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Archive for August 21st, 2008

Yep, this trip just won’t end… Part 3

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 21st August 2008

I told you last time, this story could only get better, I knew it wasn’t over and there had to be more fun in store for me.  I was right again.  Hang on, this part of the Trip From Hell is going to be unbelievable.

When we last looked, our heroine was still looking for a way to get home from AR to WA.  Was she going to have drive 7 hours to Illinois to catch a flight to Chicago and then on to Seattle or pay a huge amount of money to change her flight and fly out of another city then where she was supposed to take off from?

Here is how my day started, looking for a way home because I was not of right body and mind when I purchased my airline tickets to what I thought was Springfield MO, and turned out I bought tickets to Springfield IL.  Now I need to find an easier way to get home, then what it took me to get here, which turned out to be a 25 hour trip from Seattle WA to Mountain Home, AR.

First, I tried clicking my heels together and repeating “There’s no place like home, etc” that did not go well for me.  So, I decided to try and change my airline ticket online to fly out of Springfield MO, instead of Springfield IL.  They won’t let you do that online.  Okay, next, I call United Airlines and talk to a young man who’s name I could not understand or even pronounce.  I explain that I want to change my airline ticket.  He says no problem how would I like to change it?

I tell him I want to change the city I am flying out of from Springfield IL, to Springfield MO.  He says he will look up flights and see what he can do.  He comes back on the line and tells me he can do it, no problem, there are three flights I can choose from.  I say great, how much will it cost?  Now, I know there is going to be at least a $150 change of ticket fee, I am prepared for that, now I just need to see what the difference will be flying out of Springfield MO is.  It is a 45 minute flight difference from Springfield IL, you wouldn’t think it could be that big a deal right?  He puts me on hold and tells me will be a minute or two.

After about 6 minutes he comes back and tells me no problem he can book me a flight from Springfield MO to Chicago and then on to Seattle and it would only be $925!  No problem for him I am sure!  I tell him, he has to be kidding me, I have already paid for part of this trip and you want 925 dollars MORE for me to fly an extra 200 miles from where I was originally supposed to fly from?  He says yes.  I say “NO”, of course.

He says, he will see if he can find a lower a fair.  I am not holding my breath at this point.  He leaves me on hold for another 10 minutes.  They play that stupid little clip of United’s Theme song over and over and over while you are hold, again another little Chinese water torture tactic that I have learned all airlines try on you to see if they can break you down to a quivering ball of mush.  (they know you will not be able to yell at them after you are turn into a bowl of oatmeal!) 

He comes back several times to tell me it will be another minute, then another minute.  I now find myself talking to myself and repeating what I believe he will say next when he gets back on the line, “please bare with me as this will take another minute while I wait for the computer.”  I have guessed very close this time, when he comes back on the phone.

Suddenly he comes back and tells me he has a flight out of Springfield MO at 6 am that will only cost me the $150 change of flight fee!  “What? Say it again;”  I am sure I heard him wrong.  He says that it is correct, if he can book a flight under the same booking number then the only cost is the penalty fee they charged for changing a flight.  I say, great I will take it, even if it means I will have to start my trip at about 3am to drive to Springfield MO and get there for a 6 am flight, at this point that seems like an easy sacrifice!

I check with him to make sure the flight he is talking about, is in fact leaving from Springfield MO not Illinois, he says yes, it is leaving from Missouri.  He asks me if I booked through a travel agency, I say I did book through Expedia and he says, “oh, oh”! I of course stop breathing.  He tells me it will cost me another $25 for Expedia’s fee for re-booking.  Phew!  Fine book it I said.  He repeats everything, what the flight is, when it leaves, cities it will stop in, and that it will now cost me $175 for the change.  I say yes I agree to everything and he asks me if I want to book the flight.  I tell him yes I do and now I finally breath a sigh of relief, this is finally done and over with.  I am once again on hold while he finalizes everything.

I am on hold for another 10 minutes at least, listening to the Chinese water torture theme song!  It is okay, I have finally taken care of my trip home and it is all going to be okay. You can’t believe how relieved I am at this point.  I start to hum the theme song from the Chinese water torture tactic!

The young man comes back on the phone and says, “I am so sorry.”  My stomach hits the floor and my head starts to spin.  What could he possibly tell me now?  He says, “I am so sorry, I made a small mistake.”  He tells me some how he didn’t remember that I was changing the airport I was going to be flying out of.  He says matter of factly, “So, there will be an add on cost of $925.”  I tell him “No there will not!”  He says, “Well, that is the problem, I have already booked your flight and so you will have to pay the $925!”

It is a really good thing that man is on the other end of the world and I am sure he is glad he was on the other side of the world.  I laid into that young  man like a 350 lb southern boy on a slab of ribs!  After several expletives (okay, there might have been more then several %%*$*#^%&##)  I told him to get me a supervisor immediately, he stumbled over his words and said , “please hold, I will get  supervisor.”

I think my phone call just became a test of my will power.  He put me on hold with the wonderful Chinese torture music, now after 10 minutes on hold this really does become a torture tactic, but after 20 minutes of Chinese torture music and your own thoughts of what I am going to say to this supervisor the minute he comes on the phone, it really is a maddening experience.

Mom now says dinner is ready, I tell everybody to go eat I am going to stay on the phone.  Another 5 minutes and I figure why don’t I just eat dinner while I am on hold.  So, I eat dinner with a phone attached to my head and the  Chinese torture music still playing.

I have now finished dinner and am still on the phone.  Shortly after dinner the superviser does pick up the phone, he has me tell him what the problem is, “like he doesn’t know what it was?”  I am calm now, probably numb from listening to the same little ditty playing over and over and over again on the stupid phone that is now grown roots and is holding itself to my ear.

I tell the superviser the whole story again, he says, “Well, there really is nothing he can do, If I want the flight I will have to pay the $925!”  I tell him of course I do not want the flight for $925, and I want him to cancel it and make sure I am not charged.  He says he can do that and I will have to stick with my original flight then, I say fine!  I want to make sure I have a flight at this point and I ask him to tell me what flight I will be taken, he is able to tell me that I will be flying out of Springfield IL and going to Chicago and then on to Seattle.  Okay fine then, good bye and good ridance!

Back to square one and it only took me about 6 hours to get back to where I started with my travel plans!  Not bad considering the rest of the trips timing. 

Stay tuned as our heroine receives an email from Expedia and “The Trip From Hell” continues.

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Trip From Hell Just Won’t End

Posted by The Scroll Saw Lady on 21st August 2008

Things here at my parents house are going very well.  Both at getting better everyday and it is time for me to start thinking about how I going to get back home.  As you all very well know by now, I am a goof and actually booked my flight down to my parents by flying into the wrong Springfield.  There is one in Illinois and one in Missouri…… I was supposed to be going to Missouri, guess which one I went too?

Okay, so, all of that is over with but, how do I get back home.  The trip down here ended up taking me 25 hours!!  That is from Seattle WA to Mountain Home, AR.  I can fly to Europe faster!  The big question is, how many hours will it take for me to get back home?  Can I break a new record for the longest trip between the two states?  I am pretty certain I must be the record holder at this time as it is.  Can I break my own record? (I surely hope not!)

It doesn’t look good for me though and I haven’t even started the trip yet.  My family thought I should just drive up to Springfield MO airport (2 hours away), catch a flight to Springfield IL where my flight is leaving from and everything would be okay.  So, I called the airlines to see what a flight would cost, $825!  What?!  I didn’t ask for a flight to Italy, I just want to fly the 1 hour from one Springfield to the other.  Okay, now I am not making enough money on the Internet yet to think nothing of paying $825 for a one-way trip to Springfield IL.

I called the rental car company to rent a car and make the one way 7 hour drive to Springfield IL, the first company told me they would not rent to me because they would have to go up to Springfield to get the car back and it wasn’t worth it to them.  The next company Hertz, told me they would rent to me but it would cost me $350 to drive their car up their.  Hmm.. I see a new business don’t you.  Rent your car to me for $350 dollars, I have to do all the driving.  This is a great business, even with cost of car care…. I am pretty sure I am not going to put $350 worth of maintenance work on that car for this one trip.

So, at this point it looks like getting home is going to be another adventure.  Stay tuned, I am sure there is a story waiting to be written.

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