Missed My Airline Flight and Threw Away Money!

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Have you ever had a really bad day when everything seemed to go wrong? Well, last weekend was one of those days.

I had to go to a conference in Miami. It was a last minute thing and I booked my flight on Thurday. No discount and they cost much more than if I had booked it months or weeks earlier. My flight was with American Airlines and it was supposed to leave at 6:10 am. Before I left for the airport, I realized I did not have any cash. So I headed off to the Bank of America branch near my house to draw some money from the ATM.

I then headed for the airport. I managed to check in and got through security. My ticket says that there ws no food served on board and that you had to pay for any food on the plane. So I decided to queue up on a long line and get a sandwich from the only store that was opened. When I finished paying, I rushed to the gate.

I thought I had made it just on time. But loh and behold, the American Airlines personel said she had just closed the door! To my horror, I had just missed my flight! I begged her to open the door again but she refused. She said she could put me on the waitlist for the next flight. But the flight was at 1:30pm! She told me to check with US Airways at the other terminal to see if they had seats for the 9:55am flight.

To say that I was pissed was an under statement. I sat down on the chair, ate my hot sandwich and then decided to call American Express Travel, who booked my flights. The travel agent who picked up my call actually recognized me. ‘Mr Credit Card, I believe I booked your flight two days ago. How can I help you?”.

I told her the problem I had in my hands. She told me to wait a minute and checked my ticket. She said that my ticket was non-refundable and said I could either be on the waitlist for the 1:30pm flight or book the US Airway 9:55am flight, which was available. She said there may be a chance the all the seat available then on the 1:30pm flight will be booked by 1:30pm. I decided not to take the risk and so I booked the 9:55am US Airways flight. The ticket cost over $300!

To backtrack a little, when I arrived at the airport, I was not too sure where to park. There was a “short term parking” sign and a “garage sign”. I did not know the difference so I parked at the short term parking. As I was heading to the next terminal, I decided to ask the person behind the information counter. She said I should move my car as the rates were very high!

So I went and moved my car from the “short term parking” to the “garage parking”. It cost me $11.00 just for parking for two hours! The “garage parking” will cost $17 a day. It was more expensive than the “economy parking” at $9.00 a day. But as I was coming back at midnight, I did not want to take the bus and walk around a carpark in the dark looking for my car.

Things got a little better after that. In the plane on the way to miami, the chief steward actually made an annoucement asking change for a twenty dollar note! Also, by booking my hotel with American Express, I got a free complimentary upgrade to the executive suite! My room had a separate bedroom and a living room! I even checked in on the 23rd floor!.

All seemed to go well until I realized I lost my bank ATM card. It looks as though I had left it in the machine when I withdrew the cash earlier in the morning. I called Bank of America to have it canceled and replaced. It was Sunday and I still had to write up the 82nd Festival of Frugality.

When I got home on Monday midnight, I realized that I had lost my cell phone! But there was no time to moan as I still had to finish the festival of frugality- which I did at 2:00am.

So to sum up my trip and day.

1. Missed a flight
2. Paid extra for car park.
2. Lost my bank ATM card.
3. Lost my cell phone.

Sometimes, sh*t happens. If this had happened when I was much younger, I would have been really mad with myself because it would have screwed up my budget. Fortunately, this does not really mess up my budget or savings plan at this stage and moment in my life. If this happened when I was younger and my finances was a razor edge, then it would really be unpleasant. I think it just goes to show that aside from being frugal, save (and all that personal finance stuff that we like to talk about), it is very important to increase your monthly cash flow either through higher pay, career advancement or any other cash flow investments. It is good to have some breathing space when it comes to money.

Another thought that came to my mind when I reflect on the airport incident was that I was really glad I had my American Express Platinum Credit Card. If I had booked this with any other card, I bet I would not have gotten such great service. In fact, I have now made that travel agent my permanent agent. Her name is Maria and she has given me the 5 digit extension where I can reach her.

Have you had a day where everything just went wrong? Why not share your story here.

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One Response to “Missed My Airline Flight and Threw Away Money!”

  1. nina Says:

    hey – I just missed my flight on Saturday, and still feel like an idiot, as it was my fault – in a way.

    I fly every 3-4 months on the route London Stansted – Lodz, Poland. I dont know what went wrong, but I was 10 mins late after the check in gate closed. I was on my way to one of my best mates wedding, only flying for 3 days. Took a day of holidays at work, told everyone Im going, took orders for polish chocolate, got presents, dress and all that. Not mentioning, spending £200 pounds for a flight ticket and a coach to Stansted. So as you might know, Ryanair is not that cheap at all. The guy at the airport said, they are very strict about timekeeping – haha, since when?! as I’ve found out, there’s no refund, and if there will be availability, they could have put me on flight next day or on another to Poland – not to my town though. Didnt make much sense for me, as I was about to go to the wedding almost straight from the airport. I was completely broke and had to ask a driver to take me back to London for £6.5, cause I didnt even have £8 for a ticket back. You can imagine, how embarassed I felt!

    I know things like this happen, and it’s not the end of the world, but still – it has never ever happen to me, and it doesnt feel good. I guess there’s always this first time, isn’t it. At least I know what’s it like, and I’m not going to laugh at my mum who is always 2 hours early at the airport.

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