Are you serious??? O.M.G.!!! (Oh My Goodness…)

Bizarre and ludicrous

Warning: this post is def trending rantish! There may or may not be any deep spiritual meaning or profound theological insight over the next few paragraphs. But I can promise indignation, righteous wrath, perplexed musing and offended incredulity.

Here’s the scenario:

  1. I have a plane ticket for Rome this Thursday morning. It’s two flights, actually: Tampa-Charlotte and then Charlotte-Rome.
  2. Rebekah’s Aunt Ellen passed away this weekend. The funeral is set for Wednesday afternoon in North Georgia.
  3. I’d like to go with Rebekah to the funeral.
  4. We won’t be that far from Charlotte, so I could easily make the second leg of my flight Thursday afternoon.

So I called the airline and I said, “It looks like I won’t have time to drive back to Tampa in time for my Thursday flight. I’ll just hop on in Charlotte. I don’t expect a refund from the Tampa-Charlotte leg, but I’m letting you know my plans.”

  • Airline… “If you don’t board in Tampa your reservation through to Rome will be forfeited.”
  • Me……… “That’s why I’m letting you know. Don’t do that. I’ll join the flight in Charlotte.”
  • Airline… “We’ll have issue you a new ticket, Charlotte-Rome, and bill you at today’s rate.”
  • Me……… “But I already have a ticket for Charlotte-Rome. It’s paid for.”
  • Airline… “No. That gets cancelled when you cancel the Tampa-Charlotte leg.”
  • Me……… “So you’re saying it will cost more money to fly one leg than to fly two? How much.”
  • Airline… “The difference will be around $350.”
  • Me……… “That’s absurd. Nothing’s actually changing on the Charlotte-Rome flight.”
  • Airline… (ignoring my observation) “Then we’ll have to add in the $250 change-fee, that’s in addition to the $350.”
  • Me……… “But that adds up to a $600 charge to sit in the same seat I’ve already paid for!”
  • Airline… “It’s a brand-new ticket, sir.”
  • Me……… “But I don’t want a new ticket. I want to use the one I already have….”
  • (circle back to the beginning of the conversation and repeat, ad nauseam..).
Lots of this over the next week!

BOTTOM LINE: I finally told them not to change anything. The bottom line is that I will go to the funeral with Rebekah. However, instead of relaxing and visiting with family after the service and then heading over to Charlotte, we’ll drive like crazy for the Florida line and then get up early Thursday morning so I can make my flight time in Tampa. Then I’ll fly back – along the same route – in big metal tube, land in Charlotte, get off the plane, and walk over to the 767 that will take me to Rome.

Here’s my theory. It’s also my theory as to why things are increasingly sticky and tricky in the financial world. I believe that the big corporations have fallen victim to the insidious trap that was described by the Hebrew writer Paul in a letter he wrote to his friend Timothy. Listen to these poignant words:

But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6…

The business culture is literally trapped by an unprincipled hierarchy of values that is not only senseless, but will ultimately have the effect of plunging both itself and its customers into “ruin and destruction”. Many businesses have lost the ability to make personal and reasonable decisions based on logic, relationship and principle. Everything is so caught up in the supposed bottom line (read “greed”) that the fundamental principle of community has been lost.

When we fail to live in community anymore, then the culture will collapse from lack of heart.

So what are we going to do about this? – DEREK

The Life That Truly is Life Travel

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

11 Comments Leave a comment

  1. You are so right on about this one! But please don’t fall into the “worldly” voice of O.M.G….unless you meant oh my goodness…..

    we are in this world not of this world….

    just a thought


  2. Think of it as an adventure. You will probably get about 10,000 comments, each with a similarly outrageous story of corporate rigidity. I have one, too, in which the corporate fix was going to cost $1,000. The alternative I chose was to rent a car in Pittsburgh and drive all night to make a 6 a.m. flight from Chicago. Next time … and there will be a nex time … ask to speak with a supervisor. The chances are slim that you will do any better, but you might.


    • Thanks, Hannah!
      But, seriously, I value those kinds of comments because it helps me monitor my own voice. And you know me, I’ll talk back if I think it’s silly. But I respected her viewpoint…. Even if my “WORLDLY” niece takes issue!


  3. Derek – have you tried tweeting the customer service account for the airline? You’d be stunned that most of them actually answer there, and sometimes they actually give *gasp* service! 🙂


  4. Hi Derek,

    I”ve made that trip by car from North GA to Tampa more times than I can count, most of them in the last few years. Sorry you and Rebekah have to do this, but all is not that bad. Think of it this way, it will give you 8 to 9 hours of uninterupted face time with your dear wife. What a great bonus!

    Judy and I often stop off on the Macon bypass, exit 9. There are several very good motels there – I prefer the Fairfield. You will find a couple of nice eating places close by, even a movie theater if you get in early. I would recommend an early stop and a very early in A.M. leaving time. That will leave you 5-6 hours drive to Tampa and well south of Atlanta. Easy driving on most occassions. And keep in mind, you will have plenty of time to catch up on lost sleep on the trip across the pond.

    Have a great trip however you plan it out.



  5. Hi Derek, My thoughts: I believe the airline are to consumed with running a profit making business, that they do not see it as important to employ someone who will ensure the system of booking is fair to those who may need to make adjustments to their flights. It would cost them too much to employ someone to stand up for a minority who deserve to recieve a service.. Isn’t it the same when the benefits are cut for the poor or the disabled, or vulnerable in the minority of society. Who will stand up and have a voice for them! In the face of the rich taking what they can to line their own pockets? ! I am acutely aware that I need to make the most of my voice, and know that it is the beginning of making a difference. We are called to be salt and Light in the world – to preserve God’s Truth, and the ways of his heart. A biblical calling, and the heart of Chirst to stand up for the poor, the broken hearted…. Thank you for sharing your Post.


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