I leave a meeting in Lynchburg, Virginia, yesterday, with just enough time to drive to the Roanoke airport for my non-stop flight home to Chicago. Checking voicemail, I hear an automated message from the "United Airlines Easy Re-Booking System."
The message is from a very upbeat, happy, pre-recorded voice telling me I have been "successfully re-booked" on a cumbersome connection through Washington, D.C., that will get me home 4 hours late.
Of course there are no details on why I'm being re-booked, or any apology. I call United and wait on hold to find out that my flight has been cancelled.
Great idea: Call it the Easy Re-booking System and use an upbeat voice. That'll fake out those dumb customers. (Remember the scene in the book 1984 when the government lowered the chocolate ration? They announced the new, lower number with great fanfare, congratulating themselves for raising the chocolate ration.)