The rise of internet commerce was just about the time that I started making my own travel arrangments. As a result, I don’t think I’ve ever purchased an airline ticket except on the web. This week, though, my advisor asked me to go to Victoria, BC for him at the end of next month; being the generous guy that I am, I agreed. Now, getting to Victoria had the potential to be rather complicated. I am willing to fly out of either Ithaca or Syracuse, as always. But, if it saved the university a lot of money, I was also willing to fly to Seattle or Vancouver and drive the rest of the way to Victoria. (The drives from both Seattle or Vancouver involve really nice ferry rides, and I like ferries.) With so many choices, I thought it might be best to leave it to a travel agent. So, I told the administrative assistant in my department when I needed to arrive in Victoria and when I could return, as well as the possible options on airports.
This afternoon, the administrative assistant Emailed me a proposed itinerary from the travel agent. The times don’t work at all. She has me arriving in Victoria (or so I thought, anyway) late Sunday night, when my presentation is first thing Monday morning, and she has me departing Victoria early Tuesday morning, which is before the conference ends. To the travel agent’s credit, I think this could be our admin’s fault, because she wasn’t terribly specific in her request. In any case, I emailed our admin back and told her why it wouldn’t work.
After I got home tonight, I took a closer look at the proposed itinerary that I had been sent. I noticed that my destination airport was listed as YYC. For some reason, this seemed wrong to me. (I had searched for a couple of airfares myself earlier in the week; I don’t have a mental database of Canadian airport codes. Yet.) As it turns out, YYC is not Victoria (or Vancouver, for that matter). It is Calgary, Alberta. A mere 611 miles from my destination, according to Mapquest. At this point, I could have bought the tickets myself.
Sorry to be so journally and so full of complaints this week. I’ve just been so busy that I haven’t had much of a chance to take a peak around the web or at the world. Maybe this weekend or next week will be a bit calmer.
[Later...] After 15 minutes of searching, I found exactly the flights I wanted at $500 less than the price quoted by the travel agent. (Of course, she was quoting a price to Calgary, so it’s probably not a fair comparison!) I went ahead and purchased. I’ll sort it out with Cornell on Monday.