Boulder City Magazine® August 2008 Issue
by Ihla Crowley
Never On A Sunday
In June I had a flight from Las Vegas to Paris, leaving on a Sunday. It left 7 hours late, which meant a missed connection in Dallas, which meant spending the night in Dallas, which meant catching the one and only flight out of Dallas to Paris the next day, which meant forfeiting the pre-paid train tickets from Paris to our final destination in France, which meant purchasing new, same-day, one-way train tickets at twice the previously purchased roundtrip ticket price.
Boulder City Magazine®
|Not a good experience. The only good part was that the problem with the plane was mechanical, not weather-related, which meant American Airlines had to foot the bill for the overnight in Dallas and, hopefully, reimburse me for the added train ticket expense. I say ‘hopefully’ because my request is still in the works.
So, here’s what I learned. Unless you can help it, NEVER, EVER fly out of Las Vegas on a Sunday. Because this is the busiest departure day of the week for them, all of the outgoing flights are fully booked, so if your flight gets canceled, or extremely delayed, there is no way they can book you on another flight going to the place or direction you want to travel. To make matters worse in my above example, our luggage was being held hostage on the airplane, so we were at their mercy no matter what.
In years past, as soon as a mechanical problem was detected, and they knew the flight would be delayed an inordinate amount of time, the airline would send another airplane over, transfer the luggage, and you would be on your way. Not anymore. Because of the ailing industry, there are fewer airplanes, and fewer departures. According to a July 10th article in The Seattle Times, “Airlines cancelled 65,000 flights this year, almost as many as all of 2007.” And, “Travelers should be ready to be even more flexible as airlines carve chunks out of their schedules later this year.”
This problem is endemic, and only going to get worse. Next month I will give you some guidelines for dealing with a canceled flight.
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