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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Vanishing First Class Plane Ticket

I am typing this from 30,000 feet as we wing our way home from 6 days up north with the family. We were hoping for a white Christmas - and nature did not disappoint. But with bad weather comes airline troubles and now you are going to hear about ours.

Yesterday - Lulu was considering trying to get an earlier flight home. Instead of leaving the hotel at 5 AM - she thought she would fly Tuesday evening - also saving on one extra night of lodging. With all the bad weather - we warned her that flight changes would be impossible. She accepted this as a challenge and logged onto the Delta computer site. At this point I will remind you that we each had first class plane tickets home booked seaparately - the airline had upgraded us because we are gold medallion frequent flyers. Lulu was confident that her "status" would let her in the computer and get an earlier flight.

After doing a little search under her account name - her first class ticket disappeared. She logged on again - nothing - the ticket was gone. Now she could not even get on the plane. After hours of frantic calls to the airline - the three boys teasing - and serious saber rattling - Lulu was granted a coach seat in Row 26. I would be flying first class in Row 3 - she would be taking a cattle call in steerage - 20 rows away.

We were staying in the Hampton Inn Suites - downtown - just a block up the street from the Providence Performing Arts Theatre. I had noticed on the marquee that the show"Mamma Mia" would be opening that night at 7 PM. It was already 4 PM and I called the box office. We were informed that at 5 PM they dump the computer and sell whatever is left for half price. Drew and I went to the theatre at exactly 5 and got two great\ seats for 1/2 price - $66 total.

My logic was this - Robin and Drew needed a night out alone. They seldom get to do that with a 2 year older and another baby due in 2 weeks. While they went to the show - we had Jack all to ourselves. We had a blast.

This morning we got up early. We took a cab to the airport - and were wisked past the regular security line. First class passengers now have a VIP lane for security. We got to our gate and they needed volunteers to give their seats up for $400 and the next flight out. We turned it down because the next flight was almost two days later.

They called first class - and I got on the plane. They was an empty seats next to me. About\ 15 minutes later - Lulu came walking by - and then plopped down in the first class seat. When the computer read her ticket at the gate - the bell went off and awarded her the first class ticket. My old travel partner was with me again.

I really missed her in those 15 minutes. Please note - I did offer her my first class ticket - but she refused - but I do get credit for that. The vanishing first class ticket reappeared and so did my travel partner.