I am pathologically afraid of making airline reservations online. I am not making this up.
You’re asking a woman who gets overwhelmed by the green-bean section of the supermarket (French style, fresh cut, cuts I can’t even remember, salt, no salt…) to figure out which sets of dates (Start on a Tuesday? Stay over Saturday?); times (What about landing at Midway at midnight?); and airports (Is flying to Milwaukee cheaper than Chicago?) will yield the best travel rate. You have to change variables over and over; and remember what you’ve already looked at. It seriously scares me, to the point where I have to ask my husband to do it. I just can’t cope. (Travel agents were made for people like me.)
And you’d better not be in a hurry, because you get the best rates by making arrangements three weeks in advance.
And it’s permanent. No changes, unless you want to pay even more. So you’d better be darned sure you really, really want what you’re paying for before you hit the “Accept” button.
Boy, do I miss the days (yes, I’m old enough to remember them), when you booked a flight and, if things didn’t work out, you cancelled it. I get fascinated when I read books where they say, “She called and booked a flight for the following morning” or “So I changed to a later flight…” And they could do it. Just like that!
Furthermore, the airline wasn’t surprised that you actually wanted to take luggage with you on your cross-country or trans-ocean flight!
If I ever win the lottery, I’m going to celebrate by calling up an airline (or a travel agent), booking a flight for that day to anywhere I want to go, and flinging baggage on board with reckless abandon.
Just because I can.
(Update: By the way, I did do my own reservations this time; and either due to my sweaty-palm-inducing fear, or my lousy math skills I did, in fact, screw them up.)