Why It’s Good To Check In Early
As I usually do within 24 hours of boarding a flight, I go to the appropriate airline’s website and print out a boarding pass. It saves a heck of a lot of time at the airport–time I’d rather not be spending in yet another line. This time around, though, it saved a lot more than that!
Saturday night, I got onto United’s website in order to check in. I entered in all the data, and then I got an error: there was no electronic ticket for my reservation. I decided to call United to confirm this. Turns out, they were right: I really didn’t have a ticket, even though I had a reservation. What?
Originally, I was going to fly to Ottawa last month. I had my admin call our corporate travel agency to have my ticket changed over to the new date. According to the rep I talked to, the person my admin talked to didn’t cash in the old ticket. I had a reservation in the system, but my ticket never got properly reissued.
And, of course, it got worse. The price of buying a ticket last minute was an order of magnitude more expensive than if they had purchased it back in January like I thought they did. Fortunately, I never see that bill, so I was not terribly concerned about it. The rep apologized and said they had obviously screwed this up and would follow through to ensure the company is not responsible for the difference in fare because of the agency’s obvious error.
The rep did manage to get me on the same flight I thought I was on before, but with a slight bonus: better seats for all but one of the flight legs. On the one where she wasn’t able to get better seats, I at least got my original aisle seat.
Had I waited until I got to the airport, I could have easily been stuck there trying to deal with the travel agency scrambling to get on the right flight! At least this way, I managed to find out about the problem–and sort it out–before I got there. Thanks to online check-in!