Sunday, December 16, 2007

Travel update...

Well, I was a bit concerned that traveling through Newark tomorrow (Sun, Dec. 16) would prove to be problematic, given the crummy weather the Northeast is getting. I called Continental earlier in the day and got moved up to a 10:15 am flight from BWI-EWR, so that I'd have ample time to connect to the EWR-BOM flight at 8:20 pm. Heck, worst case, I'd get to take the train into the City and hang out a bit, maybe meet up with cousins, etc.

Imagine my shock when I went to print out my itinerary and the screen gave the date of departure as Monday, Dec. 17! I got on the horn. The first guy put me on hold to talk to his supervisor and then dropped the call. The next agent explained that basically almost all flights from BWI-EWR had canceled, so the system had automatically bumped me to the next day. There was a 645am flight scheduled to leave Baltimorw, but that was subject to change. "What if I take a train to Newark? Can you put me back on the Dec. 16 EWR-BOM flight, and I just board at Newark?" Well, that would require a ticket reissue (change in departure city), and since Northwest issued my ticket, I'd have to call them.

So, I dialed the NW Elite Services Reservation line (real live human right away most of the time!) and explained the situation. I pulled up Amtrak's website on the laptop -- trains more or less on the hour from Union Station to the City, stopping at Newark Airport. Fare $122. Ugh. Long hold. "Yes sir, we can put you on the Newark flight." "Hmm. Hang on. What if you get me out of Dulles on KLM to Amsterdam and then to Bombay?" More hold. "Done!" And an emergency exit too! This is how loyalty programs work ... fast, efficient, courteous service!

So, I avoid Newark altogether. Leave Dulles Sunday at 555p on KL652, arrive AMS 730am on Monday. Leave AMS 1010a arr BOM 1130pm on NW34, about two hours later than I would have arrived on the CO flight. Both are comfortable Airbus A330s. I can still go and crash at my uncle's place, and take the flight on Tue morning to Baroda.

The weather in the DC area is supposed to be rain and wind. That shouldn't affect flight operations too much.

And thank goodness for flexible frequent flier tickets!