If you have read my previous blog posts, you know our honeymoon was perfect. However, the travel back and forth was not. For our transportation to and from Mexico, we flew on an airline we had never used before. We will never use them again.
I will refrain from using the airline’s name in this post because I want to be fair. My blog is not about bashing companies and discouraging potential customers. Furthermore, this particular post isn’t really about an airline but rather about the dilemma we faced. So at this point I am going to forget about all the other problems we faced flying with this particular airline and focus just on the big question.
We flew from Cancun to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This was to be our only layover as we just had to switch planes and then coast through the short flight to Myrtle Beach. We were to get home early Saturday evening. After a packed two weeks, I was going to have a night of restful sleep in my own bed and then a whole Sunday to relax and recharge before I was to return to work on Monday.
To make a long story short, there was a major communication meltdown with our particular airline at the Fort Lauderdale airport. The confusion on the part of the airline staff led to us narrowly missing our flight. It was disappointing news to us but we assumed this particular company would make things right or at least try to soften the blow a little bit.
The lady at the front desk and her manager both told us the only way we were getting back to Myrtle Beach without driving or walking was if we spent the night in Fort Lauderdale and left the next day…
…at 9 p.m. in the evening!!
We were given no hotel vouchers, no food money, no ground transportation, no alternative options, and absolutely no sympathy.
Sidney and I, both dejected, walked away from the line of angry travelers and sat up against a wall. After some thinking and a “Get Home Before Sunday At 10 p.m. Attitude,” my wife approached the airline desk again and made sure to talk to someone new. Sid told this representative that we would pretty much do anything to get home at a reasonable time.
With the word “anything” driving the staff member’s thought process, she went to work on her computer. After about ten minutes she did something that her co-workers could not; she found us, although not perfect by any means, a solution.
If we were up to it, we could criss-cross the northern United States (we were in Florida at the time) and fly back south to make it home by midday on Sunday. The route? We would go from Fort Lauderdale to Chicago to New York to Myrtle Beach. And we had to hurry up and make our decision because our flight from Florida to Illinois was leaving soon!
We weighed the pros and cons of each option. Neither of us were too keen on hanging out at the Fort Lauderdale Airport all night and all day Sunday. Thus, if we were going to stick around we would be renting a hotel room and finding something to do around town the next day (all at our expense). Going on the cross country tour of the eastern part of the United States would be taxing. Would it really be worth saving roughly $200 and five hours?
In the end we decided that it was! By the time we had made our decision we had to run to the gate to get on our plane to Chicago. When we arrived at O’Hare International Airport in the wee hours of the morning the place was empty. We went to the gate we would depart from in the next several hours and I found a place on the floor and Sid sprawled across a few chairs. Sweet dreams.
We woke up around 4:30 a.m. to the sound of airport activity. I got us some breakfast and we waited to board our 5:30 a.m. flight to New York. We flew into the JV airport of the city, La Guardia. After a long layover of twiddling our thumbs and trying to sleep, we finally boarded the plane that would take us home. When we touched down in Myrtle Beach, we were so happy to see the smiling faces of Sidney’s parents.
So what I want to ask is this: Would you have made the same decision we did? Or would you have shelled out a little bit of cash, enjoyed a good night’s sleep, and flowninto town late on Sunday? Sidney and I both look forward to your responses. Don’t Blink.