Tuesday, February 8, 2011
My Latest Frequent Flyer Saga
On Saturday evening February 5, I arrived at Oliver R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg (JNB) after flying about 20 hours from Washington via Atlanta. I was originally scheduled to leave DC on a Saturday morning Delta flight to connect to a direct flight from Atlanta to Luanda, Angola. On Thursday evening I discovered while checking the Delta website that Delta had recently dropped the Atlanta-Luanda route, and without notifying me, had re-booked me onto a Monday flight which would have gotten me to Luanda on Tuesday. I needed to be there on Sunday to start work on Monday. I was obviously angry and send a nastygram to Delta chastising them for not advising me of this change even though I had a valid eticket and have been a platinum Skymiles member for the past 7 years. Delta's computer-generated response was that they were sorry about this oversight and would credit my account for 10,000 extra skymiles for my troubles - whoopee!
Early Friday morning I went to State Department's travel office to change my flight so as arrive in Luanda in time to start work on Monday. The agent was able to rebook me Washington Dulles-Jo'burg-Luanda leaving that afternoon. After a layover in Jo'burg, I arrived in Luanda on Sunday morning, but without my luggage. The reason was that the DC-Atlanta flight had departed late and my luggage missed the tight connection to Jo'burg. My suitcase finally arrived in Luanda Monday evening (after I had worn the same jeans and shirt for three days which included a Monday morning meeting with the Ambassador). He simply smiled and welcomed me to Luanda where he indicated that such happenings are not unusual.