A Costly Error

A couple months back I booked a ticket to Florida for Thursday, February 23 at 1:00am. Yes, I had it all figured out. I'd hop on that Thursday night red-eye and arrive in Florida Friday morning. I would be met there by the grandest of all paternal grandparents, who would be nervous and concerned that I didn't bring a jacket, and then my grandmother would tell me to go to law school. It was a perfect plan.

Except, of course, that Thursday at 1:00am is on Wednesday night, not Thursday night. So it was two days ago that I received my confirmation email from Cheaptickets.com (the Charles Barkley to Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity's Jordan, Magic and Bird). I glanced over it to see my exact departure time, and I noticed that it had me arriving on Thursday morning, not Friday morning. An understandable, yet undeniably idiotic misstep on my part.

"No problem!" I thought. I'll just call Cheaptickets.com, and they'll move me to 24 hours later. After enduring 45 minutes of Pachelbel's Canon interspersed with Cheaptickets promotions, a young woman picked up. It went something like this:

Young Woman: Thank you for calling Cheaptickets.com, the Charles Barkley of internet travel agencies.
Me: Hi. So I did something dumb. I--
Young Woman: Sir I'll just need your phone number.
Me: [wondering why they always want my phone number] 310 587 0796
Young Woman: And I'll need your Cheaptickets record locator.
Young Woman: G as in giraffe, is that right?
Me: Um, no. D as in duck.
Young Woman: So that's DHD8BTT
Me: No! It's--

And with the phone clutched tightly between my ear and shoulder, I accidentally hung up. If someone was nearby my apartment at that moment they would have assumed I was watching Aladdin and that they had heard Jafar's reaction when he realized that Abu had stolen the lamp. Yes, the two reactions were basically identical. Something like, "NNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!". I even pointed my face up to the sky and extended my arms in anguish, just like Jafar. There hasn't been a noise that loud coming from my apartment since my computer froze after I had spent 8 hours inputting notes into a 60 page composition that was being performed the next day and I lost all but the first 4 pages.

After 5 minutes of meditation, I called back. After 45 fresh minutes of the Pachelbel-Cheaptickets.com collaboration, a young woman picked up:

Young Woman: Thank you for calling--
Me: 310 587 0796
Young Woman: Uh...right...and I'll need--
Me: Duck-Hat-Cat-Eight-Bubble-TickTack.
Young Woman: Okay...and what's the problem today?

I went on to explain the problem, and she cheerfully offered to switch me to a later flight-- for $1,100. After my inevitably rude reaction, she suggested that I try flying standby.

So tonight I did. And I'd prefer not to detail the hideous 3 hour fiasco that took place at the airport. Let's just say that a) I certainly didn't make any friends there, and b) I'm still in LA.

Sometimes, you get the bear. And sometimes, you watch TiVo'd figure skating.


Anonymous said...

You mean to say you missed out on fried lox wings this morning!!!!

Anonymous said...

I swear, I love you!

Momcani said...

I have to say I love you, too. I can totally get the visual with your Abu and Jafar description. For I have watch that movie at least 1,000,006 times. I have small children, so it is the law. Over and over and over again. As soon as it rewinds. Forgive me if I call you a street rat!