Nightmare for the budget-conscious

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Nightmare for the budget-conscious
9
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.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 10-18-2013 - 11:36am

Poorboy, we had a great time in Spain, though I was sorry to miss 3 of the 4 days in Madrid.  We went to El Escorial, Segovia, Burgos, Rioja, Pamplona, Zaragoza, and Barcelona.  Spanish people really enjoy life - it's a great place to visit. 

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Thu, 10-17-2013 - 5:22pm

I went to the airport 2.5 hours early...

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 10-17-2013 - 2:05pm

Nice to hear some "funny" on here today.  So, you checked in "too late?"   So annoying if there is still plenty of time to catch your flight. 

This is why I go early.  Silly unexpected things like that.  When we were on our way back from Hawaii, my DH thought we were leaving too early, but I reminded him that sure, there is plenty of time but we also want to make sure our luggage makes the plane.  So, that was enough for him. 

Oh, and get this!  I found out that a plane can leave EARLY if they choose to.  A friend had not checked in yet, (like PB) and every one else was there, so they boarded and left early.  I forget how early they are allowed to leave, like maybe half and hour or something, but still.  It was a small airport, so my friends mom told her "oh, it is tiny, you have plenty of time."  Oops!  

I haven't flow Frontier in years but yea, they have never had any extras.  Too bad things have gotten so petty.  Sounds like Frontier has taken it to the limit though.  They also tend to be at the farthest end of the concourse. 

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Thu, 10-17-2013 - 7:53am
OMG I probably would have just winged it without the gps. lol. I would have been lost though. Do the rental cars not have gps? I hope your next trip is better!
Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Wed, 10-16-2013 - 4:55pm

mahopac wrote:
Total cost:  $1100

Wow. I guess I didn't do too badly after all. Sorry to hear of such a "misadventure." I hope your trip was still plenty of fun in spite of the loss of three days!

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 10-16-2013 - 3:26pm

I enjoy reading other people's misadventures because they make me realize they happen to everyone.

In August, we were packing for our family vacation to Spain.  As I grabbed the passports, I realized that DS's had expired (didn't know kids' passports are only good for 5 years).  We were due to be on a flight in 8 hours!  This happened on a Friday; I had no options other than to stay home with DS and go to the passport office on Monday.  The rest of the family went as planned.

Changed flight for two people:  $775.

Passport fee:  $150.

Extra limo trip to the airport:  $275.

Total cost:  $1100.

The good news was that the rest of the family only needed one hotel room in Madrid, instead of two, for three nights, so we saved $365, making the net cost of my little oversight $735.  This felt like nothing compared to the heartache of sending three of my family members off to Spain without me, but I winced when I paid the limo bill and Amex bill a couple of weeks later.  It was already a darn expensive vacation!  I'd have been furious if this had been DH's fault, but alas, I had no one to blame but myself.

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Wed, 10-16-2013 - 2:46pm

countrygal-2008 wrote:
Hope you future trips are flawless.

Ha, too late, Norma! I had to go on a conference trip immediately after this one. My originating flight was delayed, so I missed the connecting flight. I had the option of staying at the connecting airport or make one additional connection, arriving at 12 AM. I had a talk to give the next morning, and so I took the flight (that made for a total of two connecting flights for domestic travel!). I got there, but my luggage, with my suit, did not. 

Fortunately the rest of the trip went well enough. The baggage claims agent promised the airline would reimburse me for interim clothes. So I spent $700 (I needed everything: suit, shirt, socks, shoes, etc.). Unrelated to this, my car rental was upgraded. The conference went well.

On the way home, my flight was diverted to a different airport because of a storm. (The captain: "The bad news is that we have to land in an airport 100 miles away. The good news is that, urh, they are aware there is a problem.") Fortunately I was able to make the connecting flight. So I got home on time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2008
Wed, 10-16-2013 - 1:30pm

What a nightmare 24 hr. period.  Hopefully you will never have to experience this again,

  My husband uses Delta almost all the time.  He only uses American if he is in on the West coast.  He rarely checks luggage for fear of it being lost.  He has had several bad experience trying to get home from Atlanta because of Delta trying to feel the fights full, and ended up driving home once (only 4 hrs.)  His next trip is to Germany......paws crossed it goes well. He and I are both nervous about this trip.  

Hope you future trips are flawless.


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-19-1998
Wed, 10-16-2013 - 1:08pm

Yikes!  And you probably could have gotten a better GPS for less (depending on how old yours is).  They sure love to get you anyway they can! 

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