If I was still receiving a school report card, mine would probably say “really good at booking flights for good value”. Even with all my experience, today I made a rookie mistake when rebooking a flight from London to Dublin and it cost me a wad of cash.
My excuse on this one is that I got home at 3:30am (after a night consisting of a concert followed by four hours of clubbing!) and had only five hours of sleep. That made a ripe environment for me to make an error.
The Rookie Mistake
British Airways have decimated their Dublin schedule and I woke this morning to another flight cancellation in my e-mail. This flight is in July, so I needed to sort it out quick smart. I figured I’d do my usual and just switch to the later flight. Unfortunately, the next flight after my cancelled 8:35am departure was 9:05pm, about 11 hours after my inbound flight. Heathrow is not that fun, so I called to check my options.
During the discussion, Aer Lingus was mentioned as an alternative and the words “sold out” were also spoken. Eventually the helpful agent checked something and discovered he was able to offer me the 8:50am or 9:50am departures with the Irish airline. While chatting, I had gone on the Irish airline’s website and was looking at flights. His sold out comment matched what I was seeing, no 8:50am or 9:50am flight.
Since I had paid €95 and 5,750 Avios for my London to Dublin flight with BA in business class, I saw the price above for the 11:15am flight and figured I’d book direct. It was essentially the same price, and I may as well have the Avios back. The agent processed the cancellation and I went to book the Aer Lingus flight.
Imagine my horror when I went to do that and I realised I had been searching Dublin to London instead of London to Dublin, a total rookie mistake. Both the 8:50am and 9:50am flights were there alright, and all the flights were much, much more expensive. I had no option but to make the booking and eat the €200 price premium over my original flights.
Oh well, you win some, you lose some. The silver lining, I suppose, is that I can use the British Airways Arrivals Lounge at London Heathrow after my flight from Sydney, before heading over to Terminal 2 for the Aer Lingus flight. That also happens to be on an A321neo with the lie flat seats, so at least I’ll be comfortable for my €200 extra.
I did look at alternatives, even getting a bus from Heathrow to Stansted and flying Ryanair (desperate times!), but after being in the air for 24 hours from Sydney there are limits! Anyway, simple mistakes are easy to make when you’re tired. Before you ask, no, I was not hungover – I spent a total of €11.00 for two gin & tonics while out the night before, thank you! Perhaps age is finally beginning to catch up with me… nahhhh!!
Have you made a rookie mistake before with travel bookings that has ended up costing you money? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Enrico Pierobon on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.