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Destination I Do
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Get Help With Your Destination Wedding Travel Plans

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Brett Snyder
Photo courtesy of Cranky Concierge & Antibride

I’ve spent a lot of time here with tips and tricks about how to make your wedding travel go smoothly. But what happens when big things go wrong? Let’s say your airline goes on strike. (Spirit, I’m talking to you.) Sometimes it’s helpful to have someone else with deeper industry knowledge to help you out of a jam. That’s why we’re here at Cranky Concierge.


I started Cranky Concierge last year to effectively provide airline dork knowledge for any traveler who needs the help. We’ve helped hundreds of people so far, and there have been some pretty spectacular results. With the Spirit Air strike stranding all kinds of people heading to tropical Caribbean destinations, the Antibride herself thought this would be a worthwhile topic. Here are some fun-filled stories with happy endings.

Overnight in Boston? Nay.
We had one client who was on his way back from Madrid. He had to connect in Boston and then get on a flight to Columbus where he would pick up his daughter from his parents’ and then fly home the next day. Unfortunately, this happened just after Christmas, right when the underwear-bomber-inspired rule ridiculousness was put into place.

As was the case for most flights facing TSA-imposed insanity, this flight was late getting out of Madrid and got in to Boston just in time for him to wave goodbye to his connection. Oh yeah, that was the last flight of the night.

We, of course, saw this coming a mile away and looked for options while he was in the air. There weren’t any through the usual connecting points, but I remembered that there was the possibility of flying through LaGuardia. Normally that’s not a good idea, but the weather was good and things were running on time.

Sure enough, there was a late flight through LaGuardia, and I had the information ready for him when he landed. He made it to Columbus that night even though the airline had told him when he arrived that they had nothing until the next day.

Into the Belly of the Volcano
Ah, the Icelandic volcano. Was there any natural disaster that was more annoying? (Ok, maybe hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil pouring into the Gulf, but that isn’t impacting air travel.)

Our very first volcano client called before it was known to be a big issue. Airspace had closed, but it was looking like a day-to-day thing. He was scheduled to fly from Halifax to JFK and then back home to London, but he figured his flight wouldn’t go. It was still scheduled as he boarded his flight to JFK, but we were already looking for alternates.

Ultimately, his flight to London canceled, of course, and most other airlines had canceled their flights to northern Europe as well. It didn’t look like he would be getting out anytime soon, so he had resigned himself to staying in New York as long as necessary. (And we know that New York hotels aren’t cheap.)

We came up with another option. It sounds strange, but Icelandair had room on its flights. The volcano may have been in Iceland, but it blew away from Reykjavik, so that airport was open. At the time, Glasgow was open as well, so I snagged the last business class seat that would get him there. Then he could hop a train.

As it turns out, while he was in the air, Glasgow closed. You might think being stuck in Iceland would be awful, but it was far from it. Icelandair actually provided customers with the first hotel night free. They put our client up in a hotel with fast internet connectivity, and he was thrilled.

He spent a few days in Iceland, and then as soon as a small corner of the UK opened, they snuck some airplanes into Edinburgh and he was on one. He got home long before he would have been able to get out of New York.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Sometimes, our suggestions are slightly insane, but they do the job if you really need to be somewhere. Here’s another volcano story for you. We had a client in London who was supposed to come home from London to Atlanta but their flight was canceled. He was only to be home for two days and then he had to be in Toronto for a meeting. Now, the goal became to just get him to Toronto in two days. Not easy.

After looking at several options, we came up with a doozy of a trip. He could take the Eurostar train from London to Paris. Then he would take the TGV train down to the Spanish frontier. Next, he would take an overnight train down to Lisbon. From there, he would board a flight on SATA, the airline of the Azores. After a brief stop in the Azores, his flight would get him to Toronto in time for the meeting.

In the end, he opted not to do it. Why? Well, though he wanted to be at the meeting, he was in his eighties and just didn’t think it was worth the hassle. I can’t say I blame him for that, but man, it would have been fun and yes, it would have gotten him there.

Those are just a few of the people we’ve helped so far and more sign up every day. We offer travel assistance starting at just $25 per itinerary (not per person). We follow the flights of everyone who signs up in advance and make sure nothing goes wrong. You’ll get a personalized email with your flight information and the knowledge that we’ll be watching. For more information, you can visit us at crankyconcierge.com.

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