In the spring of 2007, a friend of mine and I used the American Airlines miles we had accumulated to buy a vacation package via AA Vacations. We picked an all-inclusive resort in Costa Rica, and excitedly, we planned our trip to Paradisus Playa Conchal.
The time for vacay had arrived. We arrived at the Dallas Fort Worth International airport for our Saturday afternoon departure, our suitcases crammed full with swimsuits, suntan lotion, and more beach reading materials than humanly possible to read poolside at our destination. Both business travelers, we were thrilled to be at the airport for a holiday destination. What may come next will surprise you, and six years later, I can finally share about our excursion…
…that never came to be. We both received an email sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning from the airline that our itinerary had changed. Our departure was now scheduled for Saturday morning. So, imagine our absolute shock and disappointment that not only had we missed our rescheduled flight earlier that morning, but we had forfeited our entire holiday, as that was the only flight that day to Guanacaste!
(Dear reader, we eventually talked a nice person at AA Vacations to move our itinerary to another available weekend for a minimal fee, and that night, we went to Chuy’s–an “exotic” culinary experience in our own Dallas, Texas. All ended well, and we made it to Playa Conchal to zip-line, bathe in the sun, and luxuriate in nothingness eventually.) And most importantly, my travel-savvy friend and I learned the most crucial lesson of checking the airline website up-until-the-last-minute for changes. It was embarrassing; however, it’s a great story of flexibility, preparedness, and last-minute plan B margarita sipping.