I’ll add some pics to this when Cathy gets back with the camera!
Last night we had dinner with my brother Cris at a calypso / asian restaurant. We met with his friend Ben (who is pretty awesome) and his wife and child. It was an awesome dinner and evening, particularly so since we got some gifts from family back home (Thank you Bella for the “Don’t blame me, blame the parents” T-Shirt for Cameron).
The whiskey went down a treat:)
Today is easter and the wife and kids (how weird it is to say that) are out at church – not my thing but they wanted to go so fine – and I get an hour to myself, which is most welcome.
So the story about our flying out here – basically we were due to fly out on Wednesday, from Phoenix to SF, connecting at SF to a flight to Tokyo and on from there to Guangzhou. Our flight from Phoenix was a united flight at 7:15 am, but booked through All Nippon Air (a new carrier) which then took us the rest of the way.
We booked Super Shuttle to take us the 15 miles to the airport (since we didn’t want to leave our cars at long term and incur costs) and we informed them of when our flights were (we’d have to be at the airport at 6:30 at the latest – 45 mins before they fly) and they assured us we’d be there on time. They picked us up at 5am sharp and we thought it was all good. Turns out there were 3 other pickups, and the driver didn’t know where any of them were, they were all in locked in conclaves and in the end we got dropped off at 6:40, too late to make our Phoenix-SF leg.
So we talked to United, who couldn’t help because they didn’t issue the ticket. We talked to our travel agent who did her best but couldn’t find us a different flight – we’d already missed that days ANA flights to Tokyo / China – we’d have to go the next day. And here was the kicker – ANA wanted another $6300 for us to rebook the next day because “they had no seats and all they had was business class, which cost that much more”. This is on top of the $5500 we’d already spent on tickets. They told me they literally had no economy seats leaving mainland USA for China at all until the following Monday, which was too late since we had to be in Feng Du to pick up Cameron by Sunday. Our Travel agent informed us it was the same with all the carriers – no seats anywhere.
Needless to say I wasn’t having any of that. I got on the phone with ANA and pointed out to them that a) I didn’t have that money extra lying around and b) the next day the LA Times could have one of two headlines on the opinion columns, one of which read “AZ couple fails to adopt child because of extra $6300 demand by ANA for seats for flight” or “ANA triumphs by getting AZ couple to China to adopt over difficult circumstances”. I made the point that this was a highly media pathetic situation and they wouldn’t come of looking good out of it, and if I failed to adopt a child because they wouldn’t get me on a plane out to China that it would cost them in the long run. They had a point in that the fact that we missed our flights wasn’t their fault, but as I pointed out, attempting to charge us an extra $6300 absolute was their problem.
In the end, after going up 3 levels of management to a VP I finally got someone to ‘find’ us some seats the next day.
In terms of Super Shuttle – well negotiations are still underway on that situation. I can’t quite believe that a business who’s entire focus is getting you to the airport on time can’t do it, particularly when we are sitting in the back making nervous noises to the driver the whole time. What really pissed me off was he was totally aware that he’d completely failed to get us to the airport on time, but he just dropped us off and left without even saying sorry. Needless to say we won’t be utilizing Super Shuttle again.
Eventually though, we made it out here and we have Cameron.
He’s awesome. Here, take a gander at this pic from dinner last night:)
Thats my son – Tony Soprano II.