I had one of those “nightmare” travel experiences the other day. I was flying with my 2-year-old daughter Ruby. That has its own inherent challenges since she’s fairly hyper and wasn’t loving being confined to an airplane seat. It was a pretty normal 2-leg flight, but we found out the 2nd leg was canceled, so we were stuck in Salt Lake City, just the two of us. No luggage, no car seat. This wasn’t a delay, it was an outright cancellation for the day, and there wasn’t even a flight the next day, it was a two-day wait for the next flight on any airline back home.
But, it really wasn’t that bad. You know why? Because I was able to just throw money at the problem. This is what a rich privileged bastard I am:
- I’m flying around the country with my daughter just for fun. We’re seeing family over the holidays just because we can.
- I found out the next flight was canceled before we even landed because I used my iPhone 11 Pro to surf the internet as I flew through the sky over the Gogo wireless that I have an expensive monthly plan for.
- I had paid for the travel insurance on this flight just in case anything like this happened, so I’ll be reimbursed for it all.
- While still in the air, I booked a hotel room at the DoubleTree hotel (I like the cookies). because I just popped open Kayak.com and did it. I booked the nicest King room they had because that’s just how I roll. I figured if we had to cancel it because we figured some other flight out, whatever, easy.
- I was inconvenienced for a moment when a taxi wouldn’t take us over to the DoubleTree because we didn’t have a car seat, but that was solved immediately and better because the DoubleTree shuttle pulled up a minute later which was free and more helpful. We slept just fine at the DoubleTree, figuring we’ll deal with everything the next morning.
- I knew I needed stuff. I needed diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, etc. I was thinking we could get the shuttle to take us over to Target, but as I was browsing the web (I sprang for the extra-fast $5.95/day business WiFi at the DoubleTree) I noticed that Target has a same-day shipping partner in Salt Lake City. So while Ruby slept peacefully, I filled my cart with things that a Target shopper would deliver to our hotel by 9am.
- I didn’t just buy the necessities, I got us swimsuits so we could spend the day at the DoubleTree pool and a nice duffle bag to help carry all the extra stuff through the airport.
- I figured I’d give Delta a call, on the Gold Medallion special support line (of course) to talk with someone about the situation. At first, they weren’t seeing any great options for us, but then all a sudden apparently they added an extra flight and she jumped on it right away, putting us in first class, in a flight just hours away.
- I texted our Target shopper and told them to cancel the order, as we wouldn’t be needing our swimming suits anymore.
Was it a stressful experience? I mean… a little, but as I said, it really wasn’t that bad. At every turn, I bought my way into making it painless for us. There are lots of kinds of privilege, and I’ve got all of them.