Showing posts with label Holiday Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holiday Travel. Show all posts

Friday, December 30, 2016

When Delta doesn’t totally suck

This is one for the record books. 

Historically, I have a terrible flying record.  One can pretty much guarantee that when I travel by plane the flight will be delayed, cancelled or confront luggage issues. I have been diverted to locations due to some inclement weather system more times than I can remember. It has become a running joke amongst the Frans, to the point where I think they get nervous to travel with me because of the jinx that I carry. Not believing in superstitions, I continue to subjugate myself to the torture over and over again. Somehow my love for traveling has blinded me for years from the pain I submit myself to when I make that venture in a Uber to Laguardia or JFK. 

The Frans have tried to determine why it is that I always have such bad luck with flying; everyone has their own hypothesis; 

1. Time of day: My travel time is usually in the evening after work, so flights are backed up from the day and I suffer. 

2. Airport Choice: It is Laguardia's fault..."Laguardia is the worst, they are the first to cancel".

3. Delta: Wrong airline preference. I just can't kick the Delta habit; Skymiles, AMEX points, one loyal flier here. 

I do have to say that through my horrible travel experiences, Delta has always come through in some way. Kind support with rebooking my cancelled flights, reimbursement of miles and fees for Ubers back and forth from the airport, vouchers for the occasional hotel in a random city and of course the occasional first class upgrade for my “inconvenience”. 

Let’s now focus on my Christmas travel history. 

The last two years my post-work, pre-Christmas eve flight has been cancelled. So after two years of let down, emotion and torture, I chose this year to not subject myself. Since I had to work until December 23, I made the choice to fly out early December 24. I found a flight out at 6:30am, getting me to Savannah by 8:30am and for only $200. Wow, Delta, you were on a roll! I was going to miss the headache of pre-Christmas NYC travel, simply having to roll out of bed, hop in another trusty pre-booked Uber, drop my bag, saunter through TSA-Pre Check and onto my flight. This was going to be the year that I broke my travel curse, Delta was not going to fail me. 

And in the end, Delta did not fail me this year. 

I failed myself.

Back to the trusty Uber. He arrived at the perfect minute to maximize sleep and get me to the airport on time. To Laguardia airport Adbul (that was actually his name, lovely man). “What terminal Miss?”... "let me check that". As I pulled up my flight info on the Delta app, I was having trouble locating the terminal. Looking closer, something looked out of place. It was showing me departing from Savannah arriving at Laguardia. Quickly I thought, this must be my return flight information. Clicking the departure tab on the app, nothing seemed to be changing. Having yet again another look, I located the date…Flight DL5169, SAV-LGA, December 24, 2016.  


(sorry people, I do occasionally curse)

I had booked the wrong flight. 

Deep breaths.

Immediately, I went into survival mode dialing Delta's customer service number. 

Sharing my predicament with Abdul, he laughed a little and continued to ask me what terminal. “I don’t know Abdul, I don’t currently have a flight out of Laguardia today”. At this point I think our language barrier subsided and he got the point. “Just drive to the airport, Delta terminal”. 

Thankfully I got a representative right away (enter David from Delta - I don’t remember his name but he sounded like a David). I explained my situation to him, it took two tries, but when he responded with “ahhhhh I see”, I think he got the picture. David went to work figuring out what was available. He came back and said “we can get you out today at 9:30am, returning December 30 on a 6:25pm flight”. Not ideal timing, I would sadly miss most of Hillsong’s end of the year services, but it was getting me home. “Great David, what’s the price?" he replied, "that will be $580”. 


My once steal of a flight was becoming very expensive. David provided a few other flight options, but the cost was going to be significantly more or about the same. When I paused to weigh my choices, David kindly offered to speak to his manager about what they could do to decrease the cost… "it is Christmas Eve after all”, he stated. While David put me on hold, I prayed out loud in the Uber, poor Abdul for sure thought I was a crazy person by this point or a straight idiot. After the longest 90 seconds of my life, David came on and announced that they could waive the change fee bringing my cost to $380. My original $200 flight had now come to a grand total of $580… but I was getting home for Christmas and in the end that is what it is all about. 

I cried for joy a little and thanked David repeatedly. He stated, “Merry Christmas, we couldn’t leave you stranded on the holiday”. I thought to myself, well especially not since I was paying an extra $380. They also threw in an exit row seat, way to go Delta. 

Through this experience I have learned yet another lesson in the art of failing miserably and having to roll with the punches. I also learned that when things seem like they are too good to be true, they usually are, so triple check every detail. My journey of self-improvement continues one failure at a time, realizing that it’s all not that big of a deal and money does not mater when it comes to important things like your family.

In the end, Delta actually did not fail me this year. My originally booked flight from SAV-LGA departed and arrived on time. I will most likely have trauma amnesia and continue to regularly travel, probably on Delta. It was my own human error that brought me here; eating an overcooked frittata and $5 drip coffee in the Delta terminal at Laguardia airport, filling the 3 hour flight time difference half awake after only 4 hours of sleep.

The cherry on top…Laguardia airport does not start serving alcohol until 8am. Just in time for me to board my flight and miss that tasty morning mimosa. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone. Safe travels.

naturally ginger