Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stormy Weather

Been in Texas since early this week and originally planned to leave around 3 pm today. However, that was until I saw the weather forecast. Tropical Storm Erin was due to hit the Austin area starting early this morning. Since my meetings anyway ended yesterday evening, I looked to change flights from the 3 pm to the 7 am, getting out of there before the worst of the weather was due to arrive.

I called American yesterday afternoon and got a price for the change price: over $400 for a ticket that only cost me $390 to begin with. However, I was lucky in that the agent I had on the phone was chatty and helpful, and had an alternate suggestion. She checked availability and saw that there were quite a few seats available on the earlier flight, recommending I went for a "confirmed standby" approach.

Seems that if you call less than 12 hours before departure then for $25 you can get a confirmed standby seat. Not exactly sure of the Ts&Cs associated with this, but long story short then when I rang back I got re-booked at a fraction of the original price quoted. Of course, the downside was that I had to get up at 4:30 am central time in order to catch it, but just as the flight was due to leave the heavens opened and the storm started to dump copious amounts of rain directly onto Austin airport. We got handed a short delay as traffic was held up a bit but we left only 20 minutes late and arrived into San Jose on time. I reckoned that I had escaped just in time.

Well of course, when I checked later in the day the original flight I was on left the gate exactly 2 minutes late, so it was all a bit unnecessary, but I did get almost a full day in the office in return so it really was $25 well spent.

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