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Monday, July 7, 2008

Adventures in Air Travel

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had purchased my tickets to fly to my hometown for Christmas. I'm flying American Airlines, and you may have noticed that this past week, they announced that they were canceling a number of flights. I'm sure you can guess what happened next.

Well, actually, what happened next was that my parents called me to tell me that their flights to come see me and go to a football game in November got changed. Changed in a very strange way. They booked their flights into BWI (Baltimore-Washington International, a perfectly lovely airport in Baltimore). Their flights got changed to bring them into Washington Reagan (another perfectly lovely airport, this time here in D.C.). Not a big deal, since their plans involved getting a rental car and driving to D.C.; the flight into BWI had simply been cheaper. This way, they can just borrow my car instead of renting one and save a bit of money.

So I wasn't surprised to get an e-mail from American Airlines telling me that my flights for Christmas had changed. I skimmed the e-mail. At first glance, it just looked like the flight times had changed and that I was connecting through a different city on the way back.

And then I took a good look at it. I was flying out of Washington Reagan. But then, flying home, I was going into BWI. Significantly further away. Not really even in the same city. Or state, for that matter. On top of that, I flew into LaGuardia, and then had to somehow get from there to JFK to get my flight to BWI!

Obviously, this was unacceptable. I called the reservations line and the agent I got laughed when she saw what had happened to my itinerary. Not surprisingly, the whole thing is done by computer, and somehow the computer had thought this was a good idea. Fixing the problem took less than five minutes, and she managed to get me on a direct flight back rather than connecting through any city. Not a bad deal. She told me that this didn't happen often, but when it did, calling the reservation line was the easiest way to deal with it.

Given all the hassles in air travel, I can't say this was a big one all in all. But it is a good reminder to always check and recheck your itinerary to make sure some little subtle change, like an airport change, hasn't been made.

Abundant Life Spending Spree - $12,800
Like I said, this is getting tough. With $12,800 to toss in the air and dance around in, I would grab a group of my friends and go to Disney World. Sound silly? It's been something that a group of us has discussed for years. We've talked about how it would be an incredibly fun trip, especially if we could go all out and eat in the fancy restaurants and stay in the fancy hotels. I think I could pay for everyone to fly in and go for $12,800. And then some!


asgreen said...

Wow. With all the traveling I'm doing this summer I'm glad you posted about this. I'm going to be sure to double check all my flights!

Crystal said...

I know how you feel! Everytime I see a "flight status change" email, I grit my teeth as I do the first skim. With gas prices at what they are, luckily I haven't been rerouted to land in an entirely different state....yet!

Money Maus said...

Glad you got a nice person on the phone, I find that makes all the difference. Thanks for the heads up!