In my previous post, I talked about my time in California with my sister Lynda. Now I’ll talk about my trip there and back.
The Atlanta Airport is pwned by Delta Airlines and AirTran. Certain discount airlines don’t fly to ATL, so some of the internet specials available to many aren’t available to Atlantans.
Cheap-jali refused to be foiled by these evil corporate entities in my quest to save money so I devised a plan. I decided to book a round trip flight that fell within the terms I dictated (meaning really cheap tickets).
Before making my decision, I checked a few travel sites and found that the fares from Atlanta on the days I wanted to fly to Oakland were waaaaay beyond my means. Priceline wouldn’t accept any of my offers. Expedia needed more flexibility. Orbit couldn’t help me.
Ah, Southwest. I checked the dates on their website and found an internet special that I was happy with. I was excited and I entered my acceptance of their nonrefundable tickets. I was “on my way” to California!
Oh, yeah. Southwest doesn’t fly to Atlanta so my flight left and returned from and to Birmingham, Alabama.
I’ve been to Birmingham, and the ride isn’t that long so I thought that one or the other of my friends here would be able to drop me off there when the time came, or that I would be able to take a shuttle, airport to airport. No big deal.
(Sound of record scratch to a halt). BIG deal.
Big, big deal.
I watched the cost of gasoline soar in the weeks following my purchase. Having a friend drop me off as a favor wouldn’t be feasible. I checked for shuttle service between airports and found that there is a very limited and very expensive service available. I sent an email message to the company and heard nothing at all in reply.
Airline tickets with no way to get to the airport. Cheap-jali has done it again!
Ooooh. Inspiration! Trailways!
I clicked to their website, expecting a few simple steps in booking bus tickets to Birmingham. I clicked and found myself on the Trailways Charter page. Not good – not helpful. I clicked my back button to try again. No matter what I tried, the system wouldn’t allow me to buy tickets, see schedules or see prices. I think I was sweating by this time – frustration, annoyance and my old stand by: menopause, all joined forces to make me feel…um… “not so fresh”.
Finally I remembered that I wanted Greyhound NOT Trailways (not my fault that I couldn’t remember – I’m old as shit!) and I was able to navigate the Greyhound site easily and buy my nonrefundable (seems like I never learn) tickets right away. I allowed ample time between bus and train travel to guarantee that I’d make each leg of my trip comfortably without having to stress while on vacation. ( cue maniacal laughter in the background).
Have any of you ridden a bus lately?
coming up next: Part Deux.