Thursday, June 22, 2006

Multiple Carriers

As most of my ten readers know, I recently traveled to the other coast. I did this using multiple airline carriers. Why would I do such a thing? Because it was cheap, that's why. Well, it seems there's a reason for these discounted flights.

I bought my ticket through Northwest Airlines. After purchasing the tickets, I realized that the "to other coast" trip was operated by Delta airlines. We would only be flying Northwest on the return trip. This seemed alright to me after clicking the confirm button.

A few weeks later, an email was received stating that our original return flight (on Northwest) was cancelled. We were supposed to red-eye it back on Sunday night and return on Monday morning to rest. The new flight had us leaving on Monday afternoon and not returning until Tuesday morning. I called Northwest airlines and worked out a new schedule with the customer service representative. We would now be leaving on Monday morning and returning on Monday afternoon. We would be flying from Portland to Minneapolis and then to Baltimore. She informed me that she had waived the fee for changing the flights. (How nice of her to do so after they screwed us out of a day of rest!)

I thought we had it all figured out.

Fast forward to the day of departure. The airport shuttle picks us up at 3:15am for our 6:00am flight. We check the monitors. Our flight is right on time. The little check in yourself convenience kiosks do not open until 4:55am. No problem. Still more than enough time to get through security and onto the plane. Did I mention we were waiting in the Northwest line? We get to the front of the line and are told to go wait in the Delta line. Had it not been 4:55am, we probably would've already figured that out.

We get to the little check in kiosk. We type in our names. We say we each have one bag to check. The prompt tells us it cannot print out our boarding passes. The following is what ensues after this message:

(note: Delta customer service representative is merely a nice term I'm using for this guy who works at the ticket counter who has no idea what's going on and I think was hired by another airline merely to piss people off so that they will never fly Delta again. He will hereby be referred to as DCSR)

DCSR: How are you getting from Minneapolis to Baltimore?
US: We are flying from Portland to Minneapolis and then to Baltimore. See, it says so on our itinerary computer print out.
DCSR: But, how are you getting from Minneapolis to Baltimore? There is something wrong. You must go to Northwest and figure it out.

(We walk back over to the Northwest counter and stand in line. The Northwest guy shakes his head because the Delta people cannot figure anything out. He prints us out an itinerary of our trip and sends us back. We walk back to the Delta counter and stand in line)

US: Here's our itinerary (that we already had before). See, we're going from Portland to Minneapolis and then to Baltimore.
DCSR: But, how are you getting from Minneapolis to Baltimore? See, today is June 7th. How are you getting from Minneapolis to Baltimore on your way home?
US: Well sir, if you look at the itinerary, it clearly states with flight numbers that on the 12th, we will be traveling from Minneapolis to Baltimore.
DCSR: But, how are you getting from Minneapolis to Baltimore? See, (pointing to itinerary clearly typed in black ink) today is the 7th.

(At this point, I am pretty much freaking out. This guy is being ridiculous. It is now 5:20am and we are getting nowhere with this person. He is not helping and, as you can read, just keeps asking us the same question.)

US: What is it about this that you don't understand?
DCSR: What is it about this that YOU dont understand?

(My husband tells me to calm down and the DCSR says "yes, I think that's a good idea". Had I actually heard him say this, I probably would've punched him in his bullshit face and gotten arrested. But, luckily I'm half deaf and I missed it)

At this point, I motioned for someone else to help us at the ticket counter. I think the guy who was helping us was a reject for a bad version of some heavy metal cover band. It was now 5:25am and he told us we had "plenty of time". He took about 10 minutes on the computer and printed out our boarding passes. It seems they had every single flight originally booked on Northwest. So, in Delta's computer, we were coming home on multiple days and it wasn't allowing us to print out our boarding passes.

We made it through security and just made our plane. Vowing never ever to fly multiple carriers again.


Please don't let this happen to you. Don't fly multiple carriers! It is not worth saving 80 bucks a ticket!

If you've made it through this incredibly long post, thanks. I promise the next one will be shorter.

1 comment:

DaniSteg said...

Uh Oh. This is how Im going to and from Seattle next week. And one of our legs is on a puddle jumper by Canadaire. Well this should be fun then. Thanks for the warning!

Dani (Steg)

P.S. If tickets werent so bloody expensive we could actually afford to fly normally.