Free Airline Ticket, Or Was It?

Some of you may recall that I got booted off an overbooked flight back in June, and received a free ticket voucher for my trouble.

Well yesterday, it was time to redeem the voucher.  I’m going to Long Beach CA next month for work, and I wanted to get Andrea a ticket to tag along.

I was all excited about saving $400, but then I started thinking about the trouble I had to go through.

There were no redemption instructions on the voucher, so I had to check out United.com for help. I did find instructions in the customer service section (call the reservations phone #),but I couldn’t figure out if I could transfer the ticket to Andrea.

So I called and talked to a very friendly and helpful native-English-speaking lady who made the reservation.  However, I had to actually go to the ticket counter at the airport last night to redeem the voucher and “pay” for the reservation. 

The free ticket cost me 45 minutes of my time and a little gas.  Still a pretty good deal.

But there was also an extra night away from family.  There was getting up at 3:00 a.m. to catch the 4:00 a.m. hotel shuttle to catch the 6:00 a.m. flight home.

Probably still a good deal.

But not completely free either…

Either time heals all wounds, or the fact that I alway bring an extra pair of clothes on one-night trips (just in case…) makes it more palatable.

The good news is we’re both going to California for the first time next month.  In fact, Andrea has never seen the Pacific Ocean.  I went to Oregon last fall, so I beat her by a year.

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