Monday 4 July 2011

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It Only Took Four Minutes To Mess Up This Flight

Have you read our "About More Kids Than Suitcases" page?  I'm not asking because I'm all that interesting a person, although I do like to brag about my wife and kids.  The part I'm referring you to is the little section where I mention that "it never seems to go quite as smoothly as I plan".  I seem to learn something every time I travel, even if I've been to the city 50 times before.  This time, I learned something before I even got to the airport.

We booked these flights back in January when there was a sale going on.  We are flying Seattle to Los Angeles on Alaska, then Delta the rest of the way to Orlando.  When we booked the trip, the planes were almost completely empty, so we had our choice of where we wanted to sit.  We booked our usual row right across towards the front of the plane, on all four flights, with no problems.

In March I got an e-mail that there had been a change in my itinerary.  I carefully studied the new travel plans that had been sent to me, and decided that the only change made was in the first flight of the day.  It would still be leaving at the same time, but would now be arriving in Los Angeles four minutes later.  Although somewhat confused (had Los Angeles moved further away?) I decided that four minutes out of our connection time was probably not going to throw this trip into chaos.

Silly me.  Apparently what happened is that the airline had to reset the flight when they added the four minutes and the seat assignments were taken off then put back in again.  Except ours.  I don't know what happened, although our tickets were booked with Delta and there seems to be a train of thought that the request for seats for us was never made by them.  Either way, a quick glance at the seat map suggested that we were in for some trouble.  I got on the phone with Alaska to see what could be done.  It's never a good sign when the first questions are "You don't happen to be licensed to fly a 737-800 do you?" or "Does your wife have any experience serving beverages at 35,000 ft?"

Eventually, everything was (kind of) sorted out.  Lori and our youngest daughter are sitting together.  The other two kids have a window and and aisle seat in the row behind them.  I have to make the ultimate sacrifice and sit in the aisle seat of the exit row all by myself.  So what have we learned?  If continental drift affects your flight times, reconfirm your seating as early as possible.  Unless you want the peace and tranquility of not having to sit with your children.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting how you find your deals, but I would be interested to know how much you spend in a given year on flights, hotels, eating out, entertainment, etc. Do you carry debt load from it? Also, I'd like to know what you do for work to manage to get that much time off work!