experiences

I Never Thought I’d Make THIS Travel Mistake

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Out of all the mistakes I’ve made, booking my flight for the wrong day has not been one of them. Until last night. When I’m in India at the Chennai Airport around midnight. On February 10 with a ticket for January 10.

But it gets better. Chennai is one of the airports that will only let passengers with a valid ticket enter the terminal which is where all the ticket counters and customer service desks are. (Guests can pay $1 to go in with passengers, but can’t take any bags, which ruled out that option for me.)

Chennai Airport International Check in Counters

The worst part is, I didn’t even realize what I had done until I was talking to the security personnel, politely pushing back when he kept pointing to the Jan 10 date on my itinerary. <sigh> It’s a problem when it’s clear you really need a vacation because you’re making stupid mistakes. Worse when those mistakes are mostly on your vacation planning.

But, here’s where my dilemma takes a positive twist. The two security guards took pity on me and one of them went inside and made an airline representative come out and talk to me. I gave him my information and he disappeared for about 15 minutes, finally coming back outside to vouch for me to the guards and telling me they’d get it worked out.

Because it was one of the few times in my life I’d actually bought the refundable business class ticket (because it was $380 or 60,000 award miles). Since it was a flexible ticket, they had no problem eventually changing my tickets to that night and getting me on my way. If this had happened at any other time, I would have been traveling on an award ticket where changes aren’t possible once the trip has commenced or in the US on a non-refundable ticket where the agents would show no mercy.

Whew.

Trying to plan a working vacation in the midst of a major career change was clearly not a good idea as the incident above was only of the many mistakes I’ve made. You can look forward to feeling superior when you read my trip posts in the next couple of weeks. 🙂

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made booking flights?

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

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