Even Travel Bloggers Miss Flights

My brother recently asked me, “Are you ever going to blog about that time that you missed your flight to Austin last year?”

“Why would I ever write about that?” I asked.

“To show the world that even travel blogger miss flights!” was his response.

I definitely wasn’t ready to write about this for awhile, but I think I’ve finally come to terms with the embarrassing truth: it’s true – I missed a flight to Austin last year… while sitting at the gate in the airport.

airplane

There goes my flight… without me.

I recall the gate agent’s announcement that they were about to start the boarding process, but the next thing I knew the screen at the gate said “Boise.”  Was I scatterbrained because I was running late for the flight?  Was I a little tipsy from a pre-flight cocktail?  Was I wearing headphones?  The answer to all of those questions is “no.”  I just flat out missed the flight.

Okay, let me explain.  I was totally consumed by a really good book.  But really, I think the thing that got me was that the plane was a lot smaller than the ones that I normally go on, so the boarding process was much faster than normal.  Seriously, the time it took between pre-boarding the “final call” (if there even was one) couldn’t have been more than five minutes.  Like I said, I was AT THE GATE without headphones on – I’d seriously like to think that if they called my name for final boarding I would have heard it.

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Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Flights on a Honeymoon?

What’s the greatest amount of flights that you’d be willing to take on your honeymoon?  Some people love the idea of a multi-moon with several destinations, while others would just prefer to take off and land as few times as possible.  The more flights you take, the more often you risk flight delays, lost luggage, and other travel frustrations, but, of course, the plus side is that you also get to see more cool places, too.

So, is it possible to take too many flights on a honeymoon?  My friend Ben certainly doesn’t think so, but as with most things that are honeymoon-related, it all just boils down to personal preferences.  Ben and his fiancée Yoninah have been planning their honeymoon for nearly a year now, and in honor of their upcoming wedding on Sunday I want to share a sneak peak of the incredible (and ambitious!) trip that they are about to go on.

It may be a bit difficult to see on the map below, but if you click on it you’ll be able to view the details of their TWELVE-FLIGHT ITINERARY!  Yep, we’re talking twelve flights, five foreign countries, and one seriously badass honeymoon.

Ben has promised to write a Real Honeymoon post about their trip once they get back (right, Ben?), so hopefully there will be more details to come.  Mazel tov in advance, and happy travels!

Quick Tip #11: Consider Booking Honeymoon Airfare Through Orbitz

I almost always check the costs of the same flights over and over before purchasing them.  I’ve actually been doing that a lot lately because I have a bunch of small trips coming up this Fall.  (Side note: since when are flights from SF to Phoenix over $300???  I remember those flights being around $200, tops, just a few years ago!)

Although prices may fluctuate a bit over time (and even throughout the week), I try not to worry about it too much when I book my flights through Orbitz because of their “Price Assurance” program.  If someone else buys the same exact flights as I do for a cheaper fare, Orbitz will automatically issue me credits for 110% of the difference.  (They used to just send you a check for the difference, but now you just get credit towards future Orbitz purchases.  Still not too shabby.)

So if you’re on the fence about whether to book your honeymoon flights, and you’re taking a pretty popular route*, book confidently with Orbitz knowing that if someone else books the same itinerary through Orbitz as well but for a cheaper price, you’ll still get something out of it.

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* This “Price Assurance” deal has a higher probability of actually benefiting you if you’re booking a popular route (e.g. SFO to HNL) rather than a random multi-destination itinerary because there’s a greater chance that other people are also searching for the same flights.

Honeymoon Nightmare: What To Do When The Airline Loses Your Luggage

Imagine it’s a day or two after your wedding.  You’re basking in the afterglow of your perfect wedding weekend, and you’re trying not to check Facebook obsessively to see all of the photos that your friends have been posting.  Now you’re en route to your dream honeymoon location.  You took a sleeping pill before you boarded your plane, so the next thing you know you’re landing at your destination.  When you arrive at the baggage claim, it seems like it’s taking forever for your bags to appear because you just can’t wait to check into your hotel.  The crowd around your baggage carousel begins to thin, and fewer and fewer pieces of luggage come down the shoot.  Eventually, the carousel comes to a halt, and you still haven’t spotted your bags.  Then the reality sinks in: your luggage is not there.

missing luggage

Shit.

Okay, let me stop myself right there before I cause any panic attacks.  I know TONS of people who have gone on honeymoons, and literally NONE of them lost their luggage during those vacations.  However, I unfortunately do know of this happening to plenty of people (myself included*) during non-honeymoon trips, so although it’s an unlikely scenario, it’s still important to know what to do if it happens to you.

First things first, either you or your spouse needs to file a report with the airline to let them know your luggage is missing while the other one  waits at the carousel in case any other bags from your flight were just really delayed.  Make sure to get a file locator number from the airline, too!

If the airline doesn’t have an immediate solution for you, it’s time to whip out your smartphones and, as your mom says, “get on the Twitter.”  Have I personally done this before?  Nope, the last time an airline lost my bag was before iPhones and Twitter were around, but after reading travel guru Wendy Perrin’s blog post about her own recent experience with lost luggage in Ecuador, I would definitely do it if it happens to me again.  (Oh god, please don’t let it happen to me again!)

Wendy didn’t write a mean, aggro tweet about how so-and-so airlines is the absolute worst for losing her luggage.  Instead, she sent out the following simple tweet: “@AmericanAir Arrived in Quito but checked bag did not. EWR>MIA>UIO. Filed claim at UIO. What else can I do to expedite luggage recovery?”

After several hours and lots of back and forth with the airline via Twitter, Wendy’s lost luggage fiasco had a happy ending.  Twitter, of course, is a public forum that has the potential to reach millions of people, and airlines do not want to be badmouthed in front of such large audiences.  Wendy said that even at 1:00 AM, she received better and more useful information from the airline via Twitter within three minutes than she was able to get after an hour at the airport.

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Flying First Class: Is it Worth the Splurge?

When my friends Tommy and Seema got back from their honeymoon last year, one of the first things they said to us was, “You guys have got to start flying first class!”  This was not just because my friends and I are all über-snobs, but mostly because my husband is 6 foot 6, and flying in coach can be physically painful for him.  So legroom aside, is it worth it to fly first class?

Legroom

Tommy and Seema en route to Seoul. Look at that legroom! Consulting sure pays off.

If you’re rolling in cash, then YES!  But for the rest of us, the answer (not surprisingly) depends.  When making the decision for yourself, here are a few things to consider:

1) How long are your flights?  The longer the flight, the more you’re going to get out of your first class experience.  I once flew first class from St. Louis to Atlanta due to a glitch with the airline’s registration system, and it was a joke – I’m so glad I didn’t have to pay for that upgrade!

2) Are you flying internationally?  Domestic airlines in the U.S. are not as well-known for having incredible first class service.

3) Are you taking a red-eye?  If so, you might sleep through all the fancy first class experience, but on the other hand, you may actually be able to sleep comfortably!  On an airplane!  Imagine that.

4) How long is your honeymoon?  If your honeymoon is on the shorter side, you may want to spend extra money on your flights so you don’t waste any time feeling jet-lagged.

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