Getting Customers off Your Back
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In April, I made the sudden decision to surprise my wife with a short trip from Germany to the United States. I booked everything secretly and planned not to tell her exactly where we were going until we arrived at the airport. However, the Islandic volcano also had plans and erupted just before we were scheduled to leave. Due to the volcanic ash plume, our flight was cancelled, as were 100,000 other flights. Our canceled trip had been scheduled for the end of the week and since all flights were grounded, we still had a chance of going on holiday and so I tried to re-book everything.
We originally booked the flights with a European carrier on a code share basis. The actual operator of the flight was an American carrier. That choice, by the way, turned out to be our bad luck because at the time of our cancellation, European carriers were already back to flying. During the crisis, flight slots were few and far between and the local carriers were preferred. This contrasts the aftermath of...