How To Avoid Airport Problems

by derek on April 25, 2007 · 6 comments

Last week I was in Atlanta for a training class and experienced an eventful day of travel on my return trip. As a brief recap and my tip to you on how to avoid problems at the airport:
Pay Attention To The Details
With a return flight scheduled for the early evening hours on Friday, I decided to head to the airport early when my class completed ahead of schedule on Friday afternoon. After briefly checking the list of departing flights, I found two earlier flights to be desired airport that would get me home before my originally scheduled flight.
The line for the flight check-in was not too long so I took my place in line to try and change my flight. When my turn came up, I walked up to the agent and informed her of my desire to change my flight. After exchanging a few pleasantries and a $25 fee, I had my new boarding pass and was on my way to the security checkpoint.
As I crawled through the security checkpoint, something compelled me to look at my boarding pass and I noticed that it was not for the airport that I had mentioned to the agent. Doh! Since I drove myself to the airport rather than take a limo, I was now presented with the situation where I was flying into an airport where I had no means of transportation to get to my car or back home.
When I arrived back at the check-in counter with a growing frustration about how the original agent would make the mistake of changing the destination airport, the line was much longer and I spoke with an agent that directed me to a shorter line to try and resolve my problem. As I spoke to the next agent, they informed me that my original reservation was to the same airport and I indicated it was not but the agent had switched it. Again I indicated that was not right and pulled out my original paperwork, doh!
That’s right…my original travel reservations had me flying into a different airport than I had departed from at the beginning of my trip. As I alluded to earlier, if I had paid attention to the details when my travel reservations were made, I would have noticed the mistake my corporate travel department had made and would have changed it then. Unfortunately I didn’t and I was now faced with a dilemma.
The airline agent informed that they could switch my flight to the desired airport and everything would be fine. However, when they asked if I had any bags to check and I noted that I had one that was already checked for the other flight, I was told that I would not be able to change the flight. Doh!
After a call to an administrative assistant at my office, I learned that there were no limos available to drive me to the other airport upon my arrival. My wife was not home and she isn’t too fond of the idea of driving to the airports in this area anyways, so I had to think of something to get me from the one airport to the one where my car was parked. In the end, I opted to rent a car from the one airport and turn the car in about an hour later at the other airport.
While everything worked out, I could have easily avoided my problems at the airport by simply paying attention to the details. Whether that had been changing my travel plans through my corporate travel department before ever leaving on the trip or recoginizing the mistake at the airport before changing the original flight, I had multiple opportunities to catch the mistake but failed to do so.
As a final lesson in all of this, I think I have decided that driving myself to the airport problably just isn’t worth it and will take advantage of the limo in the future. If you are preparing to depart on a trip, do yourself a favor and double check everything and pay attention to all of the details.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

BB January 28, 2008 at 7:49 am

I remember encountering a distinctly similar problem on a holiday in Australia – a mamouth trip that involved 6 planes, some coaches and a few boats (only one limo). There was an entire connecting flight missing on my itinery between Adelaide and Brisbane, which if I hadn’t spotted it before we set off would have left us in a real mess. Luckily because our route was so complex I spent a lot of time going over it, to make sure everything was right. On a shorter trip I would have been caught out.


Niklas Eklund February 4, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Always problems with the airports, been to London twice in three weeks, both times my return ticket was resceduled..#¤#¤%


VIPvillas February 7, 2008 at 2:13 pm

The wonders of travel. Why is it exactly airports seen to stock the most uncomfortable furniture they can find?? Id it a deliberate ploy to make everyone impotent from sheer blood flow loss to the nether regions?!? The best airport floors to sleep on???? Athens isn’t bad, it’s clean and relatively draft free. Anyone got a better floor that they’ve slept on. The joys of travel.


BB February 26, 2008 at 5:33 am

Overnighters at Kuala Lumpur aren’t that much fun either. The entire airport shuts down for about 6 hours, and you can find your self alone in a ghost airport.
My worst gripe at the moment is having to bag up liquids. Some airports and really helpful and have people handing out bags to put your liquids in – i.e. Edinburgh. At Leeds Bradford it seems that if you get caught out though its just tough luck.


SEO Bod December 16, 2011 at 6:56 am

I like airports, watching a mix of a strange or unusual human beings stroll around from so many different cultures fused together. Faro airport has entertainment laid on, 4 people wander around the place dressed as clowns entertaining the travellers, great touch!


Tim March 16, 2012 at 10:18 am

It’s a good idea to read the small print too! If you have to cancel often the cheaper deals won’t let you change dates and you forfeit your fare..


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