Clark Griswold, that patron saint of family travel, was watching over us Moores as we made our way to a fun-packed family reunion in the mountains of West Virginia. We are not frequent flyers, but time constraints and the siren song of a website touting cheap airline tickets found its way into the itinerary.
Now, these tickets were a great deal…until it was time to fly. Come to find out (at the ticket counter, no less), we were flying super-dee-dooper economy class. I assumed our seats to be somewhere in the cargo hold a couple of rows behind the traveling pets. That means we were not allowed to carry on the brand spanking new, wheely carry-on bags I bought for each Moore especially for this joyous occasion. The eye-rolling clerk whipped out an official airline magnifying glass so that we could see that the stipulation was clearly printed on the email confirmation in bold 6 point type.
It didn’t really matter, though, because the flight left early and we missed it. Even though we received several texts announcing delays, it was still our responsibility to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours earlier in the event the bird flew prematurely. The eyes rolled again as the clerk, who was clearly enjoying our distress, searched for another flight toward Pittsburgh. We could go to Washington if we were willing to wait 2 days for a connection to Pittsburgh. The only catch was that we’d have to leave one of our teenagers behind in Washington for an extra day on account of that plane only having 3 seats available.
Those of you who know my husband would likely recognize that he is indeed a patient man. What else explains a 28 year marriage to yours truly? He took a time out to regroup as well as cancel the car rental that was waiting. I made a call in to the hotel. We definitely would not be landing in Pittsburgh that evening.
He returned to the counter, attempting to avoid the same clerk, but she made a beeline for him. This time, however, she was in a less cantankerous mood. She went back to her computer and dialed us up a flight to Chicago the next morning. We would only have a 2 hour layover before the connecting flight to Pittsburgh, and we would get to take the whole family! Also, we could check our luggage for only $35 per bag!
I got online and booked another hotel for the evening. We left the airport geared up for our do-over the next morning. Those savings on airline tickets were quickly swallowed by lodging and baggage fees. We may have been a day late and a dollar short, but at last we were on our way to the family reunion.