Nightmare for the budget-conscious
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|Wed, 10-16-2013 - 12:36am|
I just came back from a series or trips, and boy, do I have a hair-raising story for the budget conscious!
On the way to the airport, I realized I left something behind and I had to go back to get it. So I got off the airport shuttle, got a cab ($13), went back & grabbed the stuff, and then drove to the airport in my car. Parking ($63) & round-trip gas (prob. $30) is going to be more expensive than the shuttle ($35) so that was why I had planned on taking the shuttle in the first place. But I missed the check in time by 10 minutes. So I had to book the next flight, at the cost of $100 (the airline imposed a $50 because I had originally booked the flight through a third party). Then because the flight is so early, I couldn't go home and come back to the airport by the shuttle. I had to stay at an airport hotel overnight ($80). I also had to park at the airport ($9/day x 6 days). My shuttle reservation was non-refundable, so that meant another $35.
So forgetting something really added up -- $375. I also had to rebook my car reservation, which took an hour because my service agent was new to the job. I was charged $25, but then I got a $25 voucher for next time. This tired me out so much that I didn't bother rebooking my hotel room, though I called the hotel to ask them to hold my reservation. By the time I got there the next day. they had already released my room. Fortunately they were able to find another room at the same cost. It was a nice room, actually.
What did I forget, you ask? It was my GPS. I could have bought two new ones with this amount of money. I could have rented one. But I thought I could make it, since I had two hours. One hour to the airport, plus a bit of extra time to get from the parking lot to the counter, and then through the system. Even my taxi driver was pretty sure I wouldn't have any problem.
In case anyone is curious, the airline I flew on was Frontier. They have instituted some draconian policies to encourage people to book reservations with them directly rather than going through a third party. In fact, I'd urge you to avoid booking Frontier flights through a third party. Why?
-- They impose a punitive $100 fee on reservation modifications if you book through a third party.
-- They charge you more for luggage if you book through a third party. They may even charge you for the one carry on that other airlines allow for free.
-- If you end up having to check your luggage at the gate, they charge you $100.
-- They close the counter 45 minutes before departure. This annoyed the heck out of me. I made the flight, you know. My airport isn't big, so it takes around 10 minutes or less to get through security.
-- They charge for all drinks on the plane, including water.