Saturday, August 30, 2008

More adventures in air travel

We are settling in in Prickly Bay, Grenada. A nice crowd of cruisers here and a cruiser’s net every morning at 0730 on the VHF with weather and general information. Days have been hot but a nice breeze at night for sleeping.

Now then. . . .here’s a short version (I swear!) of our air travel troubles. Way back in maybe April we booked air fare round trip from Grenada to Tampa using Travelocity (Coporate motto: We hate you). This trip was originally for late July to coincide with daughter Leah’s PhD defense. Well, we had to go home way earlier than that so we cancelled that itenerary. You can’t get your money back but you do get to pay a penalty to re-book. Fine. Ok, here’s the itinerary as we originally booked it: Grenada to St. Vincent via Liat Airlines, St. Vincent to San Juan via Liat, San Juan to Miami via American Eagle, and Miami to Tampa via American Eagle. Why Tampa? Because we can book free airfare with our credit card points for domestic travel. Now try to re-book this. Here are the issues.

1. According to Travelocity we had to have paper tickets since Liat doesn’t issue e-tickets (turns out to be not true)
2. To re-book we have to mail the paper tickets to Texas at least 2 weeks before we intend to re-book. When we re-book they will mail us new tickets . . . To WHERE?
3. We can’t simply go to the airport and take care of it there as it is a Travelocity deal. We did walk to the airport today and tried. Nice walk but no help there.
4. When you call Travelocity you always get someone in India who a. Barely speaks understandable English and b. Has been programmed to only handle normal questions and cannot handle variations on a theme.
5. Liat and American Eagle have no ‘agreement’ between them so we probably have to stick with the two airlines when we do re-book.

I dread calling Travelocity. Maybe Sue will!

Then there is the issue of trying to fly into an island without a return ticket out. This was why they wouldn’t put us on a plane in San Juan until we bought full fare tickets from Martinique back to San Juan (we’ve since gotten our money back on those tickets as promised). I’ve talked to two different immigration people here in Grenada who tell me there should be no trouble - just show your boat papers. But I DID show those in San Juan and they just laughed at me!

We fully intend to get back to Chicago for the world series featuring our beloved Chicago Cubs versus the american league champs and I hope to Newton it is not the pukey White Sox and their toothless fans! We may just leave the weird Travelocity tickets “in the bank” as it were for another time - we have a year from when we first booked - and start over with American Airlines who have always been helpful to us (except for not putting us on the plane in San Juan!). What the hell? It’s only money, right?

Lesson? Never book with Travelocity, never accept paper tickets, and never start a land war in Asia!


Anonymous said...

I think you are planning correctly to be here for the World Series. And I couldn't agree more with your opinion of Sox fans!

Hope to see you, and maybe be at Wrigley with you, for the Series! Standing room would do nicely again.

Rich P

Anonymous said...

What's up with the White Sox hatred. It's great you support the Cubs but it's so disappointing to hear you dump on the Sox.