the whole time.
I explained to the Southwest team member my desperate situation.  Basically, if I didn't have wardrobe for the video, my trip was a complete waste.  The Southwest guy was very sympathetic, but my bag was nowhere to be found.  After a few minutes, he looked at my bag claim and then smiled.  My carousel had been changed *after* I had arrived in baggage.  My suitcase was, now all by itself, making slow lonely circles on the carousel next door to where I had been waiting.  It had been there all along.
Relieved, but overly stressed I got the bag and headed to the cab line.  When I arrived at the W I was the only one checking in and was greeted by a very nice and smiling young lady.
This is where the power of customer service comes in.  She is intuitive enough to be able to sense that it's been a long & stressful day for me.  She asks me about it and I give her a condensed version of what I've been through.
She smiles even bigger and over the counter she slides me a card good for a free drink at the bar.  "I really think you need this," she said, "Go get your drink & then take it up to your room."
That's one of the things that separates The W away from some of the other hotels.  I try and stay in one whenever I can...

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