Confessions of a Reformed Marching Band Geek

Crazy Vacation Post: What Do You Mean Our Flight Left Yesterday?

on December 31, 2012

As you may have figured out, I like to find a bargain. This includes travel. We joined a vacation club so we had  a reason to get away and could do so at a discount (once we paid off our membership fee). This company also has a travel agent for us to use at no additional cost. Bonus!

I booked our flight three months ago. We got an AMAZING deal. We had to fly out of Midway (even though we live closer to O’Hare) and leave at 6:00 in the morning. Small sacrifices for decent saving. When I booked our flight I asked to leave on Thursday even though our condo renal didn’t start until Saturday. We figured on getting there two days early, stay in a hotel, and get into “vacation mode” before getting on to the main event. They booked the flight and mailed us our invoice which I promptly stuck on the fridge with the rest of our vacation paperwork. I didn’t even look at it until Mr Grumpy went to book our hotel rooms.

He asked me the dates for our vacation. I told him. He asked again. I told him. He asked again. I yelled at him to just get the invoice off the fridge and stop pestering me. About ten minutes later he brought me the invoice. She booked us for SATURDAY not THURSDAY like I asked. No biggie. It CLEARLY says that we can’t do anything about it because of the type of ticket we purchased so we just adjusted our plans. It was a nice thought to extend our vacation. We were disappointed, but not devastated.

Flash forward to last week. We spent Friday after work packing and doing final prep for the week. Psycho-mutt was at the vet (much to her dismay), mail was stopped, house was on vacation watch, neighbors were notified (honest. If I don’t let them all know where we are they’ll call to “check” on us), boarding passes were printed…well, I tried.

I logged on to the website just before we were heading to bed to print our passes to make our morning go more smoothly. I put in our name and the date. Nothing. Minor panic. I put in what I thought was our reservation number. Nothing. Little more panic. I finally got the reservation number right. Hooray! Wait. What?

There, on the screen, was our reservation for the dates I ORIGINALLY told the travel agent I wanted. Which meant our flight left on THURSDAY. Not really helping us for SATURDAY. Enter full panic mode.

I called the airline. Since there was a storm on Thursday there was not much they could do for us other than 1. send us out on Monday (unacceptable) or 2. we could be at Midway at 4:30 Saturday morning, pay an additional $500 (did I mention that I’m cheep?), and hope to get on a standby flight. Yeah. That wasn’t really working for me.

I called the after hours “emergency” number with the travel agent. The first person I talked to looked at our itinerary and told us that we were good for Saturday. Well, at least it confirmed that I wasn’t completely nuts. She put me on hold for what felt like forever (no special thanks to awful hold music) only to tell me that the person who can fix it was not answering their phone. She assured me they’d call me back that night (this was at 9:40 pm). 11:20 I call back and have to explain my flight plight again. She can’t find the person to fix it either. Great.

While I’m whining to this poor person telling her how I’m going to have to be up in three hours (if I can even get to sleep in the first place) to hope to get on the plane (and have to loiter at Midway, which is not really my idea of a good time) to get to my unintentioned vacation with my in-laws tired and grumpier than normal, I get a beep that someone is trying to call. It’s the guy no one can find! Hooray! He found two tickets for us one-way. Out of O’Hare. With no additional cost to us. Hooray! Today’s round of traveling panic is over, more or less, for now!


3 responses to “Crazy Vacation Post: What Do You Mean Our Flight Left Yesterday?

  1. wanderoneday says:

    Wow that must have been stressful!! I too am cheap, and will drive 2 hours to an airport when there is one 15 minutes away if it means I get a flight for free/cheap. So my flight to St. Kitts required waking up well before dawn to drive 2 hours to the airport. Well, of course I woke up late and my heart nearly jumped out of my chest when I realized it. Thank goodness I made it to the airport on time, but I know exactly what you mean by “full panic mode”!

  2. It was crazy! Of course Mr Grumpy wanted us to drive across the country rather than fly so he was all “see? We should have driven”. Then there was that giant snowstorm (and one in Arizona which I’ll post about later) which made him concede that I was right. Sigh.
    P.S. Thanks for being my very first “non-spam” comment. You are awesome!

    • wanderoneday says:

      No problem 🙂 I really enjoyed the post. I hate being on the phone trying to rearrange travel plans – when I was in St. Kitts, Hurricane Sandy came through the northeast and they kept cancelling my flight out (I know, I know, terrible problem to be stuck on a tropical island while staying with a friend, i.e. no hotel costs)… but I had to cancel other hotel bookings, rebook my flights a few times, all on a dinky little international cell phone borrowed from my friend… FRUSTRATING!

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