Travel Snafus Snuffed by Fate
It all started a year ago….
I returned to Adelman Travel as a new employee with my co-workers of over 10+ years….
Within a few weeks, there was a drawing for FREE Continental airline tickets (two of them). And I became the lucky recipient. Since I was engaged and due to be wed in five months, this made the honeymoon planning a whole lot easier. We were ecstatic. How it happened seemed meant to be.
So I planned with a smile and heavier pocket book.
I scheduled a wonderful trip that October for Seattle and Vancouver. It even worked out that I had saved enough Radisson hotel points to receive six nights hotel in Vancouver absolutely free.
We were excited. A dream wedding and a dream honeymoon planned MONTHS in advance.
Less than two weeks before the wedding, Jason’s mom, my future mother-in-law, my wedding planner, my friend, had a devastating brain aneurysm and stroke.
She was in ICU. It was a very scary time. We continued with the wedding, but cancelled our dream honeymoon to be close to the hospital.
The airline cancelled the tickets for us and advised I could rebook by July 18, 2011 for no cost, or fees. The hotel refunded ALL the points. It worked out for the best, except, no honeymoon.
Then, the week we would have been out of the country on our honeymoon, Jason was put in the hospital for seven days. Later, he would be diagnosed with Lupus. We were very glad we were not out of the country.
This June, I looked into flights, not to Seattle, but California. We opted to save Vancouver for another time and even save “honeymooning”. We just wanted a trip to visit our favorite places and celebrate my 40th birthday (plus I had to rebook the free tickets by July).
So I did. I even got all the hotels free with my points. Even better….I ended up with five free rental car days.
July 17, 2011, one day prior to the expiration of rebooking our FREE Continental tickets (which I thought I had already done). I realized I needed to make sure our seat assignments were together. Kinda dumb to think of it a month after rebooking, but yo, I’d been busy.
As I began my quest of coordinating seating, I discovered, I was missing Jason’s itinerary. To my horror,he was not rebooked as I was.
I called the airline. I begged. I pleaded. I blamed. I mean, just because I cancelled a honeymoon doesn’t mean only one of us was traveling, right?!?
But to no avail, there was just not space for free tickets one month out. Not to anywhere in California, anyway. I was in tears. How could something sooo meant to be go wrong so many times?
I took a deep breath and used my mad travel agent skillz to get him a flight separate from me, but arriving about the same time.
In the end, I conceded to the fact THIS was for the best. He had been in a car accident and hurt his back. Now he had a non-stop flight versus Continental’s flight connecting through Houston. And? It was only $160.00. A small price to pay to get this trip together (finally!).
Fast forward to trip departure day, arising early to get to the airport for my connecting flight. Packing til midnight the night before and hating this part of the trip. The airport. The lines.
I am always afraid, I’ll oversleep, get the time wrong, the date wrong, or encounter delays that make me miss my flight. I don’t know why I twist myself up like that. I always have. I guess I always will.
It’s 6am when we reach the DFW toll booth (basically on-time). I wasn’t checking bags. I pulled up my 6:55am flight on Continental to check flight status. I wanted to make sure it was on-time. What do I see?
111 minute delay.
111 minute delay will cause me to miss my connection flight to Orange County.
111 minute delay will result in one less day of vacation and one LONGER day of travel.
111 minute delay will affect Jason on an entirely different flight. Not to mention, he can’t get the car or check-in at the hotel. Those are booked in my name under travel agent discounts.
We continued towards the airport, my mind racing. I checked other flights to Houston on Continental. Nada. All sold out. I pulled up my confirmation on Continental, travel agent tip-airlines now auto-rebook on next available flight, by going to their website, you can see what flight they confirmed you on-end tip.
I saw I was booked on a 459pm flight Houston to Orange County getting in about 644pm.
Not the end if the world, but a long day of sitting in airports. Separate airports at that.
Then I saw the date on the flight was the 21st of August. A DAY later. I think my heart stopped beating. This trip…. Uggg, what is going? Are we not supposed to go somewhere together?
We wait in line at the Continental counter. I keep telling myself to have faith, but MAN, it’s tough. This trip has canceled before and we would survive it being cancelled again.
When we told the agent, Jason was on a different flight than me (our passive way of saying I can’t go tomorrow). The agent never hesitated, he said, “I am going to get you on the same flight as him.”
And he did.
I couldn’t believe it. The mistake in rebooking all those months ago was not to cause us to miss our trip, but to ensure we WOULD get to California on the day we were supposed to. If we had both been on the original flight, we might not have arrived until Sunday.
It’s been a gentle reminder to me that God’s plans are bigger than ours. When something doesn’t go our way, maybe it’s God way that will.
By the way……