Travel Planning Gone Awry

Sometimes the simplest travel arrangements can get really hairy. If you ever feel alone in your exasperation booking flights, trust me… you’re not alone. Here’s a little “backstage look” into an attempt by yours truly to book one round trip plane ticket.

Mission: Travel to Hilton Head Island, SC for business. Minimize stop-overs and price.

Idea 1: The obvious choice: fly round trip non-stop on American into Savannah.

Problem 1: Non-stops between DC and Savannah are only on the weekends.

Problem 2: Round trip tickets are over $700. Okay, scratch that.

Idea 2: Also on American, fly non-stop into Columbia, where coworker can pick you up, and take the non-stop home out of Savannah on Saturday. Ticket price: less than $400. Score!

Problem 3: “Oops, our system is having a problem. Try again later.” Seriously?

Problem 4: “Oops, our system is having a problem. Try again later.” Still? C’mon, American, try harder.

Problem 5: Trying again 12 hours later, ticket price has gone up $100. Grr.

Idea 3: Delta, I miss you! Can you throw a girl a bone with a nice round trip ticket?

Problem 6: Flying Delta requires changing planes, no matter where you’re going in SC. Sigh.

Problem 7: Ticket is over $500. Double sigh.

Idea 4: Jet Blue! Of course! Non-stop round trip in and out of Charleston, plus a rental car to drive to Hilton Head.

Prob- wait, there’s no problem! Ticket is $250. Even with the rental car, it’s cheaper than American or Delta. Flight times are perfect. Yes!

Problem 8: Where did my return flight go? It sold out?? And there are no other workable options on these dates???

Problem 9: Suddenly developing a twitch in my eye. Might be a minor aneurysm. C’mon, travel planner, you can do this!!

Idea 5: Time to play mix and match with one-way flights. American, care to get back in the game?

Problem 10: Nope, one-way tickets are over $600. American is dead to me.

Problem 11: Renting a car in Charleston and returning it in Savannah doubles the rental cost.

Idea 6: More mixing and matching, with Jet Blue and Delta. This is promising, both Delta and Jet Blue one-way fares are under $150, and Delta flies out of Charleston, too, so… hang on, I think we’ve got something… wait for it…

Solution: One-way nonstop on Jet Blue from DC to Charleston + rental car from Charleston + one-way on Delta (one stop) from Charleston to DC. All together, under $400. BOOM!

[mic drop, travel planner OUT]

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