Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Get a Room! We Are Trying...

We watched the hotel shuttles pass us by like marathon runners, hoping to find one associated with what we thought would be a reasonably priced hotel. One of the locals suggested Airway or some other, but after 30 minutes, their shuttles never appeared.  The driver for Red Roof Motel did not speak English, so could not answer whether or not we could be a walk-in. Their loss. We ended up at Clarion, a bit more than we would have liked.

We paid $154 for our one night. That really grinds me. I was on Skype with American Express Travel as I booked these tickets thru them. I thought I had trip cancellation insurance with my credit cards. It turns out they discontinued that insurance two years ago. They did call TAP to see if they could resolve anything, but it was a failed attempt. TAP offices were closed.

Calling Hotels.com to try to salvage our Quito reservation was a waste of good time. I spent 25 minutes listening to their awful music, but no rep ever came online. We called the hotel in Quito, though paid in full; they denied having a reservation for us at all. I also called CheapoAir to see what could be done about our Quito to Cuenca flight. Sure, it can be changed for a penalty of $160. This was the original ticket price; so in essence, we bought the same ticket again.

Exhausted, depressed, and surprising in need of protein, we went downstairs to the hotel cafeteria. The meatloaf was comfort food; unexpectedly, it was delicious and well, comforting. We were in bed by 10pm, but by 3:15am, my mental alarm rang. Time to wake up and worry it said. Too many things can go wrong yet. How can you sleep through this potential drama? No contingency plans were enough to soothe the beastly thoughts, so by 4:30 I decided to check e-mails. Perhaps AMEX or CheapoAir would come through with a miracle. Miracles only happen in the movies.

Thankfully, I called the night before for a wake-up call as well as setting the clock. I forget to turn the alarm on after setting it. Breakfast choices at the cafeteria were pleasantly bountiful, but we only had 12 minutes to grab some eggs and sausage before catching the shuttle to the airport. Considering our record, I wanted to be here three hours early. All went well with check-in.

The plan was to spend excess time in the Diner’s Club lounge. Of course, it was four terminals from where we were. After walking for 20 minutes and only getting one terminal away, I chose not to continue. Once there, we would have to go through security, find the lounge, leave 30 minutes or more before our boarding and got through security again at our terminal. It was not worth the energy of an already stressful trip.

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