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Alaska Airlines employee pays for Vancouver woman's airfare after runaround by Delta Airlines

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A Vancouver woman is publicly thanking an Alaska Airlines employee for an act of kindness.

The employee paid out of pocket for Miriam Thomas to get home after being given the runaround by Delta Airlines.

The nightmare started last Sunday when Thomas was flying on Delta from Vancouver to Ontario, California for work.

“The airplane that was coming to take us to Seattle was delayed due to weather. When it arrived it was delayed even longer because of mechanical maintenance issues, they couldn’t get it started. When we finally got up into the air, they couldn’t land in Seattle because of weather.”

Thomas says they were then told they were going to Portland, instead. “We landed in Portland, everyone is getting up, getting their stuff and they say ‘No, actually, everyone sit back down we’re going back to Seattle. We’ll have people waiting for you to help you figure out your connections, we’ll have people to take care of you.'”

She says they landed in Seattle and everyone was given a hotel voucher to spend the night.

Thomas says she made it to Ontario, California just in time for her work meeting.

She says she went to the airport to fly back to Seattle and there was some confusion with her return ticket. “They said ‘Don’t worry. We’ll assign you a seat once you get to the gate, just go because they’re already boarding.’ So, I am rushing through security, I am begging people in the security lineup to let me go ahead of them because the flight is going to take off without me.”

Thomas says she got to the gate and was told her ticket had been cancelled and the doors had to close.

“I went back through security, back to the customer service desk and that’s when it started to get crazy. The Alaska Airlines people were trying to figure out why Delta had cancelled my flight, Delta was trying to figure out what had happened. I was just standing at the desk with my bags seriously hoping I can get on some flight that day.”

She says after an hour of standing at the desk, she found out what happened. “When they had the mechanical maintenance and we ended up in Seattle and had to spend the night in a hotel there, they used the rest of the value of my entire ticket on that rescheduled flight that morning so there was no more money for me to fly home. They didn’t tell me that.”

“The two women I was dealing with from Alaska were comforting me. They were saying ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to figure this out,” she adds. “Finally the woman from Delta comes over and says ‘OK, so, the best we can do is get you on a flight for tomorrow.’ I started to panic, I had nowhere to stay.”

Thomas says that’s when a woman named Judy who works with Alaska Airlines offered her a travel voucher. “Using her voucher, it was so kind of her. She’s filling it out and I thought she just had these free passes. At one point her coworkers were standing behind her saying ‘Judy! Judy! You don’t have to do that.’ And she says ‘You know what, I’m paying it forward, it’s OK.’ At this point I realize something is up and she pulls out her credit card and starts putting in her credit card information.”

That’s when Thomas was told Judy was paying for her ticket to ensure she was going to get home, rather than be put on standby.

“She paid for my ticket, she paid for me to get home. She didn’t know me at all. I was sitting up at the gate waiting for the flight and she came by asking me how I was and offered me money for coffee. I was boarding and I thanked her again and she hugged me. It was amazing. She didn’t need to do that at all, she took care of me.”

“No more Delta if I can help it. I think I am an Alaska Airlines convert,” Thomas says.