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Travel Planning Gone Awry

Oh, for the days when flying was so joyfully simple…

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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