Let's Connect!

Want more tips? My newsletter comes out 2x per month:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ack! I Missed My Flight! (JetBlue is Pretty Awesome) 3.24.12


Of course, it’s not just JetBlue that is awesome, as we’ve had similar experience with missed flights/connections on other airlines, but our most recent has been JetBlue, in which my new best friend in the travel world, Sherie, at the Las Vegas McCarran Airport used her rebooking expertise to work some magic and get us booked on the next flight out and also upgrade our seats, because she rocks and is awesome at customer service. Take note other ticket desk agents!


So, several times we have missed a flight or connection, due to the airline or my own ineptitude (yes, I will take blame on this myself). I hope that aisle seat person appreciates all the extra room they have because we are not there (or some people who REALLY needed to get on that flight made it due to our absence. The time before this we were stuck at LAX, because our flight coming back home was delayed and then it came in late and we had to take a tram to a terminal 32 miles away (or so it seemed) and missed boarding by 5 minutes. Of course, at that point they probably wouldn’t have let us on anyway, as the plane was actually taxiing away when we showed up at the desk. This was on American and the agent was aware our previous flight was late and looked up the next flight for us and was able to rebook us on a flight coming back to Portland an hour later. Score! We got a snack and then played video games while we waited. Lucky for us, LAX is a huge hub, with flights coming and going all the time.

Thank you, Sherie!
This trip it was my own fault we were late to the airport and missed our flight. Our boarding time was 7:40, with the flight leaving at 8:10. The plan was to get up at 4am (as we were in St. George, Utah and had to drive 2 hours to get to Vegas). Note to Android users, your phone may or may not have this same (dumb) function, but when you set your alarm, make sure it is the day you want it to wake you up, otherwise, you, too will have set your alarm for Monday, when you needed to get up on Wednesday. Convenient! We woke up and the clock said 6:30am. I suppose it could have been worse. With the hour time difference in our favor, we crossed our fingers that we would still get there JUST in time. And we would have too, had there not been rush hour traffic once we made it to Vegas.


So, in between traffic – which was still faster than anywhere else I’ve ever driven – having to get gas and return our rental car, we got to the actual ticket desk right as our flight was leaving. We were pretty sure the next flight out wouldn’t be until 4pm, so we’d be at the airport for 8 hours, at the least. I had an inkling of hope that we might be able to be rebooked on a different airline, though the chance was slim. I walked up to the desk and told Sherie my problem and she checked our connection in Long Beach. We originally would have a 2 hour layover there and the next flight out there wasn’t until 7pm. She said they had seats available from Vegas to Long Beach on the next flight that went out on 9:50am and would get us there just before the other flight was due to board. She was even awesome enough to get us row 1, so we could grab bags and jump off the plane as soon as the doors opened. Hallelujah! Row 1 is in their Even More Space seats that usually cost $30 more, but we were getting them for nothing (you know, except what we originally paid). I thanked her profusely and was excited that we now had over an hour to hang at McCarran and could eat breakfast and not have to fight for a seat at LGB, where they are under construction and the waiting room is probably as big as my house (6 gates all crammed in one end, 5 feet from each other) and the bathrooms and café are outside in portable buildings.


We made it to LGB on time and then realized nobody seemed to be in line for boarding our Portland flight, which was supposed to leave 15 minutes from when we landed. Lucky for us, the plane that was coming in from San Francisco had weather problems and delayed the plane 10-15 minutes, so we were actually early for that flight to make it home at the original time.


While much of this was luck, I can also say that we always fly on the least busy days of the week (Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday). On this trip we left on Saturday and came home on Wednesday, so we were able to get some seats on another flight. Two other plusses on our side were that we had no bags to check (in case we did miss our connection and it got lost waiting for us to show up) and JetBlue does not overbook their flights. This helped us not have to be put on standby, as she could see there were seats available. Our seats were already paid for, so instead of making us pay extra for the fancy seats in the front, she just put us in them, or else they would have gone empty. Yay for us.

LGB airport is so big...
Had any of the above three things not been a factor in our travels, we may still be at the airport trying to get back or missing half our clothes at home until our bag finally resurfaced. They didn’t seem like big things at the time, but planning ahead actually saved us in the end. I’ll talk about the benefits of flying JetBlue in my next post.


Have you ever missed a flight and been stuck at the airport for hours? Or do you have a story about an awesome ticket agent that helped you tremendously?
Pin It button on image hover