“If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell”
― Philip Henry Sheridan
I love the quote above. It clearly sums up my feelings on Texas, and yet I keep ending back here over and over and over again. The plan, after I left last week, was to not come back until the end of the year, but as all things in regards to this trip, things have changed....... again. But, I'll come back to that.
During the day, I had also spoken to USAA (finally) regarding my car. They sat up a time the next day for an area where I would be, to get an estimate on the repairs. So, I found a place to stop for the night, and the next morning, drove along the coast a little further before reaching the auto body shop. The people there were VERY nice and helpful. The guy looked at my car, and said it was too dangerous to continue driving, which I wasn't TOO surprised by. The problem was, there were no easy fixes, nothing they could do just to keep it road worthy until I get back to VA in a month. And repairs were going to take about 2 weeks. Called USAA. They still hadn't gotten ahold of the agent at Geico to figure out whose fault the accident was, and to see if we could set up hotel arrangements for the 2 weeks I was waiting to get my car fixed. Either way, I was going to have to pay for out of pocket expenses, and then hopefully get reimbursed, so I started looking at flights, thinking it would be a cheaper to catch a flight somewhere where I could stay with someone, than try and stay in a hotel for 2 weeks. Found a flight out of a local airport, called a cab, packed up my stuff quickly, and got ready to head to the airport. In the meantime, the Geico agent called me, went over what happened, said that the guy hadn't even called them yet, so she hadn't talked to him, and could not say that it was his fault, but that if that ended up being the case, they would cover the hotel costs or a flight. Whatever. Headed to the airport. Arrived at SNA. Went to check in. "We don't have a 1:55 flight" Ummm....maybe I got the time wrong? She looks up my name. "Honey, we don't show you flying out of here today." OMG. Did I somehow not hit the right button? Pulled up my email. Here it is. Flying from LAX to DFW via *some city*. "Honey, this isn't LAX." OMG. Ok, so I knew this airport wasn't LAX. But, I was trying to throw this together at the last minute, and I knew I had put in SNA as the departure airport, but I must have clicked on the "surrounding airports" button, and forgot to check. Ok, is there a shuttle between the airports? "Yes, but it's kind of expensive. Let me just see what I can do." Now, this is the amazing part. Remember how much I hate Delta? Well, they were the only ones that had a reasonably priced very last minute ticket in the short time frame that I had to look at them. This was the first Delta representative who didn't care that it was my fault that I made this mistake, or that there might be a difference in prices, she took quite a bit of time to work with me, and get me on a flight out of SNA instead of LAX, so that I wouldn't have to pay the shuttle. I did not ask her to do this, nor would I have expected her to. She did it on her own, and without any problems. This is what normally happens when I fly American And USAirway, but NEVER when I fly Delta, and I told her that. And, I told her how much I appreciated her help. The only thing was that my connecting flight wasn't until the next morning out of the layover city, but I assured her that was not an issue, because my second flight on my original ticket got in the next morning. She did suggest that I check in at the gate when I get there, to see if I could get it changed. So, I'm at my layover, check the screen for DFW departure, find the gate, and go up to talk to the lady. I need to see if I can get my ticket changed to tonight. Now, mind you, at this point, I was not being demanding. I was not really expecting to get my ticket changed, I was just hopeful. I had not done anything to get attitude from the person, but that was what I got right away. TOTAL opposite from my earlier experience. "Did you not know your second flight was in the morning? Was this flight sold out when you bought your ticket, because it's sold out now?" Yes, ma'am, I knew that my flight was in the morning, but that was what was available, so I got it. I understand your sold out at this point, but if you could put me on standby, that would be great. "Well, you realize there's a $50 charge for that?" Excuse me?!?!?!?! "There's a $50 charge if we get you on this flight, since you were booked for in the morning and not on this flight." Well, what the heck, if there's going to be a charge anyways, I saw that there was a flight to Austin tonight. Would it be possible to get me on that flight instead? "Well, then you'd have to pay for the price difference between the two tickets, and they're booked full anyways, as well." At this point, I gave up, had her put my name on the standby list, which already had quite a few people, so was not expecting to get on, and walked away. But, once again, I am appalled by Delta's overall policies, and the attitudes of 99% of the people that work for them. And, I am so grateful after the morning I had at the car place, that the first person I ran into was not that way. I have switched my flights on other airlines before, to get on an earlier flight, without any problems. Most airlines figure, if they have room, why not help you out by getting you there earlier? Then, they can either sell the seat you had, or give it to one of the people they have probably already overbooked, or have on standby. And they don't charge you. Reason #846 why I do not fly Delta. All that to say, in the end, I was able to get on that flight, and thankfully, my mom loves me enough to pick me up at the airport at midnight! :-) So, here I am, back in Texas for 2 weeks.
Oh, and I think I forgot to mention, I received a return call from Geico that they had talked to the idiot who ran into me, and they are not taking responsibility for the accident. I told them I would be happy to take them to court over it, and she said, "Go ahead." So, I emailed this information to USAA along with a couple of things they could do to help make the case against them. Will see how it turns out. I mean, in the end, it's not the end of the world either way. The difference is my deductible with my insurance, and my flight. But the flight was cheaper than the amount I would have even spent on gas driving for those two weeks by quite a bit, and the deductible, well, I would just have to deal with it. But, if USAA can't get them to pay, I probably will at least speak with an attorney to see if it's even worth pursuing, or if it would be more trouble than it's worth. At the end of the day, I was not injured, my car will get fixed (or replaced), and the trip will continue one way or another. Life goes on. I'm definitely learning how to just go with the flow on this trip. It's a very good learning/growing experience!