Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quick Update with Long Story About the Last 12 Hours

I know I haven't posted about my life in the last week. Frankly, I haven't had much going on. Work's been fine. Had a nice meeting with the CFO yesterday where we talked about how work is going for me. Just informal, nothing bad at all.

I've been busy as can be writing reviews these last few days. I've posted 13 at Amazon in the last week. That's what happens when the entertainment companies decide to release three movies you saw in the theater and your two favorite shows from last year on DVD all on the same Tuesday.

Plus I've been trying to get everything reviewed I wanted to review before I leave on vacation. That's right, I'm going out of town again for the long in the works Disney World Trip with one of my Trixie Belden message boards. I am so excited (again) that I can't wait. I'm going to be there for an entire week. I'm not sure that will be long enough to truly see and do everything, but I'm going to give it my all.

But this does bring me to the story about the last 12 hours. Last night before I went to bed, I foolishly decided to check e-mail. I had one from United, who I am flying to Orlando, reminding me about my flight and offering me a chance to check in early. (I have never figured out why they let you "check in" from your computer. But that's another post.) I looked at the flight and discovered that I wasn't heading to Orlando but Washington DC. Um....

I quickly found and called their 800 number. The guy I got told me that my flight had been changed back in July because they discontinued the original flight. They tried to call me, but the phone number was disconnected. That's true, since I got rid of my house phone when I got my cell phone. But they never did e-mail me. And it looked like they were stranding me in a new location. Finding all this out the night before I was supposed to leave didn't make me happy. I eventually got them to change me to a flight leaving Sunday morning and getting in around dinner time. Not happy, I figured I'd take it.

But I started poking around on their site and discovered that they did indeed offer connecting overnight flights. So I called back to try to get on one of those. The guy I talked to this time wasn't helpful in the slightest. He'd change me, but only if I paid a fee plus the difference in the fare. Yeah, right! After half an hour, I hung up.

About this time, I looked back at the original e-mail that started it all and discovered that I there was a small link I had missed to view the entire itenorary. Um, oops. I clicked on it and found out that sure enough, I originally had a connection flight to Orlando. I now felt very stupid. I mean, really, would they strand a customer somewhere. Of course not. But I wasn't thinking clearly when I got that first e-mail. By this time it was after midnight. I was going to call back and explain the situation in the morning, but that lasted for less then five minutes. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep, so I called back. Got a woman this time who spent half an hour with me on hold trying to get permission to change me back. She did, and I went to bed happy.

But then I got up this morning and checked my e-mail. For some reason, they sent me a second confirmation. That's when I realized that I was on a flight Sunday night, not Saturday night. Once again, I called back. This time, it took about five minutes. I explained the situation, and the woman was willing to change me back to tonight with not questions, no hold time, and no extra fee.

So, after four phone calls, I am back on the flights they switched me to in July. I am leaving about half an hour later than originally planned. Thanks to the connection, I get in 5 hours later. I'm bummed about that, but at least I will get in before noon on Sunday.

And you'd better believe me when I say I have checked the newest e-mail confirmation multiple times to make sure the dates are right. They haven't changed on me yet!

Of course, the moral of the story is to read e-mails carefully and don't loose your temper too quickly. I wonder if I would have gotten the info I needed with those first calls if I had been calmer.

I am going to work on my Fall into Reading post today and have it go live on Monday, so look for that. But that will be all from me until after I get back on the 28th. See you late this month.

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