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Thanks to flyertalk - kept my upgrade...and my reservation!

Thanks to flyertalk - kept my upgrade...and my reservation!

Old Jan 11, 05, 10:17 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: PDX
Programs: NWA gold, frequent stayer at friends' and relatives' houses
Posts: 346
Thanks to flyertalk - kept my upgrade...and my reservation!

I had an interesting experience a couple days ago. What I have learned on this board definitely made for a smoother experience. I have never quite seen this particular situation, so I thought I would share it.

I was checked in to fly from EAU to MSP at 7:46 pm and then to MSP-PDX at 9:24 pm with EUG clearing ahead of time on the mainline flight. Keep in mind that EAU is a one gate airport where you go through security as part of the boarding process to a small holding area. Here is the chronology of what actually happened:

4:00 pm - at work, working.
Cell phone rings. Agent from Mesaba on the line. "Ms. Goingforgold - your flight from EAU-MSP will be 2 1/2 hours late and I don't know when you are connecting but you might miss it. Could you come on the 5:15 flight" I was still at work, scheduled to work until 6:00 pm, but it was slow. I spoke with my colleague, who could manage on her own, then called back that I needed to go get my stuff and change and I would be there as soon as I could. I didn't have checked baggage so TSA wouldn't need to inspect it. She told me they normally closed the check-in desk 30 minutes prior to flight time, but would make an exception for me. Evidently I was the only passenger scheduled for the delayed flight.

So I rushed to get to the extended stay apartment, changed, showered, packed, returned the rental car filled with gas, and made it to the airport.

5:00 pm - Chippewa Valley Airport, Eau Claire, WI
Saw TSA was operating security. They asked if I wanted to board and I said I needed to check in first. They kindly directed me to the agent who was unloading luggage from the incoming flight. I bent down and yelled through the little hole she was putting the luggage through (very loudly - she had her big ear muffs on).

So, she walked through the door, took off her ear muffs, and became the counter agent again. She looked at my boarding pass with a puzzled look. Then she got on the phone and asked the person at the other end "I have a lady here scheduled on the later flight, but I need to change her to this one, how do I do that?" The answer was take a piece of my current boarding pass, look at my ID, and let me on the plane. "It is changed in the computer, you can go on." TSA seemed confused when they saw a different flight number, but I said "she said it was OK" I went on the plane and picked a seat as I had no idea where I was assigned.

6:00 pm - MSP Worldclubs - C concourse
Here is where FT comes in. I figured I might still be listed on the other flight and would be counted as a misconnect - or have my itinerary cancelled because I "missed" the first leg.

As I checked in to WC, I asked to to be sure my reservation was still intact since I went on an earlier flight. "were you on standby?" they asked. "Well, not exactly - they called and asked ME to come early", I said. At first they replied that there was no earlier flight available to PDX. Eventually, I explained that I just wanted to make sure I was still OK for the next flight as it was the last flight of the day.

Sure enough - my reservation was cancelled. Evidently I could be "re-checked in". My upgrade stood.

9:15 pm Seat 1D on A320
Listening to announcements regarding "very full flight", "may need to gate check bags." Passengers walking by at the latter part of the boarding process expressing appreciation that "well at least I made it on". I sat there, very, very glad that I knew about such things as cancellations if you don't make the first leg - even if you did!

Overall, I was fine with the experience. It was just interesting to see that if I didn't know to push the agents to verify my reservations, I might have found out too late to get such a good outcome.
goingforgold is offline  
Old Jan 11, 05, 3:12 pm
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: LAX
Programs: DL GM
Posts: 1,029
That really is the sort of experience that makes a person grateful for a community like this one. I, too, have learned a lot of things here that have enhanced (and occasionally, rescued) my traveling days.
MJLogan is offline  

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