Back in 2013, Jane and I were headed to Europe to ride a bicycle Camino, from Barcelona, Spain, to Santiago de Compostela. We arranged with the cruise line to allow us to take our bicycles onto the ship. They were going to keep them with the crew member bicycles.
Everything was in place and the day before we left Jane called the cruise line, just to confirm all was still okay. If it wasn’t, we would have to very quickly find a way to leave the bikes in Miami.
When she reached the cruise office, nobody there knew anything about the arrangements. The person she had arranged everything with was off that day and left no record. Panic!!!
Since we had to leave very early the next morning, there was no way to contact the person responsible. The only alternative was to take off all of the bicycle equipment from our bicycles, such as luggage racks, panniers, tools, spares, odometers, bells, in essence, everything. I rushed out to our bicycle storage shed and spent several hours taking everything off and finding sufficient old suitcases and bags to put everything in. This amounted to an additional seven large bags we had not intended on bringing, 11 bags in total.
We ended up having to buy two bicycles in Barcelona, Spain when we arrived. Expensive? Yes. We didn’t have much choice.
Later, after the cruise, we did contact the person responsible and there was a document allowing us to bring the bikes, but it was a little late at that point.
Tonight, I checked the tracking number at Fed-Ex for my bicycle that I shipped last Friday, five days ago. For reasons I cannot imagine, even with the holiday, it didn’t go out until this morning. This means it won’t arrive in Oregon until July 12th. This leaves me only a few choices:
- Change my flight that leaves in a few hours, early tomorrow morning. Delta will charge me $200+ to change the flight.
- Take the scheduled flight and hang around in Portland, Oregon for five days. No offence Portland, I hear you’re a nice city, but that could get expensive, even more than the $200+.
- There is no “third” option, at least not one that I can think of.
Two of the boxes that I shipped via USPS to a wonderful couple in Lincoln City, OR arrived today and they were going to pick me up tomorrow afternoon. I had to contact them and let them know I won’t be there. Bummer, I feel like an idiot.
How I miss those carefree days, back in the sixties, when one could just run into the airport, grab a ticket and hop a plane. Some things have just not gotten better with time and flying is one of them. As I write this, I have a call into Delta to speak with a representative. The automated answering service told me there is an “over” two-hour wait for the return call. Two hours! If they’re that busy, they might consider hiring more people to answer phones. Two hours.