On Getting Screwed

Last Friday, I was extremely excited when I found plane tickets to go back home for Christmas for only $208. Everywhere else I looked was well over $350 or more for the dates I chose. I specifically chose Christmas Eve - December 30th, because no one likes to fly on Christmas Eve, so that helps to lower prices. Believe me, I checked some earlier dates, and those tickets were in the $700+ range. I was bubbling over with happiness because it would be the first time I have been able to go home for Christmas now in 3 years. I also haven't seen real snow in a long time. (Other than the snow that you see if you go up in the mountains, which doesn't count. I want to see the sort of snow that piles up on the ground, drifts around, and makes driving generally miserable.) I think the last time I saw real snow was when I was in Switzerland in February of '99. At any rate, the stipulation to getting the really cheap fare, on this particular site I was looking at, was that you be willing to accept the fact that the tickets are non-transferrable and non-refundable irregardless of situation. Also, you don't know the exact airline or schedule until after you buy the ticket. They were so much cheaper, that I decided I could live with this. I'm not a teribally picky person (just look at some of my previous boyfriends* I looked everything over, and purchased the tickets. The times weren't really bad at all. I had been expecting to be stuck with some red-eye flight in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve, and the times were not late at all. I requested the time I needed off from work and wrote my Mom to tell her the good news. I was extremely happy, and went out drinking with Brian that night and didn't think much about it afterward.

Saturday night, I pulled out the confirmation letter to look it over again. I looked the letter over again and again and again. My face turned a nasty shade of pale purple. I realized that in my excitement, I had somehow not noticed that I booked the tickets backwards. I had a set of perfectly good tickets departing from Chicago and arriving in San Francisco, then returning later. The main problem with this is that I do not live in Chicago. Chicago is where I was supposed to be going. Talk about a blonde moment. I thought I was going to cry, but at least there was beer handy.

I just spent all of this morning on the phone with customer service and my bank trying to figure out a way to salvage the ticket/stop payment. Neither option worked out, there was nothing I could do. I couldn't even sell it to another friend, who wouldn't have minded coming out to San Francisco for Christmas, because they were non-transferrable. I desperately wanted to go home, however, so I just sucked it up and bought another ticket (going the right direction this time.) I am now poor, but happily re-assured that I will at least be home for Christmas, and it won't even have to be "in my dreams".

* Wait, that was mean. They have all been wonderful (if any of them might be reading this.)