There are so many Christmassy lines that fit just now…
‘Twas the night before Christmas….
Oh the weather outside is frightful…
We need a little Christmas, right this very minute…
Let me set the stage.
Downtown Dad and I made a conscious decision to – like the Kranks, “skip Christmas” this year, since all three kids are otherwise occupied with significant others, or away at college. We’re flying out to sunny California to decorate a float that will be in the Rose Parade.
We had an early Christmas Eve dinner with friends. Reservations confirmed, made 6 weeks ago for a 6:00am departure on United from frozen Fargo, arriving on a bright balmy Christmas morning in LA. A bargain rental car to toodle around in. A night at the Pasadena Hilton for an elegant Christmas evening before moving into our AirBnB home for the week.
(That’s the sound of a record scratching)
Suddenly, at 7:30pm, 11 hours before we are supposed to take off, we get a “robocall” (not even a real person on the other end) from United Airlines saying our flight had been – not delayed – CANCELLED! But not to worry, they could rebook us TWO DAYS LATER! TWO DAYS?!?! WTF?!?!
Thus ensued a flurry of calls to Cheapo Air, Expedia, United, and the Pasadena Hilton to try to re-arrange the hopelessly toppling dominoes of our trip.
Cheapo Air came through right away with flying colors (pun intended) by getting us on a flight on American Airlines, on the same day, just much later. While this was a start, we soon realized that we wouldn’t be able to pick up our rental car, due to late arrival, and therefore would not be able to make our reservations at the Pasadena Hilton. Calls to Expedia gave us two options, cancel the great deal rental car and rebook for twice the price for one that would be available when we arrived, or cancel our hotel reservations, but to do that we’d have to call in the morning and speak to the manager, since that could only be done by special permission.
After an uneasy night’s sleep, we started what turned out to be 5 hours of circuitous phone calls, the details of which I’ll spare you, suffice to say that we never found anyone at the Pasadena Hilton that would or could authorize our cancellation, so we were out that money. We were able to notify the car rental agency to let them know we’d pick up the car the next morning. We ended up getting, and having to pay for, another hotel room walking distance from LAX.
Still cranky at United, for their short notice notification, I took my beef to Twitter, letting them know what a fiasco they’d caused us. I actually got a reply back with a link to their Customer Service Team’s email complaint form. Not sure what good will come of it, but I filled it out. I also gave a parting shot Tweet back to United saying I wasn’t going to hold my breath for a reply.
So, here we sit, still in the snow, at home when we should have been sipping a cold beverage in LA 5 hours ago, finally about to leave for our rebooked flight.
I knew that that this would be an adventure…..