When I originally booked our tickets to Sydney (SYD), we could only get award flights with a connecting flight in Auckland (AKL). Unfortunately the flights from AKL to SYD were in coach class as Air New Zealand had not released availability at that point. Daily I had been checking flights from AKL to SYD to see if business class (J) seats had opened up. In mid-December I noticed two seats available in J. Thus I called and was able to have our ticket split and had the girl and I placed in J while the boys remained in coach.
Twice a day I check for availability in J for the AKL to SYD flight. This morning I noticed that there were two more seats available in J. So, what I had hoped to be a quick call to get the boys into J class turned into a potential nightmare. The agent I spoke to told me the flight from SFO to AKL had been cancelled by United (I was not yet aware of this)…..she said if I was flexible with dates she could get me on another flight.
I told her our whole trip had been planned around these flights. At this point I went to my computer and started looking at options. I knew there were J seats available on SFO to SYD, however there were not any “saver fare” seats available. She initially told me that because of that I could not get onto that flight. I asked her very nicely if she could check with a supervisor because I was showing there were plenty of J seats available and our original flight had been cancelled. I was put on hold, and she came back and confirmed she could do that.
Thus, I went through a series of holds. I know booking these international flights can be quite complicated, and I’ve also experienced being on hold with people and then the line going dead. About ten minutes later I receive an email with an updated reservation for the boys that they are now on the SFO to SYD flight, and then five minutes after that I receive one for the girls. Until I received those emails, I was very nervous. What if our reservation got cancelled, the phone call got dropped, and we ended up getting screwed?
So, this morning’s crisis has now been averted. I am slightly disappointed that I won’t be able to fly in J on Air New Zealand, but I am excited that now we do have a direct flight to SYD. That flight is also 15 hours, but lands in SYD at 6:40AM….I know we won’t be able to check into our lodging that early, I am hoping there is somewhere in the SYD airport I may be able to take a shower after landing. However, while the flight is 15 hours I know I can enjoy all of the benefits of the flight. I can sleep, I can eat, I can watch movies. I will surely get my money’s worth.
Also – now I can stop checking United daily for availability from SFO to SYD or AKL to SYD. Now I just need to check to see if First Class opens up from SFO to our hometown, but I think that is doubtful. (I also check twice a day to see if any of our Southwest flights have gone down in price 🙂 ).