As most of you know, I visited Barcelona over the summer. As I did not take a boat, and beam me up Scotty is not yet a thing, I flew. When you fly it requires buying airline tickets. I remember the days when you looked up flights on a Tuesday, because that was apparently the best day to buy tickets, you found a flight that worked, the price wasn’t too usurious, and you booked. Now…the process isn’t quite the same.

Airline flights. Prices. Yuck.

Of course, I didn’t need to vacation or fly anywhere, but let’s face it- if COVID taught us anything it’s that there are no guarantees. I can sit in my apartment and get caught in a web of what if, or I can wander the streets of Barcelona and imagine for just a few days that life is perfect.

But anyway…

There are so many different ways to book flights. You can go directly through the airline, which honestly I prefer. It’s easier, and if you need help, the chance of them helping is greater. However, there is a cost, and sometimes the cost is high…

So that’s when you go to Kayak or Priceline, or any one of those thousand places that tell you they will get you where you need to go for less.

I went the discount purveyor route for this trip…

Angst all over the place…

You see a flight. The time is perfect. It’s either direct or minimal connections. The price isn’t too threatening. You get your passport and credit card numbers…you hit PURCHASE…the wheels on the computer turn and turn…and then the computer says that there are no more flights left at the good price. The price for your flight has gone up by a thousand dollars…

You get frustrated and throw your passport and credit card across the room.

You try the next day, to the same result…

and the next…

and the next…

You sit at the computer one morning and you make the decision that this will be the last day that you try to buy tickets. You will just figure out another vacation to go on. Even though at this point you really want to go to Barcelona. You know that anything other than Barcelona will be a letdown…

But then the ticketing and airline gods look down upon you kindly- really, they don’t want to lose you, and they know that you are at your personal limit for self punishment by computer program and algorithms…..

And when you click PURCHASE you actually purchase tickets…

You breathe a quick sigh of relief but immediately turn to your email to make sure you have received the confirmation…

There it is. Proof that money has changed hands and you are in possession of actual bar coded tickets…

You do a little happy dance…

You’re going away…

And you just hope you pass the COVID test…

67 thoughts on “Air travel Angst

  1. Traveling used to be easy. Pack the kids into the car with games and snacks, make sure the right person was sitting next to the window, make sure they knew when to switch seats so everybody gets a chance. Then check the trunk, make sure there are no kids in it. Ooops! Forgot the suitcases! Back to the car to find screaming kids because, “he breathed on me!” Okay. Now we can go. “Are we there yet!?”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m glad my wife does the purchasng of the tickets for any family trip. I only deal with it if I am flying alone and I only do that if I am flying home and it is much easier to buy tickets from Baltimore to Nashville than it is for international. I don’t have the patience for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just booked a visit to Denver again for January. So much easier to simply go through the airline, and I chose to spend a bit more on return so no one had to haul me to the airport at 3 AM. Of course it’s cheaper to book with 1 or more stops, or at midnight but why make a 2 hour trip turn into 7 just to save $50? I’d rather not go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you on that: years and years ago we realized that a vacation followed by a flight sucks out 1/2 (or more!) of the relaxation gained right out of us… Boats, I tell you, the future is in boats 😀

      As for airline prices: did you notice how many times more than 1/2 the price is comprised of “fees”? :O

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That size might be okay in some circumstances (Antarctica, for example). We’ve done bike and barge/boat in Germany, Italy, Netherlands (tulip season!) and Croatia. Usually combined with some other types of travel in other countries.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The bike/barges are generally run by the boat owners and we book through a broker like TripSite. We’ve also done self-guided bike tours (Salzburg to Vienna, for example) where they arrange the lodging and schlep your luggage place to place.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh gosh. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the luxury of traveling. BC . ( That stands for Before Covid and before cancer). I found making reservations pretty easy back before 2020. I went on line, had a limit of what I could afford to spend and checked around to see what was available . Since I had my surgery the same year as Covid for me that’s intertwined. I miss traveling. In fact, If the big C hadn’t returned I would have traveled this year to visit my cousin in Paris.or at least gone to see my youngest son in Atlanta rather than him always coming to me.. (Atlanta is so much fun to visit). But Alas, the best laid plans…I miss the excitement of planning a trip and having everything available on my phone. And yes, I probably would pay a little more if I really wanted to travel. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and spend the money. But getting a good deal is always the best!

    However,To my delight, my newly discovered Paris cousin is visiting this December and she is coming here to Florida. I can’t wait.
    In case I haven’t shared the Paris story… a few years back I did my DNA and also went on tracing the tribe which is a Facebook site.( My father’s family is from Paris). I have beautiful photos of them in the early 1900’s in that exciting city).. Anyhow, I put a picture postcard of my grandparents on tracing the tribe asking if anyone could translate the back . It was written in Yiddish and I couldn’t read it. The front was my beautiful grandmother and grandfather in their shop in Paris dressed to the nines! Not only did I have their Paris address, I received a translation. But most exciting of all was that I received a message from a woman in France. She face timed me. Turns out my grandfather was her great grandfather’s brother. Her mom was my fathers first cousin. Her mom and aunt hid from the Nazis and were the only surviving relatives from my family .All the rest were taken to Auschwitz and killed during WWII. She thought she was the last in the Kluchinsky line. We have become close and FaceTime often. ( my father after the war searched for family survivors in Paris but thought all of his family had died in concentration camps.) He was unaware that two of his cousins survived.

    Anyhow, since I can’t travel, she is coming in December and my sister and I will meet our French cousin. My father would have been thrilled. I still have hopes that I will get to make travel plans to Paris in the future, since she has a lovely apartment across from the Louve and it would be my dream to visit. But that will have to wait. And while my next surgery is in a week, her plane ticket is already made. She will stay at both my sisters and my house. Florida is not as exciting as Paris, but hopefully my sister and I get to make those travel plans. And yes, I’ll pay whatever I have to to get there. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I will let you know how it goes. . I wanted to post a pic of us FaceTimeing each other but can’t seem to do it on here. And I’m no longer able to find your email or FB page to do so.She looks like she could be my daughter. Oh well, chemo gave me a memory lapse I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting. I usually fly United and I buy directly from their website. Did you actually save a lot of money doing it the angst way? And, yes, ugh, the prices are like all other prices right now, too high!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel your angst. Just got back from a trip across the country, and although we had no problems this time, the hassle of flying persists. Two more trips coming up and I feel like it’s just a matter of time before something goes wrong!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hear you LA, Larry and I usually plan a few extra days for just about every trip now in case something goes south with the airline, delays, strikes, and cancelations. It’s a gamble and the traveler rarely wins. Hugs, C

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Loved your voice in this story LA. Legs crossed, across the small table in this coffee shop you sit. You pause often as the story is shared, so your humor is appreciated and absorbed. The grand gesture of your hands – Ta Da – the confirmation email is received! Now let’s share the pastry. No? I guess that is just not going to happen.♥

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m glad I did foreign travel pre-lockdowns because I’m just not going to do it anymore. The airlines have been and continue to be bad actors in all of this. I have friends who still travel, and there is always an unfortunate story associated with the airlines–delayed flights, cancelled flights, flights with too much fuel to land, flights without enough fuel to reach the destination, lost luggage, etc. I think the most egregious is the pilot who yelled over the intercom at a group of retirees trying to stow away their carryons to “hurry up so he could take off.” I hope someone is patient with him when he reaches his 70’s and that he has the strength to lift luggage above his head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They also board the plane back as wards. No offense to those who pay more, but the back of the plane should board first…less holdups with luggage…

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  10. This will be me when I have to book a flight to the US to visit my mother and I’m not looking forward to the experience. Neither she nor my sister had any worries as they decided they were worth it (and could afford it) so flew whatever it is they call Business class these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You’ve described a process that I’d have no patience for. I want to go back to Spain someday, but I am not motivated enough to play airline games. Funny how now that we have the time to travel, travel planning has become too time-consuming to mess with.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve always hated flying. But now I REALLY hate flying. And we have a wedding in NV next June that we HAVE TO go to. Have to because Tara is in it. I should clarify: she’s not getting married. Her sister is. She’s merely a bridesmaid. But still.

    I might look into a covered wagon instead…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Buying flights is hella stressful today. Now that they’ve stopped with refunds for specific flights, I always get the extra insurance, because the other thing Covid taught us is, well, you never know what might happen.

    Like

  14. Kind of like Covid, whether you get it or not, purchasing airline tickets, or just about anything else online in my limited experience, it’s all a crapshoot! I guess that’s why Google has or had a search choice that said something like I feel lucky today!

    Like

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