Monday, February 8, 2010

What you need to know to change flight reservations in an emergency! (Delta Airlines)

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-232 landing at Va...Image via Wikipedia
My new grandson was born by c-section on Saturday and developed breathing problems. His condition worsened rapidly and he was moved to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit  at St. Vincents Hospital in Portland Oregon.  I had made reservations with Orbitz online to leave Tucson in two weeks.  I would then help the family as others had to leave.  But as things turned bad, I realized that I would need to change the reservation and leave immediately. 

So the question was "WHO DO YOU CALL?"  After a quick thought process, I by passed Orbitz and called my Delta Skymiles number, and explained my dilemma to a representative.  He was very helpful and gave me the price for the change. I was shocked when the price he quoted was more than the price I had just seen online for the exact same flight.  Then I reiterated my problem...very ill baby, family in need, time was of the essence.  That was when he began listening to me in earnest.  I did have to gather information: 
  1. phone number for hospital 
  2. hospital address
  3. doctor's name and number.  
  4. copy of your original reservation 
  5. your frequent flier number if you have one.  
  6. credit is going to cost some more.
  7. a carefully thought through explanation of your problem...make sure they understand. 
If you have a real emergency, the airlines might be able to help you.  I don't know if they call the hospital and check but I am thinking they might,  so be honest!  Delta Airlines came through with enough help for me so that I could travel home.  I am so grateful for this service that they provide.  It is wonderful. 

But there is more.  There was a question about my choice.  My husband and I had the discussion...should I have called Obitz instead????  In order for both of us to rest easy about the cost,  I called Obitz, explained my situation and asked for their price to change the came to around $600 for a oneway ticket.  It was then I realized how very grateful I was to Delta and their service representatives. My ticket home will cost around $280.  Quite a difference. 

I will be home before midnight tonight. 

My advice????  Find out  how this works now...look the information up and store it away for that day when you are emotionally not able to deal with a huge problem.  Take notes and write down numbers.  I wish I had been better informed.

I just thought you would want to know.

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