Travel has been a quite tricky in the first part this three-week trip. I’m hoping for smooth flying for the remainder of the tour. After a lovely time at the newly remodeled Woolly Ewe in Plano, TX (the whole store feels more open and accessible with their usual, truly impressive range of stock). I’m not giving a website link for them, as they have recently been subject to a series of malicious attacks by hackers vandalizing their site. I’m sure they will be up and running again soon.
I arrived back at my host’s and was just packing and washing for my early departure to Huntsville, AL, when my cell phone rang: it was Katherine from Yarn Expressions sounding rather desperate.
She’d been trying to track me down for days, but with all her data and contact information stored electronically, and no power in town since the tornadoes, she had not been able to reach me. Eventually she had managed to charge her phone a little from a store with a generator and gain access to her information.
Her message was roughly the following: the power is out, the hotel closed indefinitely, her customers scattered to the four winds, and I believe even an evening curfew in place. Although her store was undamaged, this was obviously not the time for a workshop. “Please don’t come.”
Oooh. Trouble already, and it’s only the first week!
All this was about to play havoc with my long and complex airline ticket with four different carriers (bad idea). How on earth could I get out of flying to Hunstsville the next day without forfeiting my ticket? (Miss a leg, and you are out of luck with the rest of the ticket.) Naturally, this all occurred after-hours on a Sunday evening, so help from my travel agent wasn’t even an option.
Although my morning flight was with United, I had to go to the issuing carrier: Air Canada. Definitely Not a Good Thing.
After much nail-biting, sweat and emotions that I don’t care to relive, I finally found an agent who was able to help me for a reasonable change fee and keep the rest of my ticket intact. I can’t believe the vastly different charges quoted to me by various agents – very stressful. Don’t they realize the more they stress this customer, the closer I get to not taking the 40+ flights a year I have been taking? I felt like I’d been through the wringer.
Fortunately I went to the airport early this morning, and check-in was not without anxiety. It took 3 different line-ups and another call to Air Canada before they would issue my boarding pass. My delight at being met by three enthusiastic knitters at Atlanta airport followed by lunch at the delightful OK Cafe was palpable.
PS. Always keep a little cash, some batteries, bottled water and paper records of vital information on hand in case of sudden emergency. Lesson learned in NS after Hurricane Juan and at least a week without power.