OK, everything went pretty smoothly today with our last minute packing, arranging for storage of vehicles, ensuring paperwork was in order, etc. Buddy staked out a spot on our luggage and coats and refused to move. He wanted to make sure we didn’t forget him.
Starting in the early afternoon, Thom kept bugging me to check in with the airline, which I didn’t think was necessary because we are arriving at the airport four hours early (because of the dogs and excess baggage), I thought we should just check in then and it would be a waste of time to check in now when we had so much to do. But, he persevered in his request so I finally said, fine, I’ll do it!
The first thing I noticed upon logging onto the travel agency website was that there was only a single reservation — for Thom. Further, the record locator said there was only one person in his party. There was nary a mention of his beloved.
So, I searched through all of my back emails and found the record of my booking with the travel agency locator and airline confirmation numbers. But, neither the locator nor the confirmation code worked. I then realized I never received an email with a confirmed reservation for me. I received Thom’s confirmation and assumed that because he was the primary reservation and university employee, that mine would be linked with his, as it had been in the past.
I searched further in my emails with the travel agent and found many emails references to “our” flights, about how to distribute our bags between the two of us, about how she checked things out for “you” (directed to me). Based on these emails it seemed she too assumed I was booked.
By this point I was cranky, I tell you. I had spent the day running to various shipping agencies (for my son), arranging for the wire of funds for a new pet import permit (because the Zambian government changed their import rules today and the old permit was no longer good), stopping at the Apple store to get my IPod to work, fighting greater L.A. traffic, and reminiscing how wonderful and easy life is in Michigan. (Example: here in CA if you turn on your blinker to change lanes, the car next to you speeds up to block your entry into a gap on the freeway, whereas in Michigan they slow down and wave you in. My testosterone levels are unnaturally high, I’m sure. I hope I don’t grow facial hair.)
So, with my heightened aggression levels, I shot off emails to the travel agent complaining I could not find my reservation and wondering if she had failed to book me. After an hour or two of bellyaching with Thom and my dad, it occurred to me that I could call their 24-hour hotline. Within five minutes they had found my reservation, and further, they called British Airways to seat Thom and I together and were very nice about it (the hotline staff are from Michigan).
My lesson? Utilize hotline numbers and all resources to get full information before jumping to conclusions that someone messed up. I need to write this 100 times in longhand! Feel free to remind me of this — all of you!