Last week, I was bragging about the airfare deal of a century: a $66 round-trip ticket from Milwaukee to Ft. Myers, Florida.
Yesterday, I was eating my words, since my flight home was delayed from Saturday to Monday (not complaining there), then cancelled completely on Monday, with no reasonable option on how to get home.
Granted, getting stuck in Florida in the middle of the Wisconsin winter is a pretty good problem to have … until it’s time to leave, get back to work and see your family. And with Frontier only flying once a day, every other day, from Ft. Myers to Milwaukee, it was starting to get ugly. First-world problem? Definitely; we had a nice and relaxing few days on the beach. But at some point, everyone has to go home.
Frontier can’t control the weather, but it wasn’t about weather on Monday. The gate agents explained that Frontier didn’t have enough staff and pilots to recover from Saturday’s snowstorm. Unlike all the other airlines in the sky, they were canceling flights all over the country. We weren’t the only ones stuck in the airport.
The problem was finding a way to get home. The discount carrier doesn’t have a codesharing agreement with other airlines, so they couldn’t rebook us on a different airline. Or even that day. Or the next.
Frontier told me that they could rebook us for Wednesday, but that flight was now pretty full, too. All of their other flights in Florida were sold out or cancelled. That would’ve pushed us to Friday. Looking around at the bewildered, mostly older passengers also standing in line, I helped explain what was going down. Frontier offered us a one-way reimbursement ($33), but that’s it.
With no other options, I hopped on my phone and bought two one-way tickets on Southwest Airlines, for $499 each. So, after reimbursal, that $66 trip turned into a $532 one, plus the extra days of hotel, car rental, etc. Fortunately, we could swing that. The dairy farmer kid from Hartford, next to us at the gate, c…Read more...