Friday, December 28, 2007

No Delays Today - Hooray!

Today was a travel day for us. We had to leave our family in Chicago to return to our home in Massachusetts. In hindsight, I have to say that it went much better than it could have. It went much better than it would have if we had left our flights as they were originally scheduled.

Today, Chicago got hit with a minor snowstorm: 3-7 inches of snow which mostly fell between 10 am and 5 pm. We were originally scheduled for the 12:20 pm American Airlines flight from O'Hare to Logan - which was looking more and more like a bad idea as Thursday was drawing to a close. I called the airline 12 hours before the 7:05 am flight (7:05 pm last night) and requested a Confirmed Flight Change. (Actually, first I asked if they would waive all fees since changing our reservation to an earlier flight would free up seats during the period when seats would be needed as a result of the inevitable flight cancellations. That didn't work.) Instead of paying the $100 per ticket change fee plus the difference between the fare we paid and the last minute fare, I requested a Confirmed Flight Change - which is only available within 12 hours of the flight you wish to take - and was able to change our reservation for $25 each.

Considering that we were traveling with our dog in the cabin with us and that we need to administer drugs to her to get her calm enough to travel with us, $50 was totally worth it. Our flight actually landed 16 minutes ahead of schedule. The rest of the flights from ORD to BOS on American Airlines had days like this by departure time:

8:35 Departed 36 minutes late. Arrived 50 minutes late.
10:05 CANCELED
12:20 (Our original flight) Departed 2 hours 13 minutes late. Arrived 2 hours 8 minutes late.
2:00 CANCELED
4:00 Departed 28 minutes late. Arrived 31 minutes late.
5:15 Departed 1 hour 55 minutes late. Arrived 1 hour 36 minutes late.

We were traveling on non-refundable Coach tickets and even though the terms specify a $100 change fee plus the change in fare, it is possible to work around those terms if you just call the airlines and ask. As an added bonus, the American Airlines agent that helped me change our reservations last night was able to snag us the last 2 upgrades to First Class available on the flight.

Our Christmas trip to Chicago started with a very easy trip through Logan to O'Hare and ended with a relatively easy trip back. Granted, the lines at O'Hare were unusually long this morning and the ticket agent had to personally escort us to the front of the security lines in order to make sure we would make our flight, but we're all home healthy and in tact. Really, in the end, that's all we really want. Hope you all have been enjoying the holiday season as well.

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