Carter will be leaving this summer to serve a mission for our church and we will be empty nesters. This is our last chance for a little vacation with him and/or senior trip.
Frank was recently bumped from a flight and got a voucher for a free ticket. Score! So after doing some research, we figured out that between two different airlines we could use the voucher and his miles and get the 3 of us to Hawaii for free. Sounds like a plan!
I've been checking the timeshare site frequently to see what dates were available. Every time I checked, it looked the same.
So last night we decided to sit down and get all the reservations. I was nervous about trying to book 2 separate airlines with miles, one with a voucher and the timeshare reservation all at the same time. So Frank got on his computer next to me and we started the process.
First: Timeshare site. Everything looks the same. The dates we want are available. I call to make sure that we can book the dates without my parents being there with us. Yes. It's all set. I select the date I want and fill in the information but I don't hit "reserve" quite yet...first I want to make sure I can get a flight.
Flights: I check and see that, yes, I can get a flight using the voucher. I enter all the info for Carter.
In a separate window I am working on a flight for Frank from the same airline but using miles. I'm going back and forth as I make sure they are on the same flight with seats next to each other etc. As I get to the end of the reservation, it won't let me apply the voucher. Hmmm. Ok I switch the voucher ticket to be for Frank and the miles ticket to be for Carter. Looks good.
In the meantime, Frank is booking a flight for me on a different airline. We want to arrive close to the same time so we are trying to coordinate all of that. He successfully gets my ticket. Sweet!
I still haven't hit the "buy" button on my tickets but I have them all set up....so I go over to the timeshare site to reserve the dates and...
(you are probably guessing what happened)
the dates were gone.
The dates that have been available for weeks and weeks and even a few minutes ago have disappeared and are no longer available.
Ok. I can handle this. I call the timeshare. First he says that the dates are in fact available (whew, sigh of relief!) and then says "no, actually, they aren't". I'm freaking out.
Frank is looking at me like I'm crazy and asking why I didn't already get the hotel before the flights??? Easy for him to say. I was juggling too many things at once!
I can't book with the guy right then on the phone because I have to make sure I can get flights for a different date so I hang up.
We decide to book for a few days later. I start the whole process of getting the two tickets for a different date.
Frank calls the airline he was dealing with to see if he can change the date on the ticket he just booked moments before. I'm imagining myself getting there several days early and having to live on the beach by myself. I have a couple of kids who would have no problem with this, but I am not interested in trying out the homeless life.
I reserve the room. No need to make that mistake again.
I work on the flights. Yes, there are flights available. More expensive. More than the voucher, dangit! But not much, just $50, so that's ok. So I book Frank's flight.
I go to the other window to book Carter's flight and it says "the flight you were booking has just sold out. Please start over."
Oh. My. Gosh.
So I start over. The flight that Frank is on isn't exactly "sold out" but the only seats available now cost more miles. At this point I don't care. Something has to work out here. So I book Carter's tickets on the same flight as Frank, sitting near each other but using more of Frank's precious airline miles. I don't even tell Frank. No need to get him involved. ha!
I am getting a SPLITTING headache at this point.
During all of this, Frank has been on the phone with the other airline. There are NO tickets for the date we have chosen. The date that the boys are arriving and that we have reserved the hotel is not available on this other airline. And to make things worse, we are going to have to pay a $150 fee for canceling a reservation made only minutes ago.
So I say "what about the next day?" I'm willing to come a day after the boys. This has to work out.
No flights. None. How can this be? And this is just for flights TO Hawaii, we don't even know what is available to get me home.
At this point we are determined to get a flight and get me there even if its on the wrong day...and we don't want to pay a big fee to cancel and we don't want to have to buy me a ticket with actual money.
The gal doing the reservations was so great and worked for over an hour trying to find me a flight.
In the end I got a flight for the day before Frank and Carter and I got a flight home for the same day as them, but I fly all over the freaking country before I get home almost 24 hours later. It cost us more miles than originally planned but she got me there and home. Whew.
Holy cow it was so stressful.
I wanted to find a cheap hotel for my one night alone there but by the time we got off the phone, Frank was not in the mood to do any more vacation planning. haaa! So that is something I still have to do. I'm not ok with sleeping at the airport or on the beach alone. Nope. Aint happening. (not that Frank would expect me to do that, obviously)
The end result of our 2 stressful hours last night is that we are going to Hawaii!
I'm so excited! I've never been and I'm sure it will be awesome.
It better be.