If the BoardingArea BAcon conference hadn’t been so very worthwhile, I would say that this is my worst trip in years. And that is saying a lot, since I travel some or all of 48 weeks each year. Thankfully, the BoardingArea conference will be a highlight that will long overshadow these travel challenges.
As I think about today’s events (so far), I see several key decision points that might have changed how this day progresses:
Fork #1 in the road: My day started with a 3:30am wakeup call, after all of four hours of sleep. Staying in bed was a very enticing option, though making in to a client’s office in Norway by tomorrow morning isn’t something that happens with the twinkle of a nose. So up I got and made my way to the airport.
Fork #2 in the road: I shared the ride to the airport with Morgan from Delta Air Lines. He got dropped off first and I really wanted to take my million-miler Hartmann bag (compliments of Delta) and stick with Morgan. But alas, today’s ticket is on United and SAS so we say goodbye.
Fork #3 in the road: I am not able to check in a kiosk. Bad sign. The check-in agent can see my ticket but cannot get me a boarding pass. She makes a phone call to the United office, hangs up and says all is good. Due to elapsing time, she wants to get my bag to the plane so off it rolls on the conveyor belt. Fortunately, I snapped a photo of the bag before it left my sight. It is now on its way to Norway via Washington Dulles and Copenhagen on United and SAS.
In hindsight, this was not the thing to do! It turns out that the agent still could not get my boarding pass so she gets back on the phone with United. Apparently when my outbound ticket was changed the other day due to the Wideroe strike in Norway (My 39-Hour Adventure of Planes, Trains and ???), the SAS agent who changed my ticket (at least according to the agent at United) miscoded something which in essence resulted in me not having a ticket to get to Norway today.
The check-in agent said that they could not reach Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) yet because they weren’t yet open on this Sunday morning. I asked her to call their Denmark number since it was 2:00pm in Denmark but she said she could not dial an international number from her phone. Jeez!
I call my client’s corporate travel department and they also cannot reach SAS. The only option to get me to Norway by morning is to book a new one-way ticket — or, of course, wait until SAS decides to answer their phone. I went with option 1 to get a new ticket. My original ticket is a paid business class fare, so this one-way is going to cost a fortune! But the travel department assured me that they’ll get a refund from SAS once they reach them. (Hmmm, I detect a long drawn-out affair in trying to get this fare refunded.) Anyway, I have a ticket now. Colorado Springs to Chicago on United, then a switch to KLM for the international flights.
But what will happen to my bag once it is aboard the flight to Copenhagen and they discover that I am not??
And how will the airline and TSA react to me booking a one-way international ticket with no luggage? This should be interesting. They will find my laptop bag to have no liquids and no knives – though the electronic pedometer arm band I wear may get a glance or two. Any interrogation here I’ll survive. I just hope my luggage successfully gets to Norway.
Fork #4: Hard to say what this will be as of yet. My bag has a totally different itinerary than I do – and I’m out over $5000 for today’s last minute one-way business class ticket (hopefully just for a day or two).
I should have just stayed in bed.
What a difference a fork makes!