Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Travel Lessons # 1 - # 3

After this past weekend of travel nightmares, its going to take a lot to get Shane and I (especially Shane) on a plane again...and once we decide to entrust our safe travels to an airline, it will by no means be Delta.

It all started on Thursday, trying to get Shane into Chicago to (a) celebrate Christmas with my mom and mike and (b) catch our flight to Houston Saturday morning. # 1 lesson in this mess, do not book flights eight months ahead of time. The potential savings is just not worth the extra headaches. What extra headaches, you might ask? Well, back in April, my dad booked us a flight from Chicago to Houston to Puerto Vallarta. Had we been living in Chicago, this would have been a much easier travel day. But no. Shane and I decide to move to DC in September and by that time it was too expensive to reroute the flight, so we left the original flight as-was and decided to fly into Chicago a few days early. One thing we did not factor into this decision: Chicago's December weather -- typically cold, and snow, and lots of snow.

Thus, Shane was originally suppose to fly in late Friday afternoon. In anticipation of the Thursday night/Friday morning snow storm, we switched his flight to Thursday night. Not more than 2 hours after he changed his flight, Southwest canceled his new flight. Thank goodness we checked the status prior to him driving to Baltimore! Needless to say they put him on the 7:30 AM flight Friday morning, which lead us to lesson # 2 of this holiday/travel season.

# 2 lesson in this mess, if you have to leave the house at a god awful early time, do not attempt to save money using public transportation. Just drive your car. Shane tried the train to bus combo to get to the airport. Only once he got to the bus station, he realized that he did not have is cell phone. Deciding that this was a travel essential, he literally ran, in cowboy boots, back onto the train and the 0.5 miles from the train to our house. Hopped in the car, drove to the airport and parked in the expensive parking garage ($17/day), before running through the airport to catch his flight. Had he just driven in the first place, he (a) would not have been sweaty and (b) would have been able to park in long term parking for about half that price -- luckily, he had to fly home two days later on Sunday and the parking fee wouldn't be too outrageous. One question lesson # 2 bears, what in the world did we do without cell phones? how did we operate? That is for another day.

The rest of the lessons are for another day. The include # 3, Delta has the worst customer service. ever; # 4, Do not fly through Chicago during winter months - not only will snow shut down airports, but so will sub-zero temperatures; # 5, Make them come to you. There maybe more, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, if we don't post before Christmas, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to everyone! I can't believe that 2009 is just around the corner. 2008 was such a great year, that I am sad to see it go...however, I am sure that 2009 will be just as great, if not better! Hopefully, we'll see all of our missed friends and relatives at some point during the new year!

Happy Holidays!


Stephanie & Shane

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