Friday, March 23, 2012

Travesties of Traveling

I like to think I'm a pretty good traveler. Someone else must believe me, too, because I've been writing travel articles for online magazine Twenties Hacker for a few months now. I took at least one flight a month in 2011, & I appear to be on track to surpass that record in 2012. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time away from home, & I've become fairly adept at doing it.

That's what made today's travel experience all the more embarrassing.

I've been away for a week now, first at a wedding at Phoenix & then working from my office in D.C. (both of which deserve individual attention by way of their own posts). I was scheduled to return home today on a 1:30pm US Airways flight back to Boston, but when I tried to check in for my flight online, I hit a snag: "You have no scheduled flights today," read the computer display. Indeed, when I pulled up my itinerary, this horror was confirmed: I'd booked a ticket for the wrong day. A day exactly two weeks into the future, at 1:30pm on Friday, April 6th.

Commence panic. But what could I do? Couch-surf until the 6th? Riiight. It would've cost me $25 more to change my existing ticket than to just purchase a new one, so... I purchased a new one, for 2:30pm today, & conceded to swallowing the cost of the April 6th ticket. $125 down the proverbial drain. Not like I needed that.

At 1:15, I hopped a cab to the airport & headed to a US Airways kiosk to check in. "You've missed your flight's check-in period," read the computer display. Indeed, when I pulled up my itinerary, this horror was confirmed: I'd booked myself for the 1:30 flight, after all, & the clock read 1:36.

In short: WHO AM I & WHAT SORT OF IDIOT DOES ALL OF THIS?

Luckily, there are flights from D.C. to Boston every hour, & the 2:30 flight had room for me - with a window seat, no less. I wrote this post from thousands of feet above ground ground, no one seated next to me, sipping a Diet Coke & vodka in blissful silence.

And yet, no airline cocktail can drown out the shame of today's travel travails & my apparent inability to make the correct plans. It appears as though I may have actually lost my mind. Flight attendant, another drink to seat 4A, please...

(Please note that upon landing, I missed my bus back to Portsmouth. Third time's not the charm.)

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