Now this is the story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I completely fucked up booking routine airfare
I’m going to Orlando in March for a work event. I’ve never been to Florida, so I’m pretty stoked for a new adventure with alligators and crocodiles and David Caruso dramatically taking off sunglasses. Plus, I get to meet all my co-workers for the first time, so that won’t be stressful at all.
I was left in charge of booking my own flight to Florida because Canadian and passports and all sorts of complications. No problem, I literally book flights in my sleep – this will be simple. Fly in, go to a Waffle House, fly out. Simple!
Naturally, I had to go and make it extra complicated. I made several mistakes, a dozen or so wildly incorrect assumptions, a little of bit of hubris for good measure, and BAM I am stuck with a ticket that cost double what it should have and a whole lot of idiot guilt.
- Find a flight that’ll work
- Get approval
- Wait two days to book the flight
- Press buttons while asleep
- Congratulations, you’re booked! oh and by the way the price went way up and it’s non refundable lol
- Also realize that my flight gives me 46 minutes to make my connection in Minneapolis
- Call Expedia to sort this out
- End up paying an additional $165 to increase my layover to 4 hours
- Be annoyed
- Sheepishly share flight info with team
- Bosses freak out at how expensive I am
- Feel terrible for being expensive
- Start looking for ways to resolve this
- Post to Facebook and get super helpful advice from people
- Start researching
- Realize I called Expedia 23 hours and 45 minutes from the time I booked my flight, so I should have been entitled to a refund on a 24-hour cancellation policy
- Find two other important pieces of information saying a) Delta gives you until midnight the following day to get a full refund, regardless of where you purchased the ticket and b) the minimum connection time for an international flight into MSP is 1 hour, meaning I shouldn’t have been able to book a flight with a 46-minute connection time, meaning Expedia screwed up and definitely shouldn’t have charged me $165 to change the flight
- Feel all Sherlock
- Get my hair did
- Submit a refund request directly with Delta
- Call Expedia to be all “wtf dudes”
- Get schooled:
- Expedia’s flight cancellation policy is good until 11:30pm of the day you purchase your ticket, not 24 hours as is often assumed
- Delta no longer honours the 24+ hour cancellation policy if you purchase the ticket from anywhere except Delta directly
- I don’t go through customs in MSP, I go through in Vancouver – meaning the 46 minute connection time is perfectly valid, since it’s over the 40-minute MCT for that particular airport. This was a complete surprise to me, because my only frame of reference is the dozens of flights I’ve taken to and from Europe in the last five years – you ALWAYS go through customs when you land, so I assumed it was the same for the US. I haven’t flown into the US on purpose since .. 2007? It’s been a while.
- I have two options: take the flight as is and enjoy the fine taste of the extra $165 I didn’t need to pay after all
- Cancel the flight in exchange for a voucher that:
- Can only be used by me
- Must be used within 1 year
- Is only good on Delta
- I thought I could live with the latter option: I’d just rebook my flight to a more expense-report-friendly flight, and stash the rest to use later!
- Hahahahaha no
- If you use the voucher for a flight that is less than the amount of the voucher, you forfeit the remaining balance
- AND Delta will charge you an extra $200 because using the voucher counts as a flight change
- In theory, I could make that work .. but I have no idea where I’d go via Delta for that much money, and in the meantime I’d be out the original cost of the flight + the cost of the replacement flight. Either option means I’m losing a ton of money because of my fuck up.
So, this sucks. I feel terrible about it for multiple reasons: that I’m gonna get fired because I’m clearly super bad at Florida and/or at the very least get in trouble and people will be stern at me; because it was such a colossally stupid situation to get myself in; because I pride myself on the details and I fucked them up so laughably badly that I’m kicking myself with pointy boots; because it’s going to cost a ton of money that I didn’t need to spend; etc etc etc. Last night was a bad night. There were tears of frustration and quasi-illogical worry. I AM SAD.
On the plus side, my hair is hella cute.