Day of Departure Freakout

It’s 6am on the first day of vacation and we log on to the Continental Airlines website to see if our flight to Miami was on time.

Not only is it not on time. It’s been canceled.

Continental Airlines then automatically re-books our flight for Tuesday, which doesn’t do us very much good since our cruise ship would have sailed by then and we will have missed the boat.

Vacation over. $3000 down the non-refundable toilet. Jody is crying.

I reach out to Continental Airlines on Twitter, but they don’t respond. I call Continental Airlines customer service number but they won’t answer the phone…”we are experiencing high call volume and cannot take your call.“. I notice that Continental almost NEVER responds to ANYONE on Twitter.

I start calculating mileage on Google Maps to drive from NY to Miami. Almost 24 hours of non-stop driving, but we could make the boat. We’re hoping this is a last resort.

We reached out to Travelocity, where we originally booked the flight. They were totally awesome. Apparently, if you’re Travelocity, Continental Airlines will pick up the phone, but if you’re an actual customer of Continental’s, you’re pretty much screwed.

Unfortunately, while Travelocity was able to cancel our flights and refund the costs, they weren’t able to get us on another flight on short notice…everything was booked.

We decide to just go to the airport anyway and play stupid, as if we had no idea the flight was canceled. We figured if we were face-to-face with a Continental employee, it would be harder for them to ignore us. Our Continental rep at the Rochester airport was Jennifer. She was very sympathetic and suggested that we rent a car and drive 4 hours to Cleveland, where there was a flight to Ft. Lauderdale in 5 hours, then we could take a $100 cab ride to Miami and possibly make it to the ship on time.

So that’s what we did.

It turns out that a couple from Canada in line behind us were on the same cruise and therefore were in the same predicament as us, so we split the rental car fee with them and drove to Cleveland.

The GPS in the rental car says it will take us 4 hours and 15 minutes to get there, which means we have 45 minutes to park, get through security, and make the flight. I drive 90 miles an hour and get us there in 3 1/2.

Vacation saved.

UPDATE: When we returned from vacation, I logged in to Twitter to see if @Continental had ever responded to my any of my twitters to them. They had not.

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