Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bankruptcy Turn Into Issues for My Children on the Go

Oh my....what a turbulant travel this has been thus far. Well, we have not even been able to put my last blog's packing hypothesis to the test because our checked bags have been MIA since we checked them in California on Thursday night.

While traveling on Frontier airlines who has filed bankruptcy we got underway from northern California with no issue. Landed in Denver and was happy connection was only about 6 gates away. So enough time for potty breaks all around. As I come out with my daughter my husband is desperately picking up a stroller and carry-on bags with a stressed out face. I yell..."Gate Change!" He yells..."Canceled Flight!" Mind you this is a red eye we were doing. Our kids have always slept well on those and it is our preferred method of going east. The issue was not so much Frontier, but a contracted regional airline operating our flight for them. So we are now in Denver in the back of the Customer Service line due to my potty break with 2 very tired kids at 12:30AM. So being tech savy we whip out our phones and start Google'ing hotels, calling Frontier, and placing a rental car on hold. We also check our email to find we have been rebooked on a 7AM.

One thing I have always done prior to a trip is have the airlines number in my phone. Because this way if something does happen a lot of times the phone agents can help before you get through that line. It wasn't going anywhere fast. And the idea of sleeping in the airport with 2 little kids and carry-ons full of cameras, dvd players, IPODs, etc...really meant one of us would sleep and the other stand guard. So our game plan was to get pushed to a later flight and crash with local family/friends. So we got other flight options from the agents over the phone, but "only the agents at the airport" could rebook us. So we made sure they were aware we had two cute and adorable, but very tired children. Actually they were amazing and after an hour and a half we were rebooked on a later flight to a city closer to our final destination and our bags were to be rerouted. $600 in vouchers and another $30 for food and we were headed to Hertz to grab a car and we though taking advantage of my husband's gold membership and walking straght to our car.

Lucky us...Hertz does computer back-up every night between 2-3AM so no speedy check-in. Luckily our daughter is asleep, but son is going strong...all be it a little slap happy. Manual paperwork and we are in route to an aunt and uncle's for the night. Another tip...keep number on hand of anyone living in towns you are transferring through who would be willing to host you for the night. Even giving them a heads-up email the week before which we had done.

A good night's sleep, nice breakfast, showers, and in route to the airport we head to Target to grab diapers as we were running out. Packing tip coming into play from last blog...Target-type stores, groceries, etc exist everywhere. As we leave Target...our daughter gets sick...everywhere. Target tip comes into play again as I return to buy her a new outfit as well as huge ziplock bags to put everything soiled in and bottled water to rehydrate her.

Checked in and on flight to Midwest. All is good...except kids are pretty strung out, but movies, snacks, etc and we touch down 2 hours later.....and to find our bags are lost. No record. Nothing. But I must admit Frontier thus far has been amazing. They immediately file a claim and started us down the path of what was next. We had a wedding to attend the next day and nothing but very casual, comfy travel clothes in our possession. Frontier started updating us that night as no progress was made. And we even had the name of a real live person to help us. The next morning we got approved for extra expenditures above the standard to cover the wedding outfits. If you lose your luggage read the fine print before leaving the counter...notes about weddings, special events, sports equipment are generally called out. We had her note the wedding on our claim as well as children's life jackets we had for boating activities planned. We were also outfitted with a loaner car seat. Oh, but to ice the cake...our daughter got sick again in route to our first destination.

After a mad dash through the mall, attending the wedding, and detours to get to our second destination 4.5 hours away due to flooding we are still without bags 48+ hours later. They had been found and were now being transferred to another airline and another destination and would be driven to our second stop. Midnight and we arrive and no bags. We finally get a call as hour 72 approaches. They are on their way....

Lesson here....even the best laid plans sometimes don't work out. With each person we met we tried to kill them with kindness. Seems to work for us....really given the situations it really didn't feel too bad...thanks to April and Mitzi with Frontier in Louisville, Richard and Co with Frontier in Denver, Laura at Highlands Ranch, CO Target, Baggage Express guy, and our Aunt and Uncle, and Parents.

Now...on with the vacation..............

No comments: