An Unexpected Message
I reached over to turn off the stupid alarm on my phone after a semi-refreshing sleep. My mind was racing all night due to the anxiety of upcoming travels. There was a text message on my screen that read something like this-
Your flight has been canceled due to technical difficulties. You can call this personalized number for assistance.
WTF? In all our travels, we never had a canceled flight. Never. It was an unexpected message.
My bank account was shrinking by the second and there was no way I could afford a night at our current hotel. If at all possible, I try to avoid dipping into savings. I dialed the number but it was so busy that there was a recording for me to try and call again later. I tried not to panic but all I was thinking about was the fact that we were in Providence, Rode Island with absolutely no backup plan. Was the universe trying to tell me something? Our Japan plans didn’t work out. You can read about that here, and now our flight to Ireland was canceled. I quickly jumped on Skyscanner seeing if there was a flight going to Ireland the next day with Norwegian Airlines and there were no more flights leaving from Providence for the remainder of the week. Essentially, I was screwed.
A quick Google search did ease my mind a little when I saw that legally the airline had to put me in a hotel for the night, give us food vouchers, and arrange new flights to our destination. Still, the airline was not answering the phone.
I woke the girls up and told them the news as calmly as possible. They were excited at first. They are strange.
We went to breakfast, ate delicious food, and had coffee before we packed up our things and dropped them off at the front desk. A friend suggested I go directly to the airline at the airport to speak to a representative. Good idea.
Luckily, the hotel shuttle was still willing to take us to the airport even though we were no longer guests. If you are ever in Providence, Rhode Island, I highly recommend the Hilton Garden Inn. The customer service there was unbeatable.
We arrived at the airport only to discover that the Norwegian Airline’s desk wouldn’t be opening until 5 pm. We had a lot of waiting to do because it was only 11 am. The hotel shuttle picked us up again and this time they dropped us off at the mall to kill some time.
I have to be honest. I started getting grumpy. Super grumpy. I do not handle stress and the unknown well. Like, not at all. I was snapping at the girls and just being a total jerk face. The girls went from excited with the change of plans to super annoyed.
I tried to make everyone happy by feeding them. Food solves everything, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I just wanted to curl up in a ball somewhere and sleep the day away but I had to pull it together. I called the airlines again and waited on hold for an hour before they finally answered. They quickly found us a flight leaving the next day. This time we would be heading to New York on United Airlines, have a 3-hour layover, and then head to Dublin, Ireland on Lingus Airline instead of Shannon, Ireland. Even though it wasn’t our originally booked direct flight, it would still get us to Ireland and I was thankful. They could not get us set up with a hotel over the phone. For that, I would have to go to the airport.
After a few hours, we took the shuttle back to the hotel to grab our bags and head to the airport. A crazy long line greeted us. There were a lot of upset people trying to figure out how in the world they were getting to Ireland.
I had the girls wait with all the luggage in a corner while I stood in line.
When I finally got to the front of the line, the agent told me they would give me food vouchers and a hotel for the night. At this point, it was 6 in the evening. She said she didn’t know which hotel it would be yet and for me to come back in an hour to find out. Wonderful. Frustrated and tired, I took the vouchers and went to get the girls. We tried using them in the airport restaurant only to find out it was closed. Luckily, there was a Starbucks so we were able to grab Chai Lattes and salads. After eating, we went back to the desk agent to find out which hotel we would be in for the evening. It was the Radisson. A shuttle was waiting outside for us.
I have to be honest. The customer service was lacking in comparison to our previous night’s stay at the Hilton Garden Inn in Providence. I asked about food vouchers and was told that I would have to ask the desk agent in the morning.
We went into our room. It was clean and comfortable.
After a night of rest, we were ready for our travel day.
The agent at the hotel front desk gave me a $20 food voucher to feed all of us. Unfortunately, this left me with having to come out of pocket another $20 because hotel food is expensive. I also forgot to ask the airline for food vouchers at the airport that day.
We got to the airport and everything went pretty smoothly the rest of the day. All flights were on time. Both United and Lingus had great customer service.
Lingus even offered to check our 3 super heavy Osprey backpacks for us instead of us carrying them on. This would actually make things difficult when we arrived in Dublin but I didn’t know it at the time. I gladly checked the bags and we got on our 6-hour flight to Ireland.
I planned on sleeping but didn’t. The 6 hours went quicker than I thought it would. We quickly got off the plane and were welcomed by super cold temps. We were beyond excited that we were actually in Ireland. Unfortunately, all that was about to change as we stepped up to the immigration window.
What do you think happened?