Yes, longest post title ever.
For memorial weekend, David & I didn’t do too much. Just some more hanging out, cleaning & working on our house, and having time to really re-focus our lives on the Lord. On Saturday, we also met with a couple from our Church. Our Pastor started this ‘food & fellowship’ event, were family’s signed up and got assigned to another random family to meet up & get to know each other better. And seeing as we’ve only been going to this Church about 8 months, and were eager to get to know other brothers & sisters in the Church even better, we signed up! We got assigned to Neal & Joan, the couple that had been attending our Church the longest – over 20 years. It only took us about a month & a half to finally arrange a date & time to have dinner together when it worked for both of us! But finally last Saturday, it happened…
We went over to their house, and had dinner with them & their grandson. It was so good getting to know Neal & Joan, and they had some great wisdom to pass on to us. We exchanged lots of stories over Joan’s delicious meal she cooked – they told us how just a few years ago they slept overnight in an airport, because the flight they were on standby for was overbooked, and they wouldn’t put them on standby for the next flight the next morning, until 2 hours before the flight. While they could have headed to a hotel, they would have paid around $100 for not even three hours of sleep; so they just stayed in the airport as it wasn’t worth the hassle and money. This story reminded David & I of our honeymoon flights story…which is a pretty crazy, ridiculous story! You might want to sit down & grab some snacks for this one ;)
Okay, here it is, from the beginning: David & I got married Sept 5, 2010 in Winnipeg, Canada, where all my family lives. For those who don’t know where Winnipeg is, it’s in Manitoba, the province west of Ontario, and North of the Dakota’s. Months before, we had booked our flights with a family friend travel agent for Sept 9th headed from Winnipeg to Acapulco, Mexico for eight days. That Sept 9th morning, we headed out and checked in just fine for our first flight from Winnipeg to Chicago, and they didn’t say anything! The only odd thing I noticed was that we only got one boarding pass, for the flight to Chicago, and they didn’t give us the ones for the flights from Chicago to Mexico City, and Mexico City to Acapulco. I remember walking away from the check-in counter and commenting to David about that, but not really thinking a big deal about it, and not bothering to go back & ask why.
That first flight went fine, we arrived at the large Chicago airport, and changed terminals to get to the Mexicana desk. Well, when we got there…it was desserted. Which was bizarre. The door behind the check-in desk was open so we called out, and this guy came out. We held up our printed email confirmation like it was our lifeline (it was), and asked about checking in. He was like ‘…oh‘ and went on to explain that Mexicana had gone bankrupt and out of business…TWO WEEKS EARLIER! Their planes were grounded & they no longer did flights. Our reaction? “Crap.” Disbelief. Some anger at the Winnipeg airport for sending us off to Chicago, knowing this. Surprise. Uh-oh. “What the heck do we do now?”
Thankfully, our flights were all booked through another airline, so they were still responsible to get us to our destination. So they guy sent us off to the United desk, and back on the terminal-changing train we headed. United told us it was actually Air Canada that was responsible, which required another terminal change, and was about when we started disliking the terminal-changing train (keep in mind we had to pick up our luggage when we arrived in Chicago, and so were riding the trains dragging 3 big suitcases plus carry-ons!). At Air Canada, a little frustrated, we waited in line to explain our story. After much time explaining it was their problem since we’d booked through them, the lady finally agreed to help us get to Mexico…but she wanted us to fly back to Winnipeg that day, and start over again in 2 days, flying into Chicago then on to Mexico City & Acapulco!! Uhmm…NO! I had quickly peeked at the flight departures before, and seen that there was a flight leaving in just over an hour to Mexico City on Aeromexico. While her computer said it was already booked, we called our travel agent friend and got her to book us seats on the flight, and after much wrestling, got seats on this flight as well as another flight to Acapulco that arrived there at 1AM that night. The lady told us as well that the flights back were taken care of and changed. She actually hand-wrote out us tickets, so we were kind of worried about actually being able to get on the planes…but it worked! After all this craziness, we did get into Acapulco that night!
But the flights back…
Well, the night before flying home, on the 16th of September, we tried checking in online to our flights, which we couldn’t find. So we called the Air Canada headquarters in Mexico, which told us that our flights back from Acapulco to Ft Lauderdale had been cancelled…due to the fact that we never showed up for our supposed starting-over flights from Winnipeg to Acapulco 2 days later on the 11th of September…so apparently we’d never gone to Mexico and they had cancelled out flights home! And they wanted to charge us over a thousand dollars each to put our flights back…when on expedia we could book flights for $350 each! In order to clear this mess up with someone higher in the Air Canada team, we had to call the American headquarters. Which, according to our hotel phone-dialing info, to call from our hotel in Acapulco to any American line, cost 100 pesos a minute. Which translates to…a *cheap* $9 per minute!! And who, when calling airlines, doesn’t get the 30-minute typical ‘hold’ music before getting to talk to someone? No thanks to paying $9 a minute to listen to Greensleeves. David was about ready to just buy our own tickets on expedia and try to get re-imbursed when we got home (doubtful!), when I suggested calling our travel agent friend. It was worth the $27 to explain the situation as quickly as we could (in under 3 minutes!) so she could try taking care of it for us, from American soil. An hour later (having given her the like 19-digit phone number, just hoping she’d be able to get in contact with us back), we got a phone call that it was all taken care of, and our new flight information. What a blessing!! We arrived safely home the next day :)
All this story to say…now looking back on it almost 9 months later, we laugh. We almost look fondly back on this crazy ridiculous story that we now have of our honeymoon flights. We like to think it’s pretty hard to beat our airplane flights story when people start telling their bad flying experiences. ;)
Neal & Joan, with their wisdom, told us that these were some of the times we’d remember, look back on & be glad for one day. I can’t remember their exact words they said, just that general idea. Just thinking otherwise…if things hadn’t gone awry, we would’ve had a normal loooong day of flights, that we wouldn’t really have ever thought twice of, again. Though at the moment situations can feel frustrating (and even near panicky! We didn’t want to fly back to Winnipeg, what a waste of a day!), and at that time we may not be glad for them…later on in life, we just might look back on them and smile!! :)
And because a blog post is always better with a photo…here is one of Carly, a sweet sweet girl that goes to our Church & I love getting hugs from every Sunday :)
Have you ever had a similar experience you’re now glad for?