Monday, November 16, 2009

I hate flying

It's not the flying-in-the-air part. I'm fine once I actually sit down on the plane. It's the ticket purchasing, getting to the airport, getting a boarding pass, security, etc that I hate. I haven't flown since Summer 2007 and that was a disaster (in two acts even, thanks for nothing, United.)

So, I bought a ticket for Christmas today. Matt's planning on driving down the Sunday before Christmas; I'm planning on flying down Tuesday night. We had talked about it a few days ago and I had looked at flights out of Dulles - $99 nonstop one way. I didn't get it til today though, because M had to make sure he would be able to take a work laptop with him for the first part of the week.

I look at Expedia today, and a non-stop one way flight from Dulles to Charlotte is now over $300!! The cheapest flight listed is $160 and I have to stopover in Atlanta. What the heck?? I'm sure I had been looking at Dulles last week, because I typed in the airport codes instead of the cities.

I looked at BWI, and it's a little better - $117. After making sure someone would be able to take me to the airport (thanks Laura!) I purchase the ticket. Under Passenger Name it says "please make sure the name exactly matches what is shown on the passenger's travel documents" so I put in Courtney Faith Silverthorn (there are separate boxes for first, middle, and last name, btw - this will be important in a second) since that's what's on my drivers license.

I go through a couple more screens, enter the payment info, confirm that everything looks correct, and hit "purchase." I get to the itinerary confirmation screen, and it says "Thank you for your purchase! Passenger Name: COURTNEYFAIT SILVERTHORN"

So somehow, even though I entered my middle name in a separate box, their software managed to tack several letters of it onto the end of my first name. This is clearly *not* going to match the first name on my drivers license now. Nervously looking at the Changes & Cancellations list that includes "Tickets are nontransferable and name changes are not allowed," I send an e-mail to Expedia customer service asking if this was going to cause a problem. They sent me back a form e-mail that didn't answer the question. And in trying to reply to that email, which they said to do if your issue was not resolved, the e-mail address only comes up as "travel@customercare" - I tacked on to the end and hoped that my RE-explanation of the issue would get through to somebody in India or wherever.

I hate flying.


Eric said...

Also, be prepared to pay a separate fee for your bags, unless you're flying Southwest. That cost Carly and me $50 on the way back from our anniversary trip.

Matt Silverthorn said...

She will have no bags. Those will be coming with me.

Courtney said...

What Matt said...I'm not planning on checking anything. One less thing to worry about. Assuming, that is, that they'll actually let me on the plane. It would probably be easier to just legally change my name.

Eric said...

That's smart. I hate checking bags. Good luck getting on the flight!

Shortly after Carly and I got married, we tried to fly to Canada. Carly's drivers license still had her maiden name, and her boarding pass had her married name. They canceled the ticket and we had to buy a whole new ticket to get her on that flight. (I think it cost us more than $200 for that.) But in your case, it's purely the website's fault that your ticket has the wrong info, so hopefully you won't be penalized.