Monday, July 8, 2013

The Best Laid Plans

Canyon Road, Santa Fe

I'm back! Actually, I'm back early from Santa Fe. Our trip did not go according to plan (haaaaaaa!!!! surprise surprise). Here is a quick run-down of our aborted vacation week.

Travel Day #1: Wake up at 5 am to get to Boston airport. Should arrive in Santa Fe by noon-ish so we have time to hang out and enjoy our first day of vacation. Get to Denver, CO and sprint through the airport to make our connection. Notice that our flight to Santa Fe is nowhere on the departures board. Get a bit nervous. Arrive at the GREAT LAKES AIRLINES ticket counter and discover that the flight does not exist. No, it wasn't "cancelled" it was just removed from existence. Panting, sweating from exertion, my family stood at the counter and said "Um, maybe you should have told us that BEFORE TODAY." Ticket dude: Looks at us blankly and offers NOT ONE WORD OF APOLOGY OR HELP. Hubby gets angry. Smoke starts pouring out of his ears and he looks like he is about to lean across the counter and teach ticket dude a lesson.

Hubby At Ticket Counter

I calmly push hubby back and say "We paid for a ticket from your airline which no longer exists. What now?" He says "We have a flight tomorrow." Not only does counter dude not apologize for our inconvenience, he actually gets rude to us as we try to figure out alternative travel plans. Did I mention this horrible airline was...

GREAT LAKES AIRLINE...horrible, rude, awful service, incredible inconvenience. Highly NOT recommended. HIGHLY!

We realize that there is another flight to Santa Fe from United, which was RIGHT NEXT TO OUR OLD GATE--that leaves in 15 minutes. Which involves another sprint back through the airport to our old location. (You can stop laughing now). We get there and find out (surprise surprise) they do not have four available seats. But they do have another flight to Santa Fe that leaves eight hours later. An incredibly kind, wonderful and understanding customer service person from UNITED got us meal vouchers, boarding passes with seats together, and was super friendly and awesome.

So, we hung out for EIGHT hours in the Denver, CO airport, finally made a connection, drove to our hotel and arrived close to midnight.

But the story is not over yet.

Exhausted, rumpled, and irked that we lost one day of vacation, I drag myself up to the check-in counter at the hotel. I had booked a 2-bedroom suite months and months in advance.

Me: Hi! I booked a 2-BR suite.

Hotel Lady: Oh, we did renovations and that suite does not exist anymore.

Me: Haaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! (hysterical laughter) That's a good one. Here is my confirmation email I just received THIS WEEK confirming my 2-BR suite (hand hotel lady a copy of my email).

Hotel Lady: (sadly shakes her head) I'm so sorry my manager did not contact you and let you know that suite no longer exists. We did renovations and it's gone.

Me: (babbling incoherently, voice cracking, eyes tearing up)....But, but, you JUST SENT ME THAT EMAIL! THIS WEEK!

[An aside: What the hell is up with the whole NO LONGER EXISTS thing? NO LONGER EXISTS? The plane? The hotel room? Is there a rip in the time-space continuum?]

Me Talking With Hotel Lady

Hubby: Pushes me aside and says "Let me deal with this." (It's important to note that when hubby is freaking out, I am calm, and vice versa.)

Hotel Lady: Since we no longer have a 2-BR suite, you can have these 2 rooms right next door to each other. They are NOT adjoining rooms, but they're right next door.

Now. Let me just say this. Let's suppose that my kids were 3 and 5 years old. The hotel didn't know how old they were. Would that be okay? To put my kids in a SEPARATE ROOM, NOT ADJOINING, BY THEMSELVES, IN A HOTEL? The answer is no, it would not. However, my kids are 10 and 15, so at that point I really had no choice but to agree to these new accommodations.

Hubby convinces me to calm down and that everything will be okay. We go up to our hotel room and discover that the two rooms actually ARE ADJOINING. Why hotel lady did not realize this, I have no idea. I was very relieved.

After hiding the mini-bar candies from my daughter, I passed out and slept like a log.


Happy to be home,


Darlene Marshall said...

Oh dear. While I often have to rein in my husband the attorney, it's times like this when my sons would say, "Release the kraken!" and I'd let hubby go all litigious upside their corporate heads.

Did the hotel at least comp you something for the difficulties? Is it part of a major chain or an independent?

Regardless, glad you made it, hope your vacation is awesome from this point on.

Sophia (FV) said...

Oh Penny. I hope the rest of your vacay got a little better. :)

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Oh my gosh. You might have stumbled upon a crack in the space-time continuum.

Tales of Whimsy said...



Penny Watson said...

Hi Darlene! The hotel is not a chain, and they comped us for the 2nd room. Nevertheless, a heads-up BEFORE we arrived would have been nice, particularly since our kids were in the 2nd room.

Actually, the vacation gets worse...stay tuned...hee hee!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Sophia! I didn't even get into the hilarious mini Santa Fe airport. They threw ONE BAG AT A TIME onto a table. I am not kidding! That's how they unloaded the bags from the airplane! OMG!!!!!!!

Penny Watson said...

HMCW--Yes, it was a crack in the space-time continuum. Just like that Stephen King book! I kept thinking about that the entire day!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Juju! At least it makes for a good story now. Sigh.

Heidenkind said...

lmao OH SANTA FE...

Jessi said...

Whoo boy. Glad you are home and reflecting on this craziness with a nice blend of disbelief and humor.

Geekamicus said...

OMG, I just read Great Lakes' reviews on Yelp. They got two stars out of five, but I think they round up. Apparently you're not the only ones who have been abandoned and ignored by them. I'm glad you found an airline to fix you up.

pamela1740 said...

Are you KIDDING? At least now you are home where things still exist properly!

Penny Watson said...


Penny Watson said...

Hi Jessi...not so funny at the time, makes for a good story later.

Penny Watson said...

Geek...Obviously I should have read those reviews BEFORE I booked that trip.

Penny Watson said...

Pamela...the rip in the time-space continuum appears to be repaired.

Julia Barrett said...

Ah, so the hotel lady didn't realize the adjoining door DID exist. She must have stepped from the alternate reality where planes and 2-bedroom suites simply disappear without explanation. OMG! I can't believe it!

Penny Watson said...

Heeeeee...Hi Julia! I got the feeling that the hotel had just been totally renovated and they had no clue what was going on. Just my luck!