Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Travails of Travel

My mom and niece are coming to visit, which is nice.  Unfortunately mom doesn't like making airline reservations so this job usually falls to me.  I could understand this when mom didn't have a computer.  Now that she has high-speed internet I'm not sure what part of Priceline befuddles her.  She did squeeze me out of her body after 12 hours of labor so I guess I owe her.  After a plane delay in Dallas last year she decided she wanted to fly straight to Denver this year.  Since I didn't want to drive all the way to Denver and I'm not a good travel agent I booked her a flight to Colorado Springs with a connecting flight in Dallas again and assured her that she would not get delayed in Texas this year.

An hour before her flight is scheduled to leave mom calls from St. Louis to tell me her plane was delayed and she will miss the connecting flight in Dallas.  Mom's not happy.  I'm not happy.  I tried to talk her through the process of getting the airlines to help her rebook to a different flight.  She called back after managing to wrangle a new departure time 15 minutes after the original one - still missing the Dallas flight.  Now she is spending the night in Dallas and leaving in the morning.  I told her to insist on a free hotel room if they hold her overnight.  She got them to offer her a discount.

An hour on hold with American Airlines and I got mom a new flight.  I was offered a flight through Chicago but the plane is delayed and I was concerned she would miss the connecting flight if it is delayed again, so I got her a direct flight to Denver.  Mom will be thrilled.  When mom got to the counter the plane was full.  So she's back to the original flight with an overnight stay at Dallas.  The agent promised me she'll get a voucher for a hotel room.  I hope she's right or I'm going to be picking up a very grouchy mom at the airport tomorrow.  Next year mom's booking her own flights.