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Thread: Vacation plans & problems

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    a jumble of useless facts gracie's Avatar
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    Vacation plans & problems

    I went back about 7 pages and didn't see anything about this, soooo. What kind of plans do you have for a vacation this year and have you run into any problems? We are planning on taking our grandson out of the country for a couple of weeks in July and we thought we'd planned well by applying for passports in March. Plenty of time right. Wrong!! In March the wait was suppose to be 10 weeks. As of last week we're up to 14 weeks wait which will be 2 days before we leave. If it gets extended any more, I don't know what we'll do.
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    Miz Smarty Britches queenb's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation plans & problems

    Long time no see gracie!
    Where are you headed? I just got back from Washington state--I guess I should dig out the vacation picture thread ...
    I finally got L. talked into going for a week with me and we'll be going to Yellowstone in September for six days; I've been once but really didn't spend enough time in the park. We will be spending four and a half days there this time, so we won't have to rush through or miss anything we really want to see. I can't wait!
    I have found the Truth and it doesn't make sense.

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    addicted MamaC's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation plans & problems

    Quote Originally Posted by gracie;2445906;
    I went back about 7 pages and didn't see anything about this, soooo. What kind of plans do you have for a vacation this year and have you run into any problems? We are planning on taking our grandson out of the country for a couple of weeks in July and we thought we'd planned well by applying for passports in March. Plenty of time right. Wrong!! In March the wait was suppose to be 10 weeks. As of last week we're up to 14 weeks wait which will be 2 days before we leave. If it gets extended any more, I don't know what we'll do.
    Gracie, my sister ran into the same problem. She is planning on taking her daughters to the UK and Ireland on July 1st. Applied for their passports in March. Thought she had plenty of time. Then, after hearing about all the delays regarding passports, she got a little worried since she had not received the passports yet.

    She decided to call the National Passport Info line, and that took forever! This was just two weeks ago. She did finally get a human on the line and was
    told the the applications were in the "early stages" of being processed. They could not guarantee the passports would be in hand by July 1st.

    So she could keep her fingers crossed and wish for luck or she could make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency. She ended up doing the latter. She lives in central NJ, so she could go to either Philly or NYC. She figured Philly would be less of a hassle. But it still took her two weeks to get an appointment. She had to take time off from work, bring the girls in with her along with a copy of the girls' application forms, new photos, etc., but at least she walked out of there with the passports in hand.

    Check out online at Passport Home for more info. If possible, you may want to get an appointment set up so that you have the passport in hand when the trip comes! Or, actually, since this is your grandson's passport, you would have to have his parents do all of this.

    Good luck!

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    Dreamer rt1ky's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation plans & problems

    I was about to leave on a trip this morning. I went to do online check- in only to find that my itenerary had been changed. My orignal flight was cancelled and they rerouted me on two extra flights, tomorrow, with no seats left, so I would have been sitting on standby.

    Of course I called the airline and now I have a later flight today.

    UGH.

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    MRD
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    Re: Vacation plans & problems

    We actually had no plans, but now I get to spend several lovely days relaxing at the hospital next week. Ah, nothing like a morphine drip and a hospital room for your vacation.

    I'd much rather be on the beach with a margarita though.
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    FORT Fogey cricketeen's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation plans & problems

    An aquaintance of mine had to do the same thing to get passports for her children. They applied more than three months early and yet her husband ended up taking them to Chicago (an 8 hr. drive) and standing in line (with two children) from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Everyone in the line had a 9 a.m. appointment time. He finally got the passports, but what a hassle. They forfeited the original application fee, had to pay it again plus an extra fee for expediting the application!

    Here's my story of stress:
    We recently were on a 5 night cruise which I booked through Cheaptickets. I wanted to pad us with plenty of time to get from Cleveland to Ft. Lauderdale, so I booked our flight for 5:30 a.m. with a 40 min. wait in Charlotte for our connection. We should have arrived in Fla. around 9:40 a.m. - plenty o' time, right? Right, unless some idiot puts too much fuel in the plane in Cleveland. How does that happen? It took over an hour to offload the extra fuel and we (and most everyone else) missed our connection. In Charlotte, USAir had one, count 'em, one service rep to handle all of us plus all the people from other flights with missed connections caused by "delays due to last night's storms".
    My husband, bless his heart, handles these things very well and the rep. (who wanted to route us to Tampa !) was able to get me and our two boys on the next flight to Ft. Lauderdale at 11:30 and him on standby with a guaranteed seat at 1:30 (which cut it very close for us to be at the ship on time - especially since all flights were behind schedule). We had pretty much made up our minds that we'd probably miss the cruise, and we were basically going to Ft. Lauderdale to retrieve our checked baggage.
    We sat at the gate and were chatting with people around us and met two men going on a fishing trip to the Keys who decided to switch their tickets and go into Miami instead. They grabbed Mr. Cricket and they went to the gate agent together and the agent told them that my husband was first in line for a confirmed seat, so when they surrendered their tickets, he got one of them. We were glad to all be on the same earlier flight, especially since the 11:30 flight did not leave until 1:00! We got to Florida in just enough time. We were supposed to board by 4:00 and we got to the ship at 3:45. Upshot is I will avoid USAir if possible - I understand that things happen, but not one person ever apologized for any of the delays and since then I've heard similar stories from people. I wish I had known of their reputation before booking the flight.
    As a side note, a good friend of mine was once a travel agent and I called her from Charlotte for advice. She said they don't raise the gangway until 5:00 or even later, so even if we arrived later than the stated time, they'd probably let us board as long as the ganway was down, but they don't have to.
    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." - Mario Andretti

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    MRD
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    Re: Vacation plans & problems

    Cricketeen, what a nightmare. I'm glad you guys were able to make the ship on time. but still a hassle. I've never heard of ANYONE that got out of Charlotte on time. I try to avoid connections in both Charlotte and Atlanta if possible. Atlanta isn't that bad anymore, but it used to be.

    I tend to try to get my flights in a day ahead just in case there are problems.
    When we went on the Pacific cruise last year, we flew into San Diego a day ahead and stayed in a hotel that night and that way, we had spare time in case of any problems as we too had a layover and were flying US air as well.

    The best airline I've ever flown was Greece's Olympia airlines. We missed our connection in NY and because Olympia was late getting us into JFK, they put us up in a hotel, meal vouchers, etc. and got us on a flight the next day back home. All we had to do was go to their ticket agent and she took care of EVERYTHING, including our bags and cab to the hotel. It really was quite amazing as I've flown just about every airline in the US (even the ones now out of business) and have never been treated that well.

    I have another reason not to fly US air. We flew home last year from Vancouver with a change in Atlanta. The Vancouver agent booked our seats for both flights. We get on the plane in Atlanta and we have the exit row seats. This was before I had lost a lot of weight and my friend was also overweight. They waited until the plane was ready to taxi and the stewardess comes to us and says: You can't sit here. We need "able bodied" people in this row and you can't sit here. She made us stand up and then announced to the entire plane that they needed volunteers to change seats with us. The entire plane is staring at us and it really made us embarrassed the way she went about it. . She might just have well announced: "I need 2 people to change seats with the fat girls" because that is how it went over.
    And made it out like it was our fault when it was one of their ticket agents that booked the seats. So if they can't have fat people in the exit row, then the ticket agents need to be aware of it when they book people.
    Then they apologized about 200 times which drew even more attention. I was so over the entire ordeal.
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    FORT Fogey katgib13's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation plans & problems

    Ugh mrd....that would have been awful..

    We are just going to take a few day trips to places like Kings Island and a waterpark. In September we are going to Gatlinburg for a wedding...sans kids! Woohoo! We've rented a cabin with a hot tub...

    My hubby used to work for Emery and could get flights for family members for $50 each. We took a late honeymoon and went to Vegas. We flew standby but we managed to get on the flight both ways. The only problem was....the guy sitting next to us was wearing sandals and his feet were putrid. I gagged the whole flight home.

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    Re: Vacation plans & problems

    We just came back from South Texas, 2 weeks on Baffin Bay if anybody knows where that is. Doing nothing but fishing and hanging out with family.

    Planning a trip to Australia next year, hopefully our passports won't be the issues you guys are talking about.

    Ugh stinky feet. The last time I flew (and the last time I will ever fly coach again) I had this rude guy who placed his duffel bag that should have never been allowed as carryon in front of him. The bag spilled over in front of my seat and out into the aisle and the stewardess said nothing to him. Then he rather rudely got on the phone when we landed and stood in the middle of the aisle. I couldn't get out. The people across from us couldn't get out. The long line behind us couldn't get out. He just chatted on the phone!

    Finally I told him to "Move his (insert potty mouth) out of the way and to stop being such a (insert potty mouth)." His mouth dropped open, we picked him up in Atlanta and he had very loudly informed everybody that he was supposedly this big wig advertising guy from there (flying couch, whatever). So I said to him on the way out "Welcome to New Orleans, (insert potty mouth)."

    I'm not usually that bad, ok never, but I had to take a last second flight for the funeral of my 1 year old nephew (SIDS) and I had already endured being harassed by security every step of the way (started in VA and ended in LA via GA) because of the last minute ticket and he was the last straw. LOL guess I totally debunked that myth about Southern Hospitality.

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    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Re: Vacation plans & problems

    Quote Originally Posted by katgib13;2446361;
    We are just going to take a few day trips to places like Kings Island and a waterpark. In September we are going to Gatlinburg for a wedding...sans kids! Woohoo! We've rented a cabin with a hot tub...
    I get season passes to King's Island every year, katgib. I've been to many amusement parks and still think its one of the best of the smaller ones. I'm eager to see what changes will come over the next couple of years now that Cedar Point bought it. I'm actually headed there next week. Maybe I'll see you there.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

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