"They are going to miss it." In the next 20 mins or so, I did a bunch of things that ensured they made it.
I did not know anyone working in the airline. I was not even based in Bangalore at that time.
All it took was some digging around and a call.
I knew calling the airline's (Air Deccan in this case) customer support would be pointless as they would have no control of the environment in the airport. The only chance I had was to connect with someone directly responsible for things that happened in the airport. That could mean a check-in agent or anyone with some sort of authority working in Air Deccan's airport terminal.
Those were the days of Orkut. I searched for employees working in Air Deccan and decided to call any person who appeared to be working with Air Deccan, Bangalore. The moment I came across one such profile, I called, explained the situation and requested him to ensure my parents are able to board the plane. The random gentleman I spoke to turned out to be a Security Officer for Air Deccan based out of the airport. Not only did he keep the gates open, he also had their boarding passes printed and was standing by expecting them.
The only thing my folks had to do was to board the flight. They made it.
While recalling the incident recently, it reminded me of the the number one trait to look for in teams - the ability to get things done. With minimum supervision. To not come back with an excuse until all possible options were tried. To keep digging till you find a solution. To be directly responsible for the task, to own it and to close it. The perseverance required to get things done is the default mindset required to build a company and the inherent resource that we have unlimited access to.
For me, my folks missing the flight was not even an option in my head. Of course, it did help that the random individual I called up turned out to a nice, helpful person too (If you are that person reading this by some chance, thank you, once again!)
The point is there is always a way. If not, you make one.