Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The ‘Glamor’ of Traveling (Part 2)

(See part 1 for the forestory) It’s now day two of my one hour flight to Huntsville, Alabama.  We just boarded half of the plane when the pilot came on the PA to announce that a problem that they thought had been fixed had really not been fixed.  After some confusion on the part of the crew, we de-boarded the plane.  It took about 30 minutes for them to decide that the plane was not fixable and that they would fly the route with a plane that had 20 fewer seats.

Now they need to find a way to boot 18 folks from the flight and so they ask for volunteers.  After considering the $175 in voucher money they were offering and the fact that I could now change to another city, one that would have rental cars, I decided to take the offer and give up my seat.  This would prove to be a winning move.

I consulted my Windows Phone 7 Map application and saw that Huntsville is close to equidistant from Nashville, TN, Chattanooga, TN, and Birmingham, AL.  I had to pick one and I chose Nashville.  I got to the gate and called Avis for a rental car reservation.  Unbelievably, they also had no cars to rent.  As the Nashville flight was now starting to board, I had to high-tail it to US Airways customer service to get yet another change. 

This time I guessed Birmingham.  I got that ticket and headed off to call Avis back.  This time cars were available.  I got my reservation and then I thought of something that I’d forgotten.  I now needed to push my return flight back by a day.  Back to Customer Service go I.  The girl behind the counter said she could do that for only a $150 change fee and that there was no way the system would let her do it for free.  I calmly (really, those who know me would have been shocked) explained that this was due to 2 mechanical failures and that it was going to be free.  I told her the whole story.  She asked if I had my original boarding pass, which I did, and she made the change.  Funny, I thought the system… oh, never mind.  I had won so I left winner. (It was at this point in the day that I penned part 1 of this tale, so I didn’t know how much more ‘adventure’ was to come.)

From that point on, the trip went without a hitch.  I did have a 2 hour drive once I got the Birmingham, but the roads were clear and the sailing smooth.  I arrived at my hotel around 8 pm and prepared for the site visit.  I’ve now completed day one of 3 at the customer site and I’m hoping I can keep this trip running smoothly until I return home of Friday.  If not, there will be a part 3.

Happy Trails.

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