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Thread summary:

Need advice on upcoming vacation, family vacation booked but emergency operation put vacation in state of flux, flight and car rental cancellation policies

Old 10-09-2008, 12:47 PM
234 posts, read 1,183,602 times
Reputation: 123


Hi folks;

I am asking for some advice on our upcoming vacation. We are flying from MHT to GSP for the week of 10/25 - 11/2. with US AIR We have been looking forward to this trip for months and have everything all planned, flights, lodging, car, golf reservations, etc, etc.

However, yesterday my wife learned that her mother who has cancer will need an operation on 10/30 Thursday. Her mother said "go on vacation, don't worry so much , I'll be fine"--- and my wife really wants to go on vacation BUT she wants to come back on 10/29 Wednesday so she can be there for her mother on 10/30 Thursday. I offered to go back as well, but my wife said that I "really" need this vacation - it has been stressful year, anyways my wife's siblings and father will be there too.

The thing is, the Dr.s could cancel the operation because the mother-inlaw has a weak heart - nobody really knows - so everything is in a state of flux. We won't know if the operation is a go until the day before.

So - how can we make this happen. There are MANY options.

1. We both cancel and reschedule for another date. I read the fine print and it says they will allow changes but $150 charge each ticket. Will they waive this fee for circumstances like this? We only paid 210$ a ticket to begin with.

2. Buy a 1way tic for the wife from CLT to BDL and have her sister pick her up ( this is the airport closest to them) The tic is $128 today and was $108 yesterday with Delta. Do I buy it now? The docs might reschedule the operation.

3. The sister-inlaw has a bunch of FF miles with Southwest. I could drive the wife 4 hours (each way) to the closest WN airport (RDU) and she flies out of there to BDL. She could also rent a one-way car and drive herself -- but she is nervous about doing that. Can the SIL transfer her FF miles to my wife?

4. Don't worry about it and let the cards fall where they may. Have a good vacation --- don't worry be happy kind of deal.

5. do priceline or hotwire a few days before for flight.

6. We don't have insurance - never occurred to me. In retrospect it probably would of been a good idea.

7. any other suggestions?

as a side note, I have a reservation with Alamo -- now I recall that they charge large fees if we have to return early. If something really bad happens, I might have to cut my vacation short and return myself. Would Alamo be understanding. I have a National car reservation as well that I booked as a backup in June. Should I just go with them as they are a little more forgiving about early returns. It is only 50$ more for the week.

I thank you for your advice.


p.s. I also posted this on the SC board as well.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:59 PM
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 15,925,294 times
Reputation: 2655
Keep it simple. I can't advise you further about all those choices -- this is your life, and you and your wife are the only ones who know how you two like to do things.

My suggestion is this: your wife gets only one mother in life, whereas you both can have dozens of vacations, and $$ you can always make more of. Mothers come in ones.

I would listen quietly and lovingly to your wife's heart and support her completely in where her heart is leading her. And I would listen behind the words your MIL tells you, to hear her heart and what she really wants.

The details: you're both grownups, you know how to make decisions, and you know what you want. Keep it simple. I wish you well.
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:06 PM
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 6,783,804 times
Reputation: 4988
It sounds like your wife really wants to be there.

Can you call the airline and see if they'll waive the fee in light of the situation?

If you do go, I'd go with the more expensive rental car that is more forgiving if you have to turn in early.

It sounds like you are only going to be out $300 if you reschedule your vacation.

If I was in your shoes, that is probably what I would do. Honestly, it's not like it's $8,000, even though in general I don't put a price on family.

Even if your wife comes home early, do you really want to be on vacation without her? And what if there are complications with the mother? Maybe your wife will be needing your support?

To me it just wouldn't be worth it.

Follow your heart. If you are feeling bad about leaving, and only inconvenienced about skipping the trip, then let that be your guide in your decision making.....

I wish your mother in law well in her upcoming surgery.....
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:28 PM
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,279 posts, read 14,172,734 times
Reputation: 7615
How serious is the operation? Will her mom have someone there with her? Will you be back in time to visit mom at home?

My mother refuses to let me come for things like that--she has an extensive support group around her and I keep track of her progress via phone. If something were to happen, it wouldn't take me long to get there.

Talk about it again with both your wife and her mom!
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:57 PM
3,367 posts, read 10,327,236 times
Reputation: 4188
I would ask your wife what she wants to do, and go with that. Support her.

Your MIL is not going to demand you stay - she is probably too sick, weak and tired to do that anyway.

Then call the companies and ask what they can do under the circumstances to help recoup your losses.

None of you would enjoy the vacation with all this worry and guilt anyway.

There is always next year, for you - but maybe not for your MIL.

Best wishes
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Old 10-11-2008, 07:15 AM
234 posts, read 1,183,602 times
Reputation: 123
Thanks everyone for your advice.

My wife decided that she REALLY wants to go on vacation. So we are going to leave as originally planned.

If/when the operation occurs we will buy her a one way tic to BDL where her sister will pick her up. At the time we will look at the prices and determine if she will fly out of CLT, CHS. CLT is only 1.75 hrs away, and CHS is 3 hrs away. To make it more enjoyable, we will do an overnite in Charleston as we always wanted to see it anyways.

If those two fares don't work, she can use her sister's Southwest FF miles and go out of RDU - and I will visit an old golfing buddy and play a few rounds. I will keep the original Nov 2. departure day - and probably head up to the Smokies Mtns for a day trip or two and play golf until my arms hurt.

Thanks again for advice
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:02 AM
14,935 posts, read 25,545,156 times
Reputation: 21675
My MIL has a degenerative form of MS and we go through this same consideration EVERY time we take a week or long week-end off.

Our solution has been to fly Southwest Airlines. There is no fee to rebook or to cancel a flight. When you cancel a reservation, you have 12 months from the date of the purchase to use those funds on another trip.

Good luck with your family situation.
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