Wednesday, August 6, 2008


So, I have this friend.....

The short version is that this friend made my travel arrangements. He belongs to some barter thingy that gets deals and while searching on my own, he says, I'll see what I can find. This was when I realized that airfares had truly skyrocketed. So fine, go ahead. He finds something, but it takes a week to get it arranged and in the mean time fares go up, considerably. He didn't think they would change. Huh?

Then, Air Canada looked like there might be a flight attendants strike which rather worried me and I asked what the possibilities and options were...

Next thing I know he tells me I've been switched to Continental for the same since the Air Canada thing was "volatile" according to travel agent. It would involve going to New York and two planes, but would still be under my definitely nothing over 8 hours limit. I don't believe him. But I offer to pay the change fee. He refuses it. (and in the end no strike last weekend)

I find out on Monday night, as an aside, that he has also changed the travel date to Friday the 15th. This totally screws up my plans at the other end. He hangs up in anger at my ingratitude and turns off his cell.

Confusion reigns as I see on the website that Continental flies out of Newark and is actually a 16 hour travel time. I wait, extremely impatiently, for him to phone me back. Turns out, he got it wrong, it is American. And has a 40 minute changeover. I am still freaking out, now with this added. All I need is a slight delay ... and I must wait until the following morning for the next flight. After having worked all night already. And I see that the airfare is considerably more expensive with American on the Friday. Very considerably. $688 to $1588. plus taxes.

This morning I find out, when he finally phones again, is that all he wanted was for me to "be happy and have no worries about the trip". So he paid all the charges and the fees etc. Now to put it back to Thursday will cost a further $450.

I have until 4pm to decide.

It is far more convenient for me to arrive on Friday, get settled overnight then head off to Bath than to arrive on Saturday and continue travelling. The day off work has already been arranged for my cousin.
But I really hate that he will be paying more in change fees than the original fare (excluding taxes).
Even if it is all his fault.
And even if he has said he will pay it all.


  1. Ah yes, that type of help. I don't know about your friend but if he didn't know air travel had increased THAT much, I wonder where he's been living for the last few months.

    The trouble with this situation is that you have a friend who totally took over a situation that would have been left well alone and managed to screw it up in the process. I have no idea how much the whole fare cost you but for the sake of not being able to rest for a day, I'd go for it, thank you friend for his offer of paying the extra $450, make a mental note NEVER to say yes to him EVER again and tell your family/friends that unfortunately you won't be able to spend that day with them when you arrive.

    Out of curiosity though, have you checked Zoom? I checked a flight to Paris and it was $749 return, with a stop to Montreal on the way back. Much, much cheaper than AC or even Air Transat.

  2. Zoom airlines:

    Toronto Manchester

    Toronto London

  3. UA: My restriction is flying into Heathrow as that is the closest airport to my cousin. And flying in the middle of August. All because of a wedding.

    Thanks for the link though, I can save it for next trip

    Am still mulling...

  4. Whoa. Ouch. Wish I had a solution for you...

  5. Have you decided yet?

    Weddings in August - they should be banned - I reckon people should be limited to off peak times!!! HEHE


  6. I vote for UA's option, too -- whatever is going to cost you the least at this point. Of course by now you've already decided,so this whole comment is moot. My advice is to make your travel arrangement way, way ahead of time next time when the rates are lowest.

  7. XUP, MA: no real decision yet. He has to check regarding the HUGE fare discrepency (don't understand how he missed it, but maybe the barter thing makes a difference?)

    Anyhoo, $200 to airline is non-negotiable so if it's only that it gets changed. Otherwise, I change my other travel plans and push it back a day so I can sleep the sleep of an exhausted traveller in cousins bed for free.

    ALL: thanks for 'listening' as I unload my angst!

  8. Oh, yeah, and it's not costing me, as he will pay it, I just feel bad that he went to so much trouble and messed up. And angry, too.

  9. Oh dear! certainly one of those times when hindsight is a pain in the butt!

  10. Oh, and have a nice time away anyway won't you? Cheers!

  11. Sagittarian: Unfortunately I should have known he would take over, just not to this extent. Heart in right place, just no communication.

  12. Ohhhh, I feel for you.
    I like to be self sufficient, and people have said to me in the past not to shut myself off from help, that it's ok to say 'yes'.
    Your story makes me think that there's a lot to be said for saying 'no'. It's the damned politeness gene that we're born with. Should be amputated at birth.

  13. Froggie: I'm thinking of having it cauterized.

  14. Oh lordy. Hope it all works out. Nothing worse then a helpful friend, eh? ;)


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