09 July 2010

planes, schmanes


I. Hate. Airlines.

Wait, doesn't everybody? Aren't they the bane of modern existence? Does anyone enjoy them or do we all just wax nostalgic for the days when they served food and everyone got dressed up (and people could smoke on them and stewardesses were fired or hired depending on their looks... wait, maybe they've always been awful?)

I'm flying out for my grandmother's memorial service the last weekend in July (and a sincere thank you to all the kinds words from you folk. I really appreciate it. Really, Really.) This has been my last 2 days:

- Book a ticket at a somewhat reasonable price for somewhat reasonable times. 

- Amos has to check with work before he can buy one.

- A day later, Amos is ready to purchase.

- Tickets on my flights have jumped up $250.

- I call a representative, he says something about supply and demand. I take that to mean price gouging and collusion. I took Business 101, I know what that means.

- Cancel my first ticket, which is fee-free if you do it within 24 hours of purchase. That's so common sense smart, I can hardly believe the airlines allow it.

- Look for and book another ticket, this time for two people, at slightly higher and slightly more unreasonable times. Our 12 hour flight from Seattle to Kansas City is a red-eye with a long layover in O'Hare.

- Get a early morning call from my dear aunt and mom, who let's me know - while telling me not to worry - that my red-eye lands the wrong day. I need to get in Friday morning, not Saturday.

- I get online and cancel tickets number two and three.

- I start looking for tickets four and five.

- Nothing.

- Expensive.

- Returning home at 1AM. Two red-eye flights within a 72 hour span.

- I check non-discounted tickets.

- Normal, direct flights.

- Mucho Dinero.

- MUCHO.

- Aunt and Mom say book it. 3 1/2 hours travel time compared to over 10 hours each way. It's family. It's important. To quote my gramps, "Money not spent is wasted." They will help. It will be okay.

- I buy the tickets.

- They overnight a check.

- Until then, I have $32 in my bank account.

I. Hate. Airplanes.

But, I do love my family. So I keep buying the damn things.



8 comments:

  1. Oooooooooh yeah. Hate hatey hate. I am all too familiar with flying to see family and being gouged beyond belief. Supply and demand my hind leg. But hey, at least after you pay out the nose they are super rude to you the whole trip, so there's that. Hate.
    Have a safe trip, and I'm really sorry you have to make it for such a sad reason.

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  2. As if you're not stressed enough!! I'm sorry about this ordeal. I'll be thinking of you (in fact I have been thinking of you since I saw you at the beach on Saturday!). You're in my thoughts/prayers/positive and loving intentions!

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  3. I SO know how this goes. Ugh, it's icnredibly annoying. But your family will appreciate the giant effort you have put in. Gotta love going to KC right? That airport is weird - make sure you're not hungry when you go because their restaurants close at dinner time. Much to my dismay.

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  4. uhm, have you tried Priceline's Name Your Fare thingie? It's sort of the most mind boggling, completely nonsensical, superbly brilliant thing I've ever done. I waited too long buying my tickets to California (waiting until the week before) a few months ago. While having a fit at my boyfriend's house about trying to save money and spending an extra 200$ because I waited and 'no, nevermind, I'm not going to California, this is dumb', he told me to get on Priceline (where the lowest ticket price I could find was $400, a layover flight.). In the upper left corner, there was a button that says name your fare. A box pops up, asking how much you'd like to "auction" for your round-trip ticket. We typed in $75 and pressed Go. It thought for a moment, then said Sorry, too low. Try another price. We typed $150. It thought some more, then said "Hey! We found a ticket for $170, want that one?" And I click yes. It thinks a little bit more, then comes back and says "Oh no, someone JUST bought that one. The next cheapest fare we found was $250. Want that one?" So I click yes. And lo and behold, instead of paying $400, I paid $250. The conditions are it's non-refundable and that they pick your time and airline (which Justin says is all major airlines, never some small unknown). You get to pick the date and airports, though. I was blessed with good times, AA, and NO layover for a whole $150 cheaper than I originally found.

    I have no idea how they get away with such a thing, but it's sort of amazing. You can do it with hotels and car rentals too!

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  5. Melina: you are a genius. for reals. you should win an award or something.

    Mo: isn't KC the WORST and WEIRDEST airport ever? what's with the security at each gate - worst idea ever.

    OLIT: you are a doll. i'm so glad we are more than Blog friends (that sounded dirty but I didn't mean it that way...)

    Hip Hip: i know, they are so rude. for what i'm paying for this darn flight, they should be handing me free drinks and neck massages!!

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  6. What a nightmare -- BUT it will all be worth it in the end. Whew!

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  7. So sorry about your grandmother. I went through similar fiasco with having to cancel and rebook my recent flight to Europe in high season. I just managed to get ticket under $1000 and that was considered a good deal.

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