Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lesson Learned

What do you do when you arrive at the airport and realize that you have read your itinerary wrong, and what you thought was your departure time is actually your arrival time in your destination and your flight left 2 hours ago?

Well, you act a little stunned at first, and think, "This isn't happening, this isn't happening." Then you face the fact that your non-refundable, non-transferable, can't even use them on the way back tickets are going to get you nowhere. And then, because your kids (especially the older one) are about to go postal, and your husband (who may have been the only one who read the itinerary) is feeling pretty lousy at the moment, you put on a brave and gracious face and pretend that you are in an episode of Amazing Race. You're at the airport, you need to get to Thailand by tomorrow morning, you have, well, really let's spend as little money as possible, and . . . GO!

Our efforts to get on stand by for a later flight were met by very unfriendly agents, so Erik found a woman who patiently helped us search online for any available flight. We could fly later that night directly to Bangkok in business class, but for $3,600 (and that just got us there, not home). Instead, we opted for a flight to another city in China, then a morning flight to Bangkok, which saved us more than half.

When we landed, we found another very helpful agent who booked us a room in a nice hotel and got us on a free shuttle there. In the morning, we drove back to the airport and caught our flight which got us to the hotel at 11 a.m. Erik missed part of a morning meeting, and of course the other teams of Amazing Race are way ahead of us now, but I think we can make it up in the next task.

Lesson learned: Always have both spouses look at the itinerary. Read the time out loud. Maybe even check with some friends to make sure you're right.

No comments: