Adventures in air travel

So we were supposed to leave for Phoenix today (Monday) at the crack of dawn. I got an email yesterday morning telling me that I could check in online, so I went to American Airlines. We had chosen seats when we made the reservations two months ago, but these had disappeared, and when I tried to choose new ones, it said that feature was unavailable. When I tried to check in anyway, it said I couldn’t without choosing seats. Perhaps I should have taken that as a sign, but I didn’t – we just planned to check in at the airport.

Then, last night, my husband got a call letting us know that our flight was cancelled due to storms, and that they couldn’t get us on another flight until Tuesday afternoon. Since we have a very detailed 2-week itinerary, with car rental, lodging, and Las Vegas shows reserved and paid for, this threw everything off. Obviously we would miss out on lunch with my aunt and uncle and a visit with a friend in Phoenix on our first day and our night in Flagstaff, not to mention our drive the next morning to the Grand Canyon. Just as bad, we would have arrived at around 3 on Tuesday and would have had to drive nearly 6 hours to Las Vegas to get there in time for our pre-paid, non-refundable-for-any-reason show. To give us time to figure out our plans, my husband asked the agent to call back in 20 minutes. What we decided was that the best option was to get re-routed directly to Las Vegas, since we wouldn’t be able to do anything in Phoenix anyway.

When she hadn’t called back after half an hour, he called AA and another agent was told that they couldn’t reroute us to an airport more than 150 miles away. No exceptions. He asked to speak to a supervisor and was put on hold forever, so called back and a second agent told him the same thing, so we gave up.

But then the original agent called back and very kindly agreed to do as we requested, so now we’re just missing that one day without all of the inconveniences. We were able to cancel the inn in Flagstaff with no charges, plus, for some reason, our car rental is $250 less, so we’re actually better off, in some respects.

Air travel, eh? It’s completely insane.

One thought on “Adventures in air travel

  1. Frank Breen says:

    Flying is indeed insane, and worse the security checks may have become just an empty formality.

    My wife and I just returned from an amazing month in Lyon, France. At Charles DeGaulle, the French dutifully go through the motions of checking passengers but one wonders just what of value is being accomplished. I was allowed to keep my shoes on, I had to take my laptop from my carry-on bag but then it was not checked in any way, not even opened. Upon seeing my carry – on bag, an inspector cried, “Bag check”. Someone else came over and looked at the bag, then passed it without even opening it. My wife got wanded and searched because of her artificial knee, but that was perfunctory at best and consisted mostly of my wife satisfying the curiosity of the inspector because she too was facing like surgery. We got through the whole process in about a half hour and were walking away when I discovered that I had forgotten to empty a back pocket filled with about fifty American coins and Euros and that load of metal had set off nothing!

    A similar “inspection” occurred at the Airport in Amsterdam, with the addition of jokes and laughter as some flirting between inspectors and a gorgeous model took place. The US inspectors are only marginally more serious. It looks to me as if post 9/11 security has deteriorated into all motion and little substance.

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