Thursday, June 7, 2007

Day 1 (Tue, Jun 5)

4:30 AM: I think I can make it. I'm lying in bed and feel terrible, but think I _may_ be able to handle the flight. I get up and... no way. I wasn't much better (if any) than I was the night before. Fever was ~100F. We thought we'd need to leave the house by 6:15 if we were going to make our flight. During the next 90 minutes, Holly tried to call our travel agent, scoured the web and called American Airlines (twice). No one seemed to have any suggestions on how to best handle this situation. We weren't warned, "if you don't do _this_, you're screwed" or anything.

6:30 AM: We missed our chance to go to the airport and I wasn't feeling better. :(

11:50 AM: Holly's been told by both our travel agent and American Airlines that we're screwed. Since we were a no-show, they canceled our tickets (including the return trip) and we forfeited the $1500 we spent on the tickets. If we wanted to go to Hawaii, we'd have to spend $4800 to get two tickets to Hawaii. Fed up, and somewhat delirious, I call American. The first woman I speak to tells me there's nothing she can do. I explain the situation and how moronic it is that even though we may have to pay for one-way tickets TO Hawaii that we can't use our previous reservations for our return trip (maybe save SOME money). She said, "no". I said, "Let me speak to your manager -- NOW." After a few minutes, her manager gets on the line. She starts feeding me the same BS that the previous person told me. Finally I say, "I don't care. I paid $1500 for two tickets to Hawaii. I want you to get us on a plane to Hawaii so that we arrive tomorrow." Her response led me to believe that if I pushed any harder, the call was over, but she'd see what she could do.

12:15 PM: The AA manager tells me that for $100 (service charge) + $15 (external agent fee) per ticket, she can get us on a flight that left at Noon tomorrow (the 6th). The tickets cost $2400 each, but she'll waive that fee. Remember, I still have a fever and am dehydrated; there were points during the phone call where I seriously thought I was going to pass out. Over the past 15 minutes and over the rest of the call, I'm put on hold several times accompanied by an apology for the inconvenience. One time I say, "if you're getting us to Hawaii for only a couple hundred (more) dollars, you can put me on hold all day."

12:30 PM: The AA manager tells me that she's worked everything out. We're even booked on the same flight back that we had previously been booked on, but in seats that aren't together. I tell her that's great! I know I came on strong at the beginning of the call, but I was stressed, under-rested, dehydrated, feverish and felt terrible. So, to end the call, I explained that this trip is for our tenth wedding anniversary and when I came down with the stomach sickness and we missed our flight, Holly and I were quite distressed. I also told her that she made our vacation and thanked her many times. Then I crashed.

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