Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Booking Airlines is Hell

I've spent the last three hours trying to book a flight from somewhere nearby like Montrose or Grand Junction to Philadelphia to see my mother. My dates are open. It's been HELL!

I don't want to arrive at the Philly airport at midnight. No thanks, United. Oh, Frontier has a nice set of flights, only $1132...

I thought my friend Southwest Air was going to help me out, especially since I have a roundtrip rapid reward I won last year, and I even saved the winning number. But they didn't like my password so I had to go into the retrieval of lost passwords sub basement and answer questions that made no sense to me. "Where were you travelling on May 6 09?" I was in L.A. then. Nowhere isn't an option.

And now Southwest has a new ticket level- you have to be a Freedom Flyer to book certain flights, like the one that gets me to Philadelphia at 7 pm instead of midnight. You have to turn in double rapid rewards, (ie two free round trips) in order to become a Freedom Flyer. But maybe it comes with freedom fries... and gives you that warm and fuzzy patriot feeling too.

And every day you get fed up and think "I'll try this in the morning", you wake up and learn all the fares have gone up another $75 or more or the flight you were looking at that gets in at midnight is now sold out.

Time for a hike, and this time we're taking the French Rabbit.

When there were travel agents like the lady above, aah. You called, told her where and when you wanted to go, and she called you back a little later and had it all worked out.


Namowal (Jennifer Bourne) said...

The airline ticket people are a bastardly bunch. Fees, exceptions, surprises, headaches at every turn. I read recently about allegedly sold-out flights suddenly becoming available in situations where the customer has to pay more (or sacrifice his miles etc..) Freaking ridiculous.

Linda Davick said...

That's a great "graffiti" illustration.

I bought a ticket last year and had to cancel it because of a hurricane. I was told no problem, that it would be good for a year. But I'm finding that the fees to change the ticket are coming to about as much as the ticket itself; I'll probably not be able to use it at all.

I hope my travel agent got in touch with you.

p.s. said...

how was the French Rabbit?

Sally said...

Thanks to Linda and Tom I managed to book a flight in mid August via Farefox, a site I'd never heard of before. It had the best fares and flights that weren't even showing up on other discount round up travel sites including kayak. Plus it wasn't all junked up with extra ads. Thanks so much. It still took me two hours this afternoon to book it because it wouldn't go through-- I think an internet problem. And this morning the hour plus and temper tantrum while on the phone speaking to real people on Southwest Air. At least they were good old amerukins though what they were telling me about refunds and rapid rewards was sleazy with any accent.

ooh, French Rabbit comes with a headache after!

Jane said...

I will check out Farefox. Fares have risen for sure. I am probably going to take the train back home from the east coast. Never done it before.