Although, I had purchased my tickets to go to my goddaughter’s wedding back in December, it was still an adventure! If you remember, I have an aunt who had a stroke in April who lives in Houston. I thought, ‘since I’m already traveling in that direction, why not add in a trip to visit her’?
Luckily, I purchased insurance with my tickets and was able to make the changes. I simply needed to submit some paperwork signed by her doctor, which I still need to complete. Anyway, I did some research to see if I can find tickets that will get me where I want to go on the days I want to travel at the times in which I was interested. I had a scratch sheet of paper, wrote down all the options and then circled the ones that I would ultimately purchase.
So, now my itinerary went like this: On Friday, May 4, I would travel from El Paso to Houston, preferably in the morning so that I can have as much time in Houston as possible. Then I would leave Houston for Detroit on Saturday, May 5, again preferably in the morning so that I can attend the rehearsal–and have a ride from the airport since everyone else would be at the rehearsal also! I would attend the rehearsal, the dinner and then the next day is all the wedding festivities. On Monday, May 7, I would leave Detroit bound for El Paso, preferably later in the morning so that I could get some sleep from the night before.
When I told my mom about planning my visit to Houston, she suggested that she would take a bus from Austin and meet me there. Of course I was very excited!! My father couldn’t go because he was already committed to something else that Friday. The night before I was scheduled to leave, my mother calls to inform me that after a discussion, they decided to both travel to Houston together. I was very excited but couldn’t help but think of the rental car that I had reserved since I thought my mother would be traveling by bus.
Friday, my travels went without incident. My flight from El Paso left and arrived as scheduled with a very smooth ride through the sky. I love those kind of flights!! As soon as I arrive at the airport, I go to the rental car window and ask if there is a way to cancel my reservation and not be charged for that day. Luckily, I had only reserved it and not paid for it, so I was able to cancel it altogether!
About an hour after I arrive, my parents arrive to pick me up from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. We go to eat some lunch and then go to my aunt’s house to visit with her. We had a wonderful visit and was also able to visit with one of my cousins and meet her sons who were all visiting also.
There are two airports located in Houston. One in the south called Houston Hobby Airport and then the one up north, in which I landed that morning. Since my flight the next morning was going to be leaving at 0730, I wanted to go ahead and get a hotel room near that airport so that I wouldn’t have to wake up so early or have to travel far at 6 in the morning. We were able to find a vacancy at a LaQuinta Inn which was located about 1.5 miles from Houston Hobby Airport–perfect!!
Before dinner, I decided to check into my flight and print out my boarding passes in order to skip that step at the airport the next morning–anything to help things go smoother the next early morning. For some reason, my check-in was not going through because I had misplaced my confirmation number from a couple of weeks before when I changed my itinerary. My Daddy was kind enough to take me to the airport so that I could check in there in person. So, I’m trying to check in on their machines and it’s just not working.
So, I proceed to a ticket agent and give her my ID so that she can check me in personally. Nothing! She does not find my name on any of their early-morning flights to Detroit or anywhere else! After going through my email and the paper in my purse, I realize, I NEVER PURCHASED MY NEW TICKET!!! That’s right! I circled it and knew which flight I wanted to be on, but I never went back to purchase that ticket! So, she’s checking for available flights the next morning and of course, the one I needed was no longer available at the original price only 3x as expensive. She suggested that I get online and try to purchase a ticket at the less expensive, online prices.
I rushed back to the hotel and was not able to get a ticket on that flight. In fact, I was now having trouble finding a flight that would get me in Detroit before the rehearsal at 4 p.m. I get on Orbitz and continue my search. I found two! WHEW!! So, I pull out my credit card and purchase my ticket. I continue through all the links and instructions which led up to a confirmation being sent to my email.
I breathe a sigh of relief as I begin to read the email for confirmation. Great! Flight # blah, blah, blah leaving El Paso at 0730 and arriving in Detroit at 1310. Perfect! WAIT!! WHAT?!!! Did that say El Paso? Then I realize…I just bought a ticket from El Paso to Detroit and I was in HOUSTON!!! I screamed and panicked!! Now remember, this is already about 1930 and I was functioning on 2 1/2 hours of sleep from the night before! I knew that the exhaustion was getting the best of me!!
Quickly, I search the Orbitz site to find the Customer Support phone number. Great! I find it and get on the phone as soon as possible to try to get this fixed…i.e. to not get charged with this ticket that I obviously cannot use! The representative, though very difficult to understand, was very helpful. Since I had just purchased the ticket, he was able to cancel the transaction and the charge would not be placed on my account! Whew! That was so close.
So, back to the computer I went to still try to find a flight for the next day. Finally, I was able to find one. It left at 0700 and would get me to Detroit by 1311, plenty of time to freshen up before going to the rehearsal. The only drawback–it was leaving from the OTHER airport which was located about 30 miles north of us. So, that meant that we would have to be on the road at about 0520 in order to get me to the airport on time. Whew! Just thinking of that, made me more tired!!
Thankfully, once we got on the road, the traffic ran very smoothly and I was at the airport by 0555. I had received my boarding passes and through security by 0625. This gave me plenty of time to get to my gate and be ready to board without any problems at all. I was very glad also, that both flights were very smooth and I arrived in Detroit with plenty of time to spare before the rehearsal.