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An Oddity, A Trip Report - ACT/MFE

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Old October 12th, 2006, 01:31 AM posted to rec.travel.air
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Default An Oddity, A Trip Report - ACT/MFE

A couple of weeks back, I wandered in to ACT convinced that I was reserved
and ticketed on the "Dawn Patrol", the 620A to DFW, connecting to MFE. "No
tickee, No washee" and I didn't show up in the computer except with a
"lapsed" reservation. The explanation was maddening.

Several weeks before, I had booked the flights at the website, then called
in to pay with a credit remaining from a cancelled non-refundable to/fm
another destination, aware that I'd have to pay a $100 for "reissue". The
lady at AA's near DFW phone center was most helpful, ready to make the
transaction work and mail me a voucher for the remaining $78.+/- after the
switch and fee.

Something happened, no ticket "paid", the reservation lapsed and I didn't
notice not receiving the credit in the mail in that brief a time frame.

The little Eaglets at ACT rallied to my aid. With no seats available on the
620A (and already begging for volunteers), they fit me aboard #3208 out at
810A, and shifted me to an 1140A DFW/MFE, #2043, surprisingly as with all
the MFE service in MD80s, evidence of a lot of seats being sold to the
Border cities, with DL and CO both serving MFE and WN big at nearby
Harlingen. I ended up only three hours late, and actually only 90 minutes
late for my scheduled visit with a client. They were able to book my return
on the same flights as the original sked, with better seats on all four legs
(if any seat in the "Slaab" is better), and miracle of miracle, since the
ACT gate at DFW is now in the high numbers in BG (much better than the old
tin barn), #2043 to MFE was departing from the "International Terminal", D.
Well, it's almost an international flight, 'cuz when the wind's out of the
North at MFE, the approach kind'a flirts with the Rio Bravo/Grande. As a
bonus, they "missed" the reissue fee, and I ended up with a voucher for $178
in hand.

The layover at DFW "D" was long enough so that after the brief ride above
the terminals, I had time for a nice "real" breakfast in a "sit down" cafe,
and #2043 filled quickly, backed away early and had us taxiing up to the
gate at MFE about 209 minutes ahead of schedule after the 1 hour plus ride
across the September "brown" of Texas to Corpus and then paralleling the
coast and Padre Is. to the mouth of the river. The MD80 was loaded out at
about 85%, according to an FA, regular on the route which apparently calls
for bilinguals, about normal for Tuesday Noon, the second of the day.

MFE's the world's most convenient airport, barely South of downtown, with
"better" (Well, better than the other ones) hotels and restaurants
surrounding it and the adjacent cemetery.

A couple of days work, and it was lunchtime on Thursday, time for a couple
of tacos de lengua, turning in the rental and checking in for the flight
back to DFW, midafternoon Thursday load being a little lighter than the
flight down, with most "E" seats empty. Eagle was calling for volunteers
for DFW/ACT, with no seats available on any of the three evening SAAB 340s,
and ended up with just one, but I and the wife and mother of the former
Ambassador to Sweden made the cut, and departing to the South from DFW means
approaching from the North at ACT, cutting 10/15 minutes off of the brief
flight time.

So, what could have been a blood pressure raising mess up (by the nice lady
on the phone and my inattention/not checking to see if the ticket had been
issued?) turned out to be a episode saved not by the bell, but the counter
staff, those unimportant, unrecognized eaglets at DFW who represent my most
frequent personal contact with the big flock which is AA.


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