Sunday, December 07, 2014

Change in Flight Plans


The Big Bird to LA I'm going to be on January 7th, 2015

As regular followers of this blog (and aren't you lucky?) know I have planned a get away trip to Los Angeles on January 7th with my Canadian buddy Pat.  We'll be in Los Angeles for ten days, making ourselves available for discovery.  Never too late I say. Pat's already working as an extra in movies that film in Toronto so we have an "in" but I digress.

I'm meeting Pat in Los Angeles the morning of January 7th.  Pat was taking a direct flight from Toronto to Los Angeles. I was taking a direct flight from Philadelphia, PA.

Well, we have been informed that our flight plans have changed.  Pat now has a stopover in Chicago.  On the way back he has a stop over in Philadelphia.  So he had this wonderful idea that I could change my flight going back (on U.S. Airways, he's flying Air Canada - of course, what else would he be flying? Korean Air?)  

I called U.S. Air.  I could change my flight so we would leave at the same time on the 17th but it would cost me an extra $200 plus I would have to pay the difference in price of the ticket.  My original going back ticket was $191.  The new ticket would be $797.  Well, that kills that.  I'm doing alright but not that good that I have to put out another $700 just to fly back on the SAME plane as Pat, and there was no guarantee that we would even be sitting together.  So, Pat will be leaving 7:30 A.M. for Philly and I'll be leaving at about 10:30 A.M.  Oh well.

Now here is the really interesting part.  I checked my reservation, which I made a couple of months ago (in the summertime, that's how I got the low price of $191 - NON-REFUNDABLE).  The airplane I catch in Philly is coming from . . . are you ready for this?   

Tel Aviv, Israel

ARE.YOU.KIDDING.ME?  

I hope I'm not on an El Al flight - I don't think so but they've already changed my flight plans once


Even better, my flight going back to Philly, the ending destination if also 

Tel Aviv, Israel

Philly is just a stopover both ways.  How did this happen?  When I made my reservation it was for a plane leaving Philly to LA and then back to Philly as the ending destination.  

So you see the obvious here don't you?  I'm going to be on a flight that originates in the Number One Terrorist Destination In The World.  And yes, my ticket is NON-REFUNDABLE.  

And I thought I had a long flight - there's going to be a lot of grumpy folks on that plane


But you know what folks?  The more I think about it, and this was confirmed by my neighbor this morning when I was crying to him about it: If you going to get on a flight what is the safest possible flight you could get on? 

One that is going to or from Israel.  I think he has a point.  

At least this is what I'm telling myself.  Just in case I reminded Bill that I do have a $200,000 travel insurance policy.  

17 comments:

  1. You will be on flight 797. I have few friends who have taken that flight from Tel-Aviv. What an amazing price you've got!

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    1. Nadege,
      I think I got that great price because I booked so far in advance plus I paid for it in advance, non-refundable. If I had a refundable reservation I would have had to pay the almost $800 for one way back. Of course I am worried that if it snows the day I leave Philly (January 7th), I'll be out of luck too. We shall see. This trip is fraught with "contingencies". (smile)
      Ron

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  2. Ron - when I'm up there 8 miles high or whatever that distance is - I'm usually more concerned with what I'm doing way up above the earth in the first place more so than anything nefarious. However, that is a secondary concern these days. Lastly, somehow I don't think that the people coming from Tel Aviv are necessarily the same folks you are travelling with to LA. Here's hoping we can somehow grab the same flight to Philly - stand by or whatever doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Hey - a month today!

    Pat

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    Replies
    1. I don't know Pat. I picture a packed plane and sitting cramped for six hours and having to pay $25 for my carry on baggage because there was no room in the overhead luggage rack for my modest luggage. I'm just full of optimism aren't I?
      Ron

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  3. Ron,
    I agree with Pat's thoughts on who you will be flying with, you probably won't be flying with too many from the Middle East, most will probably disembark at Los Angeles. It would be nice to fly with Pat back to Philly but unless the airline has a change of heart, a rare thing today. you'll be flying separately. Interestingly, when I flew to Florida when my dad passed, I made the reservation for the return flight. I arrived in Florida on a Tuesday and stayed almost two weeks. When I got to the airport on Sunday to go home, I discovered that I had actually booked the flight for Saturday. For whatever reason the woman at the ticket counter actually got me on the Sunday flight and WAIVED the $150.00 processing fee. I have to say I was more than surprised, but I had flown Delta many times prior. I don't think that would happen today no matter how frequently one flies.
    Nice that you have $200K insurance but I'm sure Bill would prefer having you.
    Have a safe trip and enjoy.
    Jack

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    1. Jack,
      I don't know about that. I'm going to be freaked out if I see a lot of robes on my flight. The chances of me flying back to Philly to Pat are almost nil but I'll give it a try when we're at LAX on the 17th. Maybe we might get lucky.

      Last night I had a dream that my flight was hijacked and diverted to Syria and we were being held hostage by ISIS. Not good. I am a Chicken Little through and through.
      Ron

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  4. Don't bring on the flight BLTs.

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      All I'm bringing is a five day change of underwear, one change of shirts, and my MacBook Pro computer with charger. If I need anything else I'll buy it in LA. I'm taking Pat's advice and traveling MINIMAL. And of course NO FOOD. Not even Doritos.
      Ron

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    2. This sounds radical and you wont' be allowed on the plane.

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  5. I love your cover picture with all the plants and Christmas wreaths!

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    1. Average gay dude,
      Hey, I like your tag. Thanks for the compliment on the banner photo. I try to put a lot of thought before I post my banner photos.
      Ron

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  6. Ken used to take a fight from Paris to Philly, where he then changed for Charlotte, NC. Also USAir, of course. Now they have a direct flight between Paris and Charlotte (but only at certain times of the year) so he can skip the Philly stop. That's good because he flies from Charlotte to the coast. Two planes are better than three! I'm looking forward to stories and photos of your adventures in LA with Pat!

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    1. Walt,
      The last (and only time) I took a flight to the coast (San Francisco) was in 1976, it was non-stop. On the way back there was room in first class and the stewardess asked me if I would like to ride back first class. WOULD I? I did and enjoyed it greatly. I doubt if I'll have the same luck this time. I picture a cramped flight going and coming. But once I'm in Hollywood (LA) and meet up with Pat, we will have a grand adventure.
      Ron

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  7. Good point, that flight to and from Israel are generally given very careful security screening. It will also be a larger plane, giving a more comfortable ride.

    I recently changed a round trip from DC to LA to a one way ticket from DC to LA and ended up paying $100 more for one way then I had for the round trip. Only the airlines can have such consumer unfriendly policies and stay in business.

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    1. David,
      I hope this is a safe flight. All I know is that I wouldn't knowingly book a flight on a plane going to Israel and from Israel. Next time Pat and I will have to coordinate our flights better. The airlines these days aren't too consumer friendly to say the least.
      Ron

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  8. Anonymous12:09 PM

    The security on the flights to/ from Israel is much better and has been long before 9/11. The US portions of those flights will be fine. Will it likely be a pretty full/full flight - yes, they all are these days. But you won't have to pay for your carry on bag if you get on and there is no room for it - they check it for free. They might even ask in the boarding area for people to check bags (for free) because it is a full flight. Just make sure your money, electronics (ALL!) and meds are in your under seat carry on. BTW - for maximum flight flexibility - look at Southwest. Even if the price is the same or a little higher - you can easily change and cancel flights with them and have a year to spend the credit they give you (full refund). I travel frequently (~30 round trip flights a year) - I try for Southwest whenever I can because it is so easy to make changes. I may have to pay a higher airfare because of the change but no fees or lost money. Oh - I say all this as a very fearful flyer. Have fun!

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  9. Anonymous6:40 AM

    This is actually a plus. The safety of any plane with origin/destination to Israel is enforced. Nowadays, terrorists are not so stupid to choose these planes. Furthermore, they are now very busy trying to occupy most of the Middle East. Maybe you will "enjoy" some extra police controls, that's all. Juan.

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