Wednesday, August 1, 2007

If This is Wednesday, It Can't Be Tuesday

What would a trip be without at least one more travel story?

I had a bit of an interesting experience flying home from Hawaii. First of all, let me just say that if Northwest Airlines wants to cancel one of my flights in the future, they should cancel the flight HOME from Hawaii at the end of my trip (is there anyone out there that wouldn't want to spend an extra day in Hawaii?), NOT the one on the way TO Hawaii.

My NWA flight back from Honolulu operated on time and was completely full. There were no empty seats, but there were also no extra passengers turned away due to overbooking. I got to see everyone from my vantage point in the very last row (row 47) of the 757-300 OW. We were wheels up around 9:15pm local time on the evening of Tuesday, July 31.

Upon arriving at Seatac Airport at 5:30am on Wednesday, August 1 (keep those dates straight...this is important) I made my way to the Alaska Air Boardroom to sit down and relax during my nearly 2-hour layover.

The NWA agent in Honolulu had been unable to give me a boarding pass for my Horizon Air flight back to Bellingham because the Honolulu/Seattle and Seattle/Bellingham legs had been purchased as separate tickets. So I asked the woman at the Boardroom counter if she could print one for me. After several minutes of typing away at her computer, she finally informed me that she could not find a reservation for me on this morning's Horizon Air flight. She called a second agent over to help, but she ended up just as puzzled as the first.

Then we finally all looked at the dates on the ticket. My travel agent had purchased a ticket from Honolulu to Seattle on July 31 AND a ticket from Seattle to Bellingham on July 31. Unfortunately, the flight from Honolulu didn't actually arrive in Seattle until August 1. So my flight from Seattle to Bellingham had been for yesterday.

I had to walk over to the Horizon Airlines service counter to talk with an agent there before I could finally get things straightened out. Luckily, the fare basis for my ticket was such that Horizon was able to make the change without charging me an additional fee. Of course, the printer at the Horizon Air service counter was broken, so I had to ask the woman back at the Alaska Airlines Boardroom to print my boarding pass when I got back there.

One final note. If you travel much at all, I encourage you to join the club room at your airline of choice. Yes, I know it costs several hundred dollars per year, but it's been well worth it. Had it not been for the wonderful woman at the Alaska Airlines Boardroom in Seattle, I never would have gotten to Hawaii on Friday night when my original NWA flight was cancelled. And there have been plenty of other times this year when the agents at the club room have handled all manner of travel problems with incredible efficiency. And even if you don't ever need them to go to bat for you, the club rooms are a haven of peace in the madness of the modern airport, not to mention the free food, newspapers, internet connection, and even a free bar at the Delta club rooms (which I get to use in most airports when there is no Alaska room). Anyway, just a thought.

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