July 3rd, 2009


Alaska Trip Day 1: Flying to Dallas

From July 6-July 18, we took a trip to visit my aunt and uncle in Alaska.

We started this trip by flying to Dallas, Texas on July 3. Dallas is not really en route to Alaska, but we went to Dallas for a couple of reasons:
1) My parents are there, and it's good to visit them.
2) My cousin is there, and was going to be flying to Alaska with her 7-month-old baby on July 6. Detouring through Dallas let us go along with her and help out if needed.

This is how Lori got us travel vouchers:

We arrived at the airport with plenty of time for our noon flight. We headed to the gate early, because we still needed to get seat assignments for the flight. The gate had a very long line; the guy ahead of me said that he was in line waiting to be rescheduled from a canceled 8am flight. (We later learned that there were 140 people scheduled for that flight.)
After a while of waiting in a slow-moving line, an announcement came over the loudspeakers that our flight was moved to another gate. I hustled to that gate in order to be at the head of that line.
It didn't help, though, because no airline employee came to that gate. After twenty minutes of waiting in line, at the time when boarding needed to start, a harried employee came over. She started boarding for those with boarding psses, but still didn't start handling those of us who did not.
Lori read over the shoulder of a teen posting to Facebook: "If we don't make it to this cruise, I might die." So Lori offered to the harried gate clerk, "You know, our plans our flexible."
The gate clerk gave Lori a look as if she'd thrown her a life preserver. She quickly tapped some keys, and said "I can put you on a direct flight at 4:30." We accepted and left the line, and things proceeded smoothly from there. The rest of the plane boarded, and she set up new tickets for us and gave us vouchers for future travel.
It was only then that we realized that though our original tickets were for Delta, she had rebooked us for American Airlines. The ticket price listed on the tickets was over $1000--comparable to the price we'd paid for the whole three-city trip. My conclusion: she was caught up in a domino chain of crises cascading from the one cancelled flight, and she was willing to pay over $2500 of Delta's money for us to break the chain.

We got to Dallas in a fine way, and got a barbecue fix from Dickey's Barbecue.