I had another incident on my Lufthansa flight from Los Angeles to Frankfurt last week, though this one was much more positive.
When it comes to using technology, I’m certainly proficient though by no means brilliant. I can usually figure things out and enjoy the process.
During my Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt, I quickly connected to the onboard T-Mobile wi-fi and settled in for a productive flight. The internet was working fine, actually quite well for me. All of a sudden, though, it shut off. No connection, no network found.
I sat there for a few minutes hoping it would return when the purser (the same purser who earlier diffused a potential skirmish over seat recline) walked by and stopped at my seat.
She had seen me working and apologized that the internet was not working, but that she had reset it. I told her it had been working perfectly for me and a frown spread upon her face. She stated that two passengers upstairs complained that it was not working.
Anyway, the system eventually reset (it took roughly 20 minutes) and because the T-Mobile system uses a login, I did not lose the access I had already paid for. Once again, the internet was working splendidly.
About 30 minutes the purser returned with an iPhone in her hand. She asked if my internet was working and I stated yes. Very graciously, she asked if she might “impose” upon me to help. The passengers upstairs still could not connect and “were now angry”. She handed me a phone, which turned out to be one of the passengers, and asked me if I could help connect it.
I readily agreed to help, but could not do much without the other passenger’s password and credit card details. I explained I could do nothing without that and a look of sadness spread across her face. But that look of sadness quickly changed to a huge smile when I offered to go upstairs with her to talk to the passenger.
“Oh would you?! Thank you so much. Follow me.”
So we proceeded up the grand staircase in the front of the A380, slipped under the rope securing the first class cabin from unwanted visitors, proceeded through the first class cabin and about halfway back through the business class cabin.
There were two ladies enjoying their dinner and the purser presented me as the “IT expert”. Uh oh, now the expectations were high!
The T-Mobile system requires you to create an account using your email and a password you choose. Turns out the passenger had set a password on a previous flight and forgotten it, but there is not a way to recover it without internet access. She typed in what she though was the correct password and misinterpreted the password error for non-functioning internet.
I created a new account for her, navigated to the credit card page, instructed her to enter credit card details, then press connect.
She was connected and suddenly very happy. She asked the purser how she found me and the purser said–
“I know my passengers well.”
I helped her seatmate do the same thing and soon everyone was happy, especially the purser who was beaming–
“See what I told you? The internet always works on Lufthansa.”
The ladies were incredibly gracious in thanking me. The purser asked how long I have been in the IT business.
I laughed and said I am a lawyer.
Crisis averted, the pursuer led me back to my seat and again expressed great appreciation for my help.
“I like to keep every passenger happy. These ladies were very angry and you saved the day. I cannot thank you enough.”
She asked if she there was something she could bring me. I almost stated that she could take me back to one of the open seats in first class, but knew better than to ask. Instead, I simply told her it was my pleasure to help and hope that someone else would have done the same for me.
It dawned on me later I was stupid not to ask for a cappuccino from first class. Then again, that would break by no-coffee, no-alcohol rule to avoid jet lag when flying.
The act of helping others is a great gift not only for the beneficiary of your assistance, but for you as well. The many facets of gratitude in this story underpin how enriching it is to help out where you can, when you can. I’ll be on call during my flight home this week!