Dealing with Travel Challenges


“Don’t be Concerned about Reaching Your Destination. Enjoy the Journey and the Destination will Take Care of Itself.” -Jenny Marie

We spent the last few days with friends and family, and trying to get last minute trip stuff wrapped up. It was a really wonderful weekend with everyone, despite the feelings of stress and anxiety in the background. It is Sunday, February 19th, 2017. Today is our official departure date. Both of our families and my best friend made an appearance at the airport to send us off with lots of love, hugs, and a few sad tears. Even when its temporary, saying goodbye is never ever easy no matter what the reasons are.

You Aren’t Going Anywhere Today

We got to the ticketing desk so we could check in on our 6:30 PM United Flight to San Francisco (SFO), only to be told we were going to be delayed once for about an hour or so. We thought, no problem. This just means more time hanging out with our family before the big departure. We checked our Kayak Application half an hour later, only to find out we were delayed until 11 PM. This meant we were definitely going to miss our connecting flight from SFO to Taiwan (TPE), and thus, our finally destination to Bali (DPS). We tried to re-route our flight itinerary and re-book on different airlines several times with no success.

Finally Good News!

We tried looking for a flight on American Airlines to  Los Angeles (LAX), because the ticketing agents told us that this was our best chance of leaving tonight and that by then air traffic control for might be more under control at that time due to the heavy storms affecting California. By this time, we were hungry, grumpy, and worn out. The adrenaline and excitement had faded, and all we wanted to do was get some sleep.

Lets Try This Again

We woke up tired, but ready to try again. We got to the airport at 9 AM. We went to check in again at United. SFO was delayed again, and they re-booked us on a Delta flight going through LAX. A few minutes later, we found out Delta was now delayed two and a half hours. Remember I told you we were dealing with dental emergencies at the bitter end of planning this trip? I was now experiencing new dental pain from emergency dental procedures I had done recently. I thought this was a perfect time to make a run in to see my dentist to make sure that this pain was not turning into something a lot worse. Flying after dental procedures can cause excruciating pain due to the changes in pressure. I got my tooth checked and fixed up in a matter of minutes. On a side note, my dentist and her staff have been nothing short of amazing this month. If you need one because you had a incompetent dentist before, see Dr. Alexa at Campbell Dental in Tucson. We made it back for the Delta flight an hour ahead of time with our carry-ons and we were ready to go. Apparently, the Delta flight decided to leave an hour early. No rhyme, no reason. It just left because of…”air traffic control.” The United agent tried re-booking us on several flights, the system wouldn’t release the tickets, and then the flights were delayed…again.

Tiring Out

I stood in the United line again, while Alex called a remote United agent on his cell. We have been around the block with United more than enough times to know you have to go through a million loop holes to get what you need. It is our least favorite airline for various reasons. The more people we had working on this, the better at this point. The agent told me there was no way we were leaving today. Well, surprise, surprise, Alex spoke with a remote agent who booked us on an American flight from LAX at 7 PM. I told my family and friends we were going to give it one more try, and then throw in the towel if it didn’t work out. We would try to re-book later on in the week if all else failed. I thought maybe this is a sign, maybe its not meant to be, and we shouldn’t force fate.

Lesson Learned

We are mentally and physically exhausted and somewhat discouraged, but this is what we signed up for. It’s really important to remember to let it roll off, try again, and know when to stop and start again. While we have been quite un-lucky since the beginning of this adventure, every airline agent we have dealt with has been kind and willing to go out of their way to think of re-booking strategies and routes. My advice to you: persevere until you get what you want, and act in kindness and gratitude even when its getting hard to. Also, don’t fly United. But, seriously, please don’t be on of those horribly mean customers yelling at ticketing agents and banging on office doors because it gets you nowhere and you look mentally unstable, or as us nurses like to call it, AMS. (We really did see that in the last 24 hours). You are not in control of the situation, and neither are they.

Fingers Crossed

We are probably on our 15th cup of hot tea today, and have been sitting at a restaurant here in Tucson International for a long time. It could always be worse. I will let you know if we are walking onto a plane or walking out the exit door of the airport and figuring out whats next :).

Love, Nurse Vanessa

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