Monday, August 01, 2005

HOW I LEARNED TO HATE FLYING AND AIRLINES EVEN MORE THAN I DID IN THE LAST POST. To continue the family misadventures in air travel, the College Daughter is in the process of a multi-day torture session at the hands of the airlines. She flew from Madrid to London and had to change planes. The change included a change of airports. She had three hours to make it. She could not make it because of a combination of slow baggage return and London traffic. The airline would do absolutely nothing to help. She actually got there before the plane left, but inside the “30 minute window”. They could have taken her and sent her luggage later, but they would not. And, they would not help her with another flight.

She called us and we began to try to fix the problem. Praise God for the Internet. We booked her a hotel room close to the airport. Then, we called American Airlines. They were singularly disinterested in our problem. Finally, the Little Woman said something to the effect of we have a real problem here and we really need your help to solve it and help our daughter. The response basically was that it was not their problem and they did not care. Note to AA: when you finally do file for bankruptcy, be sure to list lack of customer service as a reason.

We got on the Internet again and booked a flight, costing us approximately $1,000, just to insure our daughter would indeed get home. Plus, we paid for a couple of nights in a hotel for her to stay in until the flight.

The College Daughter has now called to say she missed the connecting flight in Atlanta because she is standing in the customs line and cannot get out. She has been there for over an hour.

In contrast to the cold hearted American Airlines, Delta was nice enough to book her on a later flight. It does not leave for a couple of hours, however. We lamented that, then considered it might take her that long to clear customs.

The update is now that the airline has lost her luggage. So, she will get here around 9 pm tonight, but without her bag. She is, by the way, traveling with her college roommate, who is, therefore, sharing all this same misery. Added to her troubles, she had a ticket to fly on to her hometown from here, which she will now miss.

Do not look for our family to spend much on airfare after this is over. I have never seen such a disaster.
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