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When Flights Take You Everywhere Except Your Destination

What the hell did I just do? (Candace)

We woke up this morning with our typical cuddling and canoodling. But today, Andrew casually asked, “So when is our flight to Malaysia tomorrow?” I responded just as casually, “Hmmm…Let me look it up… Wait. Shit! It’s today!”

In order to fully explain how today’s schedule got so royally screwed up, I have to back up (prepare your body for some mathematical calculations now).

When we applied for our Australian visas and learned that mine had been denied due to my 15-year old DUI, we took Jane’s advice and decided that we would keep the flights we had booked to Melbourne (for $750), but just book an add-on flight to Auckland, New Zealand, with a different airline (an additional $650). This way, we could enjoy NZ for a week instead of Australia, but wouldn’t lose the investment we had made in our earlier flights and wouldn’t get stuck in Australian visa purgatory.

Easy enough, right? Wrong.

A day or two later, Andrew took over the planning for the next couple of weeks and decided that, rather than stay in Manila, he wanted to see Conde Nast’s “Readers’ Favorite Beach” and bought a puddle jumper ticket to Boracay. He asked me when we’d arrive in Manila, and I told him at 12:30 am on morning of the 17th, so he booked a flight for 9am on the 18th.

Done and done.

Unfortunately, I read the flights wrong, and failed to account for the 8-hour layover we had in Kuala Lampur, so we didn’t arrive in Manila until 12:30 pm on the 18th.

We completely missed our flight!

But Andrew, in his calm and collected way, negotiated a new ticket for $80, and we made it to Boracay in one piece.

Whew!

But apparently, when I told him that we arrived in Manila on the 17th, I must have also told him that we left Manila on the 25th, so he booked a return flight from Boracay to Manila for 7:45pm on the 24th.

However, when I looked up our flight again this morning, I got the date wrong AGAIN. But this time, rather than miss our little puddle jumper flight, we missed the flight from Manila to Kuala Lampur, then causing us to miss our connection to Melbourne, which in turn caused us to miss our connection on to New Zealand. And by missing this series of flights, we would have to invest another $1,500 in order to arrive two days later than planned (while sitting in airports for the full two days), allowing us only two-three days in NZ before we had to fly on to Hawaii, through Melbourne (another two days of flying).

Is your brain hurting yet? Mine is.

After several hours of unsuccessfully searching for a budget flight to accomplish this, we finally resigned ourselves to cutting New Zealand and Australia completely out of our trip, and finding a flight from Manila to Hawaii instead. Unfortunately, even after speaking with two different airlines, we cannot recover any of our investment in the missed flights. (Thanks a lot, AirAsia and JetStar.)

And we are now also out the $800 for the new flight to Hawaii.

$1,500 wasted. Ugh.

I’m feeling so guilty for making such a series of stupid mistakes, and I am kicking myself for wasting SO. MUCH. MONEY.

I’ve been a basket case all day. But Andrew has been his happy, light-hearted self. He’s smiled and danced around the hotel room. He’s hugged me and shrugged off the expense. He has been an absolute saint (but after six months of my shenanigans, this should come as no surprise).

I can only imagine what a joy I would have been if the tables were reversed, and can only admire him and see this as an opportunity to learn how to act toward your spouse in a stressful situation. What an awesome role model.

We aren’t out of the woods yet. I’m going to attempt standby travel tomorrow from Tokyo to Honolulu, so fingers crossed…

When a slightly less stressful and more amusing flight snafu happened with Brad last month, Brad simply laughed and said, “At least we missed our flight and flew to the wrong island together. I couldn’t have asked for a better travel companion for this crazy detour. The universe must just have another plan for us.”

Well, Universe. I’m really hoping that the plan doesn’t cost any more money…

Brad, thank you for teaching me levity. And Andrew, thank you for teaching me patience. An expensive lesson to learn, but a worthy one, all the same.

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