As I write, I am currently waiting to hear back from the LA Consulate about whether our initial paperwork is approved. In the meantime, I figured I'd write down all the other things that have now begun, such as buying plane tickets, finding a place to stay in Spain, transferring driver's licenses, and preparing to be homeless yikes! True to form, our comedy of errors continues and a new villain has entered into our plotline...the dreaded Plane Tickets!!!
Be Nice Tiffany They Don't Mean To Not Know How To Do Their Job...
AKA The Plan Tickets From Hell
Before I launch into the ridiculousness of getting plane tickets I thought I would explain the meme I chose. What many of you may not know is that I'm obsessed with Star Trek The Next Generation! Maybe it's because they have a counselor on the show, like myself, or because I ugly cry when I watch it, but currently we are in the process of binging all 7 seasons. If you have not checked it out I highly recommended it! Anyways back to the bitching!
Due to not wanting to shoot me in the foot, the airline I will discuss will remain unnamed...First things first, it is super nerve-racking to buy plane tickets when you're not even sure if your Visa will be approved, but we needed to get ahead of it, to get the dog thing happening, and make sure it didn't get booked up. At the time I ordered the tickets, it was about 2 months out, July 12th. We wanted to get there before August; as I heard, it's hard to get paperwork signed in Spain during that time, because many businesses close due to travel/heat. However, we needed to get there with enough time to get all our paperwork approved for the Visa. Why do I do this to myself? Ourselves?
Day 1 of booking the tickets! I attempt to buy the plane tickets from the airline, but for whatever reason, the site does not want to work with my computer (and I tried every browser)! How did I find this out?! By Chase Bank declining the purchase because it felt that it was a fraudulent charge. I call Chase, and they raise my daily spending limit to over $3000 for the purchase to go through. I hang up attempt the purchase again still declined. I call Chase back, and they don't know why it isn't working; maybe try another card.
The other card we have is my husband's debit card because we can't have credit cards...due to some spending issues oops. The husband tried his card and declined. He now calls Chase, and they raise his limit, but he learned from my experience and reran the card with them on the phone...nope. I have been on hold with my unnamable foe for 2 hours at this point, trying to get through. I have to go back to work and hang up. This is when my stubbornness kicks in!
I'll learn To Fly If I Have To!
At this point, I decided to try and get tickets from Expedia! I went through their website and WA LA! We can get the tickets! The catch is we paid extra to pick our seats, and when I go to the airline's site, we are unable to pick our seats. I call Expedia, and they figured out the tickets they sold are no longer available with that option. I ask Expedia to cancel the tickets to buy the cheaper ticket without the option, which they easily did. I now re-buy the tickets at a lower price, get my confirmation, and are emailed the tickets...wooo hooo! Three tickets set us back about $2900.
Here is where the dog thing comes in. Before buying tickets, I had to call and make sure there was room in the cabin for our small dog on that flight. After 2 hours, they picked up and said I couldn't add my dog unless I have a ticket. So I asked them if it is possible to have my dog on there because I can't buy these tickets if it wasn't. They checked, and there was room for him. I dumbly hung up instead of having them wait on the line to book my tickets because this was before the fraud extravaganza. I was told that once I book my ticket, I will have to call back and get a special code to add the dog to the flight.
We have the fraud extravaganza and finally have our tickets! I call back the airline and wait for 2 more hours. Now you would all be so proud of me because I managed to be really nice to the person who I knew wasn't doing their job correctly but had no other choice to work with. I tell the man I have my plane tickets, so I need to get the code to add my dog to the flight. He asks me what bread my dog is, and when I say Chihuahah, he says these are banned dogs. At this point, I have literally read the website 5000 times and know he is wrong. I ask him to show me on the site where it says my chihuahua is banned. I had the website already pulled up to confirm...
Before I show you what he referenced, let me remind you my dog is going IN THE CABIN with me. I also highlighted the areas to make it clear since apparently, it wasn't.
"Conscious of the importance of caring for your pet, we can not transport certain dog and cat breeds in the aircraft hold since they are more susceptible to heatstroke and breathing problems when exposed to stress or high temperatures. If your pet is one of these, you can travel with it on board, but it must meet the conditions for carriage in the cabin.
The breeds affected are as follows:
Dogs: Affenpinscher, Boston Terrier, Boxer (all breeds), Brussels Griffon, Bulldog (all breeds), Bull Mastiff, Canary Prey dog, Cane corso, Cavalier Spaniel, Chihuahua, Chow Chow, Dogue de Bordeaux, English Toy Spaniel, Japanese Chin, Japanese Spaniel, King Charles Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Mastiff, Miniature Pinscher, Pekingese, Pit Bull, Pug, Saint Bernard, Shar Pei, Shih Tzu, Tibetan Spaniel, Yorkshire Terrier."
Super side note since when are chihuahuas considered snub nose? Anyways. The guy has me reference the list of dogs that are not allowed, and the chihuahua is one of them. I then say they are not allowed in the hold and can be in the cabin if they meet weight limits. The man again has me reference the list of breeds affected. I literally ask the man, can you please read this with me. And I read and highlighted the part about the hold being the issue. He informs me the breed is banned. I then ask him if the dog is a support animal, does this matter? He tells me I must fill out the support animal form.
Although I know the man is wrong, I go and fill out the form. The next day I receive a response that says they do not handle these requests, and I need to talk to a booking agent to have my dog added. I was really not looking forward to another 2-hour wait to be turned away again, so I reached out to you lovely people on Facebook who encourage me to try contacting them by Twitter. I explain the whole situation, and they tell me that I have to make sure that my dog meets the criteria to be in the cabin. I inform them he is and that I need to know that re-calling the booking office is the right choice, as not to waste more time, which they say it is.
During this time, I have the option to choose our seats and pay like $150. Now I'm not someone who normally cares about where I sit, but there was no way I would be stuck with the dog and toddler while my husband sits peacefully somewhere, knowing my luck, is what would happen. I pick out our seats and go to pay, and the page won't load. I have a cart that says I have the seats that I need to pay for them but it will not load on any browsers.
I call the booking office and wait for 3 hours this time and explain the situation to a new guy, who told me it would not be a problem. I give him all of Pendleton's info, and he books the seat and tells me to look for a confirmation number. Shocker, no email came. I go back to Twitter to see if they can look up the information, and a few hours later, they get back to me and say he has been added and sent me the confirmation email. Luckily, I recently started using Twitter to stay hip with the youngins and promote the blog; otherwise, this would have been even more annoying.
I tell the man about my inability to pay for the seats, and he informs me the seats have been assigned to me. I acknowledged that but stated I hadn't paid for them, which he says I don't have to? I can't wait to sort that out at the airport. I feel this is to be continued, as has almost everything at this point. Will the dog actually make it on the plane? Will Tiffany say skrew it and drink lots of mini cocktails and make Johnny deal with it? These questions and more will be answered at a really inconvenient time...at the airport!
Thank you for giving me a chance to document the insanity that I swear only happens to me! It's super validating, and if it helps someone not lose their mind, even better! Our next installment will be one of those mellow episodes where not a lot happens, and they give you filler because the cast is on vacation, aka I'll cover transferring drivers licenses, booking air BnB, etc.
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