I made my reservations for the WFC trip MONTHS ago. Then they kept on sending me "itinerary updates", which I largely ignored while they involved a change of a half-hour or less in the scheduled departure time of an aircraft, until the one which announced that the partner airline taking care of the Chicago/O'Hare-to-Madison part of the trip had cancelled a particular connecting flight which meant that my outward bound leg became untenable because my new connecting flight left before I got to Chicago, so the new itinerary change that turned up (back in August!) suddenly announced that I would be leaving Seattle at 8:45 AM instead of around 11 as originally planned. This of course means that we have to get there the night before to be sure to be at the airport in good time without leaving home at midnight - which does require a bit of advance strategic as well as financial planning. So I bitched and whined at them, but that was apparently the only thing that they could do, and I finally grumbled myself into acquiescence.
I got around to planning the transportation part from home to the airport last night, and looked up my itinerary online just in case. It had TWO flights listed for the Chicago - Madison leg, and the second one (leaving at 4 PM) had a somewhat disconcerting "This flight leaves from a different airport" tagged to it. Say WHAT? So I phoned up the travel people.
Turns out that they have now cancelled the *4 o'clock* flight, leaving me with the one that departs eight minutes before my Seattle flight lands. I kind of yawped, and they dug around and said that they would rearrange things (but they didn't know if they could do it at the same "level of service" for the airline, whatever that means) and that someone would phone me within four business days. That puts it around Thursday of this week. On October 27. I am supposed to leave on November 2, and I find myself completely unable to trust anything these people are now telling me. I really *REALLY* don't want to find myself stranded in Chicago in the middle of November, and there simply has to be a way of getting me there before midnight on the day of the flight.
Growl, snarl, whine.
The worst part of it is that this time they didn't even bother to send me the changed itinerary (i.e. that the flight had been cancelled). Surely this sort of thing should be illegal...? I know that airlines reserve the right to make their own schedules and that is fine, but mucking about with travel plans made months in advance should entail SOME responsibility on their part. I can't be expected to phone their offices once day from the time I make the booking to the time I get on the airplane - I have to have a certain amount of trust that the flight I had booked and paid for will be there for me to take when I turn up at an airport, barring acts of God - and yes, I know Katrina was an act of God and that fuel prices might have skyrocketed because of the backwash of that but so far as I know the country hasn't been totally shut down by the hurricane season, and I am quite excessively annoyed at the entire song and dance routine now. If someone doesn't phone me by WEDNESDAY at the latest with a doable itinerary I will be wroth indeed.
And now I supposed I'd better go and see what the heck Boboko is meowing about so pitifully upstairs. He sounds devastated, but I suspect it's just that Laptop finished the last of the chicken remains that had been put out for them earlier this morning...