Tuesday, November 08, 2005

ATA to drop Twin Cities-Chicago route

There go my holiday plans. In September, aware of the Northwest strikes and the potential problems with flying on NW over the holidays, I decided to avoid NW when booking our holiday trip to Ft Lauderdale, Florida. The cheapest non-NW tickets that fit our travel constraints were on ATA. Well, effective December 1, ATA will no longer fly between the Twin Cities and Chicago (or Newark, but that doesn't immediately impact me).

I found this out today, as I was walking in the door of the apartment, with a toddler, a backpack, the toddler's backpack, my purse, a sippy cup, and a travel coffee mug all precariously balanced and/or secured on my person. My cell phone rang, someone horribly mispronounced my name and then E's as he asked if one of us was available, and then informed me that my flight was canceled.

All the precariously balanced stuff, minus kiddo who had already been released to go chase kittties, hit the floor. After a few attempts, he told me he couldn't rebook me at all, and would have to refund the purchase price. In 5-7 days. And then there were no holiday travel plans. We are also the proud owners of a non-refundable travel insurance policy that is really non-refundable, and insures absolutely nothing now.

Ended up rebooking new tickets through Travelocity for a bit less than we'd originally paid, but at much less convenient times. You think that, since the article I found is dated October 14, they could have notified me directly or via Expedia, through which I booked the tickets? No, of course not. And did the Expedia customer service person help me at all when I tried to confirm cancellation through them - which, by the way, is what their website told me to do? Nope. She was kind of rude, actually, especially about the travel insurance. ATA and Expedia are both off my good list (fine service, good customer support) and onto the "it" list (you know, not the list of cool people and stuff, but the "**it" list, of people, places and things that no longer get my $$).

And now we have to convince someone to pick us up at the airport at 1 AM. Or rent a car and drive, stupidly tired, from the airport ourselves. Neither option sounds great, and either option will mean waking up the whole household.

Ah, well. Let it begin. Merry Christmas, everyone. We're off to a whopper of a holiday season!

- posted by laurie @ 11/08/2005 03:38:00 PM
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