Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sara might be losing her mind (if I haven't already)

Sooooo.....I just had an out of body conversation with the Aviation Mobility Representative.

I have flights for Dovi on two different airlines to and from way on United and one way on American. Don't ask me why. I didn't book the tickets. Chai Lifeline's travel agent did, so as to make this all as confusing as possible.

Why does this matter at all? Because Dovi flies on oxygen (recall the photo of Dovi on his on his oxygen on the flight out). It's a real PITB (yet another of the hidden costs of Dovi)-
  • It costs $100 per segment to RENT the oxygen,which thankfully the insurance does reimburse me for, but we have new insurance so let's see how this plays out
  • It must be ordered at least 2 weeks in advance
  • You MAY NOT bring your own green tank. There are two concentrators which are approved for airline use, but they only give a puff of oxygen in response to an inhaled breath by the user-and that would not work for Dovi.
  • He needs to stay on it at all times-one flight he had to go to the bathroom and turned blue on the way back. Dovi's body (remember the autonomic dysfunction loveliness?) does not compensate for the lower oxygen in the air at higher altitudes and breath deeper, hence the need for the oxygen to start with. So we go to the bathroom before the flight and pray he doesn't need to go while we're flying
  • Only certain airlines offer oxygen. No low cost ones-so no Southwest or Jet Blue good deals to Florida.
I didn't even realize it at first-I actually sent the oxygen request form to United with both flights listed, and they called me back and told me the return was on American. I was like, "Sorry I'm such a flaky spaz. One way then please."

So I called American to book the return. United does theirs in-house via a form, and American outsources it and does it over the phone-like I said, the object being as much confusion as possible.

They took my credit card over the phone and were going to charge me for one way.

Got the receipt a few days ago: $200. Now that's for 2 legs, not one.

So I called them today to ask that my $100 overpayment be refunded.

They get on the phone: "No, maam, you're flying both segments on American."

I'm like, "umm no...I flew United on my way out"

They're like, "No, you flew American"

I'm like, "Nope, it was United:

They repeat: "No, it was American" And give flight numbers.

At which point I get incredibly confused. I'm like 900% percent positive that Dovi's flying 1 way on each (recall that United confirmed that for me when I tried to book both legs with them).

So I tell them: "Let me check my itinerary when I get home. I'll call you back."

Then I get to thinking: What if I booked oxygen for both flights on American, and one on United? As in: Both Dovi's flights and one of mine? Blue Cross will never reimburse me for oxygen ordered in error for ME!

Yikes! That would be $100 down the tubes (1/3 of my Roomba-that's my greatest wish...or 15x the JTP)

I'm sitting at my desk, heart pounding, calling Benjie-am I nuts?

He's like, no, you're right. Which makes me wonder again if I booked oxygen for myself.

Don't worry. The yoyos at Aviation Mobility called me back. Sure enough, I was right and they were wrong. One way on American, one way on United.

They're refunding my moolah.


TexasAg said...

Your life is never boring, is it? I'm so glad they realized you were right and refunded you!

Avery, Brock, and Cora said...

OMGosh I was exhausted just reading your trials. I am so pleased to see it had a pleasant ending. Always nice to get acknowledged when you are right---they should pay you extra for all the worrying they caused you! :)