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Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:58 PM

Changes in a Christmas Flight Itinerary.

My parents, who live in California, have stopped flying at age 88. They still had enough miles, though, for one more trip, so they decided to use them for my solo trip at Christmas for a visit. My wife, who normally goes, too, needs to be here for her mom this Christmas, since her mother will be alone and needs assistance.

So, I'll be winging my way from the MSP airport to the Burbank airport. Why Burbank? Because everyone in my family refuses to drive to LAX any more to pick people up. The traffic sucks that bad. So, that leads to some interesting issues. There are a bazillion Delta flights between MSP and LAX a day - Maybe even an brazillian. There are exactly none from MSP to Burbank.

So, I'm flying out on Christmas day - MSP to SLC, where I get to cool my heels in the Salt Lake City airport for four hours before catching an SLC to LAX flight. That will give me time to explore that fascinating airport three or four times, and still have time to read 50 Shades of Gray on my wife's Kindle, which I'm taking, since it has more diverting reading on it than my own, and I want to know what she was giggling about. Not that bad, really, and SLC still has a smoking area on the lower level, inside the secure zone. Very reasonable of them.

On the 29th, I'm returning. That's more complicated. So far, there have been three changes in the itinerary. From a one-stop through SLC, with a 5 hour wait, it has changed twice. Today, I looked it up again, and found that I'll be leaving Burbank at 7:20 AM, on a flight to SLC. Then, an hour after I arrive at SLC, I get on another flight, this time going to Detroit. After an hour there, I finally board a flight to MSP, where I'll arrive at 6:40 PM. That's how it is so far.

But who knows? If things change or if some scheduler has a migraine, I may end up flying to SLC, then Detroit, and then Atlanta, where I'll board a red-eye to MSP Anything could happen.

Flying on someone else's miles around a holiday is apparently likely to end up with considerable confusion before you actually get anywhere, it seems. Who knew? But...my parents wanted to gift me with the trip, so that's what I'll do. Whatever the route, I'll be there to see them. At 88, it's never certain if it'll be the last visit. I could just buy my own ticket, fly to LAX and rent a car to drive the hour to my folks' house. But, they wanted to pay for the flight. I'll be smiling when I get off the plane, for sure.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Changes in a Christmas Flight Itinerary. (Original post)
MineralMan Nov 2012 OP
SheilaT Nov 2012 #1
MineralMan Nov 2012 #4
Ruby the Liberal Nov 2012 #2
MineralMan Nov 2012 #5
DollarBillHines Nov 2012 #3
MineralMan Nov 2012 #7
Ruby the Liberal Nov 2012 #9
msanthrope Nov 2012 #6
MineralMan Nov 2012 #8

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:14 PM

1. Have a wonderful visit.

I'm curious though, do you know why your return flights keep on changing?

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:43 PM

4. I have no idea, really.

The real worry will be the weather. It could mess up all those plans. I'm flexible, though.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 04:35 PM

2. Why don't you just fly to LAX and hail a cab to Burbank

They can pick you up there and you wouldn't have wasted the better part of 2 days.

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Response to Ruby the Liberal (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:44 PM

5. Yah, that would be an option, but a spendy one.

I could afford it, but would rather not, since the tickets are already bought. It'll be an adventure.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:36 PM

3. You can probably expect a few more itinerary modifications

As you said, holiday travel on someone else's miles can be a real experience.

Heck I am ExecPlat on both AA and Delta and I don't even use my own miles for Xmas travel. I am traveling cross-country (SFO-ATL) on Jan8 and had to pay in order to get a non-stop. Now there's some Customer Appreciation fer ya.

Good luck and safe travel. It's really cool that you will be able to spend time with your folks.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:51 PM

7. Yes. And the fact that they used their miles means

that I'm willing to do the flight they bought. It's no big deal, really. I love airports for all the interesting people you get to watch and maybe converse with.

At Christmas time, I always travel in a red Santa hat, and a red shirt. With my white beard and somewhat rotund physique, it's always interesting to see the kids' eyes get large.

I'll sit in the airport and smile. You're right, too. Any chance to spend time with my parents is the best gift I can have. My wife and I moved from California after her father had a stroke. My parents have two of their other offspring living in the same town, but my mother-in-law had nobody, really, so it was very important that we moved there. Since we're both self-employed it was no great issue for us. It was an excellent decision, really. Her mom is getting more and more scattered, mentally, and us being there lets her stay independent.

It's an interesting time in our lives, with both sets of parents either gone or aging fast. We're lucky to be able to help my wife's mother and my parents are well looked after. I miss seeing them more often, but we chat on the phone every Sunday at exactly noon, their time.

Life changes constantly, and it's all an adventure.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:13 PM

9. Amazing how they have cut those programs.

I too was Platinum Delta for years and flew to the middle east non-stop, first class for 60,000 points some years ago. Same trip 4 years later, same origination and destination points, and it was 170,000 for coach with 2 stops.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:49 PM

6. 50 Shades of Grey??? Drink a shot of Grey Goose for every chapter you

get through.

I recently did a dramatic reading of an excerpt of 50 Shades at a 40th birthday party for a friend. We laughed and laughed....

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:52 PM

8. My wife laughed a lot, too, but told me I'd have to read it myself.

So, I'll have time to do that. It will give me new insights into my wife's psyche or scare me to death, I'm sure. This year is our 21st anniversary, so we know each other pretty well by now.

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