My husband and I have not had a non-working vacation in over a year. So earlier this summer, we planned a week away in Las Vegas, which was scheduled to take place over Labor Day weekend.
We had found some great deals on hotels and flights and had booked dinner reservations for all of the nights we were in town weeks in advance.
While we normally don’t book anything ahead of time on our Vegas trips, with the pandemic still going on and being unsure of what was open, we decided to go ahead and at least have a dinner plan in place so we could hit the spots we loved and those we’ve been wanting to try out.
We also were meeting up with friends who were traveling cross-country while there. Our plan was a great dinner out one night and a brewery tour of the Arts District on one of the days we were there together.
Enter Hurricane Ida. The storm was originally going to hit a little west of my home of New Orleans and while we expected some wind and rain, we really didn’t expect what actually happened.
Power was 100% knocked out around all of Southeastern Louisiana, including New Orleans and the airport just 15 miles or so from my home in the city. With the storm hitting on Sunday and our flight on Wednesday, we really did think we would be fine.
However, as the sun rose on Tuesday and we were still without power, we realized a week-long vacation at this point and time was not in the cards.
I knew I needed to get on the phone to change up our vacation plans, but the cell service in all of the region was spotty, at best. My first task in my rescheduling plan was finding a week later this year that worked with both of our schedules. We found one in October and I got to work.
First, I tried the online portals. Starting with Delta, although I had gotten an email on Monday saying the change fees would be waived, I was unable to change my flight on the app since it was showing as “on time” and they hadn’t officially canceled it yet.
I walked around the block to find the strongest cell signal and called the 800 number. The wait was a little over 2 and a half hours so I left my call back number and hoped for the best.
While waiting, I called the two hotels we had booked in Las Vegas and explained that I was in New Orleans and unable to come at this time. Although I gave them both my new travel dates, neither of them had availability with the rate specials I had booked. They both offered to cancel and refund my deposits with no penalties.
Disappointed was the number one feeling I had at this point. Here we were with some great deals that I spent a lot of time finding. We had planned on staying at two places, one we had never stayed at before and another I stayed at once but Chuck had never been to.
At that point, I was exhausted, hot, and frustrated. About an hour later, Delta called back and changed my flight to the dates that worked for us. While they didn’t charge us a change fee, they did charge us the “new” rate posted. Fortunately for us, it was only a $1 difference so I was fine with that.
Chuck and I evacuated the city later that Tuesday and on the drive, I was able to tap into the apps to check rates at the various properties we were interested in. I booked our rooms and we were able to get some good rates and spend just about the same on the rooms than what our original plan was.
We also had to cancel all of our dinner reservations on that drive. That took a while since they were booked through different means. However, we were able to take care of that and I plan on rebooking several, if not all, of those restaurants for our upcoming October trip.
Recently, I blogged about booking directly with hotels and airlines versus booking through a third party. Because I did just that, all it took was a phone call and giving my address to get my trip rearranged and deposits refunded.
Although it was time-consuming due to the issues with the cellular service in the area post-Ida, it was really easy.
I thank the representatives I spoke with at Delta, The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, and the Nomad Las Vegas for working with me on our cancelations and making things really easy during an extremely stressful time. I look forward to blogging about my updated vacation very soon.
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