Famous for their patience and clean living ways, monks are not known to make a fuss. But one holy man could not keep calm when dealing with United Airlines customer services to rebook a flight.
While Brother Noah’s retort to an airline employee of: “Thank you for speaking. God bless you. I will pray for you. But you have not been helpful” may not sound too daring, he insisted to the New York Times that his tone of voice “manifested anger”.
The story began when Brother John Baptist of the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico travelled to Malawi in November to visit his sick mother on a return ticket bought for $2,489.
After meeting with his mother he realised he needed to stay longer, so he asked Brother Noah at his monastery to call the airline to change his return flight, the New York Times reported.
Brother Noah called United only to be told that it would not be possible to rebook the return flight because it was believed the purchase was fraudulent, even though Brother John had already used the outbound part of his ticket.
The representative then suggested he should drive to one of the airline’s offices, three hours away to resolve the issue.
At this point the monk demanded to speak to a supervisor, but despite being put through to “Mark” Brother Noah was unable to arrange a new flight.
“I really struggled to remain calm and charitable. My monastic life is about staying peaceful in all circumstances. I failed during this call,” he said.
In an attempt to right the wrong, Abbot Philip posted a letter on the monastery’s website asking for help.
“I am calling this my small experiment with the social media of today, to see if it can truly have an effect.
“Please help, if you can. Love and prayers to you,” he wrote.
It seems the letter produced the desired results after being read by someone with influence at United the monastery received an apology, a new return flight and $350 towards future travel.