My journey from Economy passenger to V.I.P began after my lay-over in Los Angeles had officially ended and I'd boarded my flight to Portland and settled into my window seat.
While I and my fellow passengers were waiting for the plane to take off an announcement came over the intercom asking if there were any passengers who would be willing to give up their seat so that a family with young children could make this flight.
I sprung up from my seat and was halfway down the aisle towards the front of the plane before the announcement was even finished.
"I'll do it!" I cried to the flight attendant at the front of the plane.
"She'll do it!" cried the flight attendant to the airline agent standing outside the plane door.
"Come with me, quickly," said the agent to me, and we scurried back through the jetway tunnel to the boarding gate.
At the gate an exhausted-looking young mother and her three small children were sitting on the floor leaning against the wall.
"Okay, c'mon, we've got you a seat," said the airline agent to the mother, who quickly gathered her children and their belongings then disappeared with the agent into the jetway tunnel.
"Oh, thank you," sighed one of the busy gate agents.
"Oh, no problem," I replied. I was happy to help a family in need, nor was I discouraged by the $300 flight credit offered in compensation.
I was asked to wait at the end of the counter until someone was free to take care of me.
Again, no problem. I was glad to stand leaning against the counter, basking in the glow of having done a good deed and my $300 reward.
But no, one of the agents finally called me over.
"Phew," she huffed, "sorry for the wait."
"Oh, you're fine," said I, smiling at the thought of that $300 about to roll my way.
The agent smile back at me then called over to a colleague, "Could we give Ms. Liszkay a $400 credit?
It was decided by general consensus that under the circumstances they could indeed give me an extra hundred dollars, as well as a $24 food voucher to be used that day at any of the airport restaurants, as well as a day pass to the American Airlines Board Room. I smiled and smiled.
Sadly, haven already consumed my fish taco as well as having access to the free food in the Board Room, I simply had not the hunger to use my food voucher within the 2 1/2 hours left before my assigned flight to Portland.
I'm wondering if at that time American Airlines might be willing to change the date on my food voucher so that I can trade it for some refreshment while waiting for my flight home.
They probably won't.
But a girl can dream, right?