The kid got a chance to apply her air travel survival skills in Newark on Saturday, and she did her parents proud.
Her flight was delayed for more than an hour and a half out of San Diego, first because the crew was waiting for passengers who were stuck in the security line and then because of a mechanical issue. (Why it’s OK for the kid to miss her connection because other passengers didn’t arrive early enough is beyond me. But that’s another post for another day.)
So Kate missed the connection in Newark. Meanwhile, the husband and I had determined that there was one flight left to Bradley that night. But when Kate got to a service desk at Newark, the Continental agent told her there were no seats on that final flight and that she had been booked on a flight out the next day – Sunday.
Continental should have been on the hook for Kate’s hotel that night. But her chances of getting stuck another day were pretty high, with a winter storm forecast for Sunday. And the airline wouldn’t have had to provide a hotel for a second night. It’s not responsible for the weather, after all.
(Turns out, the flight the next day did make it to Bradley on time. But cars were flipping over like pancakes on the highways, so it’s just as well we didn’t have to go get her.)
So Kate was not interested in an overnight in Newark. No way, she told the agent. There’s a nor’easter forecast. You have to get me out tonight.
The agent made a call and said it was impossible, the flight was booked. Could Kate fly to Boston or Providence instead?
No way, Kate said. The people picking her up would have to drive five or six hours and snow was on the way.
The agent made another call. Oh, turns out the last flight to Bradley wasn’t full any more. Did Kate want a window or an aisle seat?
Moral of the story: don’t automatically accept an airline’s automatic rebooking when you miss a connection. You’ll be reassigned at the airline’s convenience, not yours.
Oh, and be polite. It’s not the agent’s fault.