Monday, July 11, 2011

Adventures in traveling.

Last weekend my wife and I visited our children who are at sleep away music camp in Maine. Rather than do the 8 hour drive up and 8 hour drive back, we decided to fly. Delta flies from NY to Bangor, we'd have to rent a car to get to the camp (about an hour away from Bangor), and we were scheduled to fly back on a flight leaving Bangor at 6AM on Monday. This would put us back in NY at about 730AM Monday morning. At least that was the plan.

There are parts of Maine that have a lot of nothing. If fact, I think there are more parts of nothing than of not nothing. This camp was on the edge of nothing. The downside, based on your perspective, of this was the lack of cell phone service. We learned the downside on this trip.

On Sunday, after leaving our kids who seem to be having a good time, we returned to civilization, at least what passes for civilization in the state of Maine. At this point in time my wife's iPhone started buzzing. She said that we had urgent messages from Delta regarding our flight but she couldn't download what the message actually was. While we were in the sliver of cell phone coverage, we pulled over to the side of the road and found out our flight was cancelled. Delta rebooked us on a flight leaving Monday night.

That wouldn't work for us so we worked the phones. I found that the flight was cancelled due to weather. I asked if it was odd that weather was cancelling the flight A DAY IN ADVANCE (I found out why later). We were contemplating either driving home in the rental car and kept trying to see what was available from other airports. We were finally able to get booked out of Portland, Maine (it took a few false starts to get them to realize that Portland, Maine is not Portland, Oregon) but we had to drive about 90 minutes from where we were to get to the Portland, Maine that is. Returning the rental car at a different airport seems was able to be a nonevent but when we returned it no one was there anyway.

Our plan in Bangor was to stay at the airport hotel the night before our flight. We tried to move the hotel reservation from Bangor to Portland without success. Delta said that because the flight was cancelled due to weather they had no obligation to help us with our nonrefundable hotel room (the a-ha moment of the cancellation reason). We walked into a hotel near the Portland Jetport and took the rebooked flight home without incident.

Now I have to spend a bunch of time trying to get refunds. Confidence is low but I have to give it a shot. Wish me luck.


Teamarcia said...

Oy. Good luck with the refunds.
Glad the kids are enjoying camp. My cell service was very spotty while in Maine as well. Beautiful part of the country though!

Carolina John said...

I think airlines may only be here to screw us over. They used to make things easier, but not anymore. Stupid terrorists.

Pahla said...

Yikes! Glad you made it home safe and sound. Good luck with the refunds!

Unknown said...

blah. :-(

Patrick Mahoney said...

Is the word "obligated" yours or theirs? Nothing like using a formal 4 syllable word in a customer service conversation for the seller to let the buyer know they don't give a crap.

Kate Geisen said...

Wow, that's obnoxious. Good luck getting refunds.

I spent part of last week with my brother in Wisconsin. Gorgeous area, very little cell service. I didn't have any issues like you guys did, but it definitely showed me how much I'm used to just being able to make a call or access the internet whenever.

Sue Sitki said...

I had one bad experience with Delta and since then, I will go out of my way not to use that airline!

That sucks! Hope you get some retribution.

Caratunk Girl said...

Ha well good thing you didn't come up here, you were in the more highly populated part of the state! :)

That sucks about Delta. What weather event anyway? I hope you can get the refund.

Phone coverage is sucky in most parts of Maine unless you have US Cellular. Than it definitely improves to mediocre.

Did you at least get a Whoopie Pie?

MissFit Island said...

What was the weather event? I flew from Cleveland to Indianapolis on Monday. It was beautiful in both areas but my flight was delayed about 2 hours due to weather. Never figured out why.