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So ever since I earned the Southwest Companion pass earlier this year, we have been doing more traveling on Southwest. After all, it’s hard to beat flying buy one get one free!!!
For a recent trip, I was trying to head to ATL. Before they merged with Southwest, AirTran used to fly DAY-ATL with quite a bit of regularlity. But since they merged, now there are only 3 flights, and they all connect in BWI.
Since I was more interested in a direct flight, we decided to fly out of CMH (Columbus). It’s about 90-100 minutes away, so not a terrible drive (especially considering its 30 minutes to the Cincinnati airport since it’s actually across the river in Kentucky.
We got things all squared away – our babysitter arrived at 2:30 pm, leaving us plenty of time to make a 6:55pm flight out of CMH.
Right before we left, we got the dreaded message….
Luckily we got that before we left…. Scrambling for options, I thought I would call Southwest.
Southwest Customer Service Call #1
I called the toll-free number and got to a customer service agent. I explained the problem, and he looked into some options. He tried to put me on a flight leaving at 7:35 that connected through MDW. Since that didn’t get into ATL until 12:35 I declined.
Meanwhile I was being proactive in trying to find alternatives. I found a flight leaving IND-ATL at 6:40 that I thought we could still make so I asked about that one. He said that because that was an AirTran flight, they couldn’t “see” those flights and they couldn’t put me on it.
On the road again…
Since it was just the 2 of us, we decided to just head up to Columbus. I got in touch with an old friend of mine that lives there and we made some tentative plans to hang out.
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We were actually supposed to meet my sister at the airport and give her a ride down to the town where the wedding was (about an hour south). She was already in-flight so I sent her a text letting her know that we would be quite delayed.
I also called my dad and let him know what was going on. The reason we were heading to ATL in the first place is for a family wedding so I wanted to keep him up to date and also see if he could pick up my sister so she wasn’t waiting in the airport for 5 hours for us 🙂
Southwest call #2
While we were heading up I-71, I thought I’d follow the old mantra of when in doubt, HUCA (Hang Up Call Again) and call Southwest again and see if I got anyone better.
I talked to a lady and when I told her about the Indianapolis option, she at first kept telling me that there was nothing she could do because IND and CMH are not coterminals.
I felt like yelling through the phone I KNOW THAT INDIANAPOLIS AND COLUMBUS ARE NOT THE SAME CITY!!!!!!!!!
Eventually she said that she could do it, but I’d have to pay the difference in fares, which ended up being like 5000 points. I thought that was probably doable, but then she talked to a supervisor who agreed to waive it in exchange for the delay.
She transferred me to reservations so I got off the highway in case I needed to stop and make a left turn to Indianapolis. They got me on a good flight going and then he asked if I needed to change the return flight to IND as well…. uh…. yes, I will need to go to the same place where my car is… 🙂
And unfortunately the only flight they could give me on Sunday wouldn’t get in to Indy until almost 10pm and that just wasn’t going to work. The earlier flights weren’t available.
I might have been able to push for something but I was also a little nervous about switching things up that close to the flight. Really didn’t want to get to IND only to have them say “Ooooh suerie sir, your flight is supposed to be out of COLUMBUS… Columbus sir”
So we just kept on trucking to Columbus
At least we didn’t have the kids
On the way up, we talked about how a 4 hour flight when traveling with kids would have been catastrophic. But since it was just the two of us, it was almost like an extra date.
Someone else was watching the kids, and Carolyn and I were just hanging out. We got up to Columbus and hung out with my friend and his wife and had a pleasant evening
When will we take off… nobody knows…
While at my friend’s house, we got 2 more alerts. First it was 11:00 p.m. Then 10:45.. Then we got to the airport and the agent told us it might be closer to 10:15.
We did each get $100 vouchers so I guess that’s better than a kick in the pants. It was at that point I was kind of wishing all the kids were there as EIGHT of those $100 vouchers would be nice 🙂
Let me tell you how dead the security lane at 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night… (dead)
They actually had to have the (lone) worker come out and open up the gates for us and check our bags.
What’s your worst flight delay story?
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