In February of 2014 while emceeing an event in San Francisco, my return flight to Atlanta was cancelled because of a snow storm. What transpired over 36 hours became a lesson that I’ll always remember. Fox 5 I-Team reporter Dana Fowle has the story:
After Atlanta’s second big snow event this year, Delta airlines took preventative measures and canceled flights early. Well-known radio personality Tom Sullivan says he remembers what he was thinking when Delta texted him a message that his flight was canceled. “I don’t want to get stuck in San Francisco, one of our most expensive cities.”
So, he tried like thousands of other customers to rebook his flight. “I tried to reach Delta. The lines were jammed,” he said. In the Fox 5 newsroom we were hearing about airline customers with four-and five -hour hold times. We talked with an aviation expert who says this isn’t so unusual. “When you have 10 or 12,000 people all trying to contact the airline at the same time things do break down. And there’s almost no way to get around that,” said Mike Boyd of the Boyd Group International.
Tom plugged away. He said, “I logged into my Skymiles account. Tried to use the link they gave me to book another flight, and the links weren’t working.” What he did next nearly cost him more than $1,000. You see, he booked two new tickets for himself and his traveling companion, on his own, outside of that rebooking system. The good news: He got on a flight the next day, one day before the big February storm white washed Atlanta. The bad news: When Tom Sullivan requested a “full refund” for the rebooked tickets Delta Airlines response was ‘no’. “When weather shuts an airport like Atlanta down, trust me, 80 percent of the passengers think it’s the airline’s fault and the airline owes me, which is not fair or accurate, but it’s reality,” Mike Boyd added.
But, if you really think you’re right, this aviation consultant says you should fight. Mike Boyd said, “Don’t let up, but make sure you’re right and not just angry.” Tom Sullivan kept pushing. He wrote the CEO. And a week later, his money for the rebooked flight was finally refunded. All of it. With a big grin Tom Sullivan said, “They turned lemons into lemonade and I learned a really good lesson. Don’t book your own ticket when your flight is canceled.
Sullivan said he asked an agent what he was supposed to do. He says he was told if the phones are jammed, if the Web site isn’t working, and if you want to be sure, 100 percent sure, you’ll get a free, rebooked flight, you have to go to the airport and have one of their agents book the travel for you.
Still, despite the wait times and the computer issues, Mr. Boyd gives the airline an “A” grade for how it handled the situation. Delta’s spokesman wouldn’t say whether Tom Sullivan made a right or wrong choice, but he did throw into the mix two more options. Make you have the Delta app on your phone for updates and try contacting the airline through Twitter @DeltaAssist.
If you’re hunting for culinary gold, stop panning and head to Century House Tavern on the historic Woodstock Square. Executive Chef Daniel Porubiansky moved from the executive chef post at what is arguably the most highly regarded restaurant group in Atlanta and known around the U.S., (Bacchanalia and Star Provisions) to Woodstock after a career that has spanned four decades, two continents, a fistful of AAA Diamonds and nearly enough Michelin Stars to require three hands to count them!
As with most visits to Century House Tavern, we were greeted by Managing Partner and General Manager Jon Hayano and General Manager Alex Shumila who always surprises us with a new creation from the bar or a spot on wine recommendation. Both of these guys are always working to ensure your total comfort. #ILoveIt
Once seated at our table, our amazing server Sarah raved about the “fried brussel sprouts” and I couldn’t help but think like fried calamari. Nooooooo! No breading on these! This amazing dish is the pan of gold for your tastebuds you’ve been looking for. Fresh Brussel Sprouts that are seared with Grilled Red Pears and a Delectable Spiced Pear Glaze topped with Brioche croutons. My first bite was so extraordinary that I ran to the kitchen to hug the Chef (right after I ordered another one!) “The creative credit goes to Sous Chef Brett Ashcroft” says Chef Daniel. #StandingOvation!
Next up (on Sarah’s recommendation) the lovely grilled bone in Pork Chop served with Yukon gold mashed potato, caramelized sweet onion, caramel apple butter sauce & fried okra. So flavorful, moist, tender, raised with love and prepared with love this was a plate of full of love ya’ll!
My Godson Aidan and I split a dessert of CHOCOLATE CRÉME BRÜLÉE. (Sorry no picture, we ate it too fast!)
I’m an Atlanta native but am still discovering small towns and delicious places to dine. Nestled in the five points of Crabapple’s Historic District lies the distinctly unique Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails. The restaurant occupies a 150 year-old farmhouse & 1930′s cottage that were preserved and restored to create one of Atlanta’s warmest dining environments. I first discovered Milton’s during The Atlanta Chef’s Expo a couple of years ago and then had the distinct pleasure of working side by side with Executive Chef Derek Dollar during Taste of Atlanta. I then attended one of the amazing garden dinners that take place with 80 or so of your closest friends in Milton’s Acre which is where most of the organic produce comes from during the growing season. (hence the “seed to fork” experience.) Well after two summers of enjoying the dining experience outside I decided it was time to venture inside and settle in for a truly memorable culinary evening.
We arrived at 7 and were greeted by General Manager Nate Bell and the host team. While our table was prepared we headed toward the cottage bar featuring live music and an energetic crowd. The atmosphere reminds me of my home growing up with warm woods and comfortable surroundings. You know those feelings you get when you’re in a place that just feels great. (My dad had a bar but just not this big!) Order a glass of wine (or get a bottle!) I highly recommend the Prisoner red blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Charbono, and Grenache. “Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by a big, peppery, meaty, Rhone-like bouquet with hints of bay leaf, unsmoked cigar tobacco, black currants and sweet jammy cherries.” Yes, I couldn’t have said it better myself! I even tasted hints of chocolate. It paired nicely with not only the amazing food but the ambiance of the restaurant. #TotalYum.
We then transitioned through the old farmhouse and into one of the cozy small rooms and sat near the fireplace. The mood was already perfect. Our server Jay was spot on all night as was the entire Milton’s team. We were treated like family but a family with no dysfunction. You know, where everyone gets along! Executive Chef Derek Dollar came out to say hello and made some great recommendations. Our apps included P.E.I. Mussels with applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onion, parsley, creme fraiche, and grilled bread to dunk, Smoked Cheddar, Country Ham & Sage Grit Fritters with apple butter, Smoked Chicken Confit with creamed corn, baby kale salad, sorghum-pecan vinaigrette and Bourbon-Apple Braised Pork Belly with crispy pork belly, grits, greens, and chow chow. We’re just getting started! Make room for the next course!
There are so many great choices on the Milton’s menu but we decided on the Red Eye Brined Smoked Pork Shank with sweet potato-andouille sausage grits, brussels sprouts and candied pecan apple butter. Just simply amazing! Perfect for fall and winter. We also enjoyed the Veal Osso Buco with truffled asparagus & Parmesan barley risotto, roasted heirloom carrots and carrot top gremolata. Chef and the team really know how to nurture your soul through their food!
For years since I was a child, Macy’s has always had The Great Tree lighting on Thanksgiving night. The Great Tree started downtown on top of the Rich’s Department store in the 1940′s then transitioned to Underground Atlanta and ended up at Lenox Square on top of the now Macy’s Department Store. In 2012 a crane removing the fully decorated tree from the roof snapped and the tree slammed into the roof entering the mens store (store was closed at time) and breaking windows on side of building. Macy’s decided it was time to go to an artificial tree (much like Macy’s in San Francisco) and move the tree off the roof to the parking lot. The tree, even though much smaller in size, seemed out of place there.
This year Macy’s Great Tree returns to the roof where it all started! Inside sources (elves) say the outcry from the public was overwhelming. So this year look up and #Believe in Atlanta’s annual holiday tradition.
Set sail with Mariah Carey like you’ve never seen!
I remember that day in January of 1992 when Ryan Seacrest phoned me on the air at Star 94 FM. “I go to Dunwoody High School and do the morning announcements. I’d love to learn more about pop culture and radio.” Ryan came in that Saturday afternoon and we hit it off. His passion for radio was just like mine. We both got excited over segueing a song, running a tight board, playing the jingles, answering the phones…. Here is Ryan on air for first time from “inside” the station and not just calling in from his Dunwoody home. Ryan is a frustrated caller to the station complaining about jammed phone lines for U2 ticket sales at ticketmaster.
I trained Ryan in all aspects of radio for the next several months. We became really great friends during that time and in September of 1992 during an extended Labor Day weekend, I called Ryan and said “Buddy, do you want to go on the air for me tonight?!” That was the beginning of Ryan’s now illustrious broadcasting career. We still talk and remember the early days of his career. The only difference is he could now buy the radio station! Thank You for giving me props on #KimmelLive.
I started in radio with a totally different experience. Yes, radio really quacked me up!