Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Flying to Seattle or Don't Trust Expedia to Actually Book Your Seats Even Though You Pay For Them

Twelve hours after we were supposed to be at our destination, we are finally on a flight to Seattle. Maia’s got a window seat and is watching Rainy Days with Little Bear, an appropriate theme for one whose first airplane trip is to visit a notoriously drizzly one.

Despite our careful planning, we immediately encountered a major fiasco at the check in desk: there were no seats in our name despite our itinerary. John stood at the Midwest ticket counter, his body slowly slouching and slumping and finally collapsing over a two hour span while the clerk tried unsuccessfully to locate our seats, unravel the mystery of the discrepancy and find some way for us to get to the pacific northwest in time for John's conference. We had booked two months ago through Expedia: four seats to Seattle via Minneapolis, round trip. But although the tickets were confirmed on our itinerary, they were never actually booked by Expedia. Expedia wanted to rebook for the next day at noon and throw our itinerary into the shredder but John and the persistent Midwest clerk weren't having any of it since we had a conference, a car and a hotel scheduled, booked and waiting. Thanks to Midwest, who refused to let Expedia off the hook, we finally got a flight to Minneapolis three and a half hours later. We ran through security and dashed to the terminal, our names being paged over the loudspeaker, only to spend one and a half hours on the tarmac while storms blew in and out and traffic control repeatedly changed directions for the plane's take off route. When we reached Minneapolis, we had missed the connecting flight and needed to find a place to stay close by in order to get up and out by 5am to catch an early flight.

We arrived at Sea-Tac airport tired but happy, our adventure only just beginning. There would be more mix ups, frustrations, fatigue induced crankiness and general disorientation, but our first attempt at air travel with two kids will most certainly be memorable. The views from Moran State Park on Orcas island and while crossing the Puget Sound to the San Juan islands by ferry made up for all for our initial stumbles and hassles.

1 comment:

Christi said...

Bless your little hearts. I was just thinking of you today, thinking of easy walks through the airport and smooth flying. Expedia schmedia....booo.

Hope the rest of the trip is full of fun and wonder!