As per the usual when it comes to my vacations, I run into trouble. There was the family trip to Washington D.C. where I burned a large portion of my calf on Father’s Day, which forced me to roll around the nation’s capital in a wheelchair. There was the trip to New York City in September 2008 where Hurricane Ike forced my friend, James, to stay behind because his house, and wife, did not have electricity. My 2013 trip to The Bahamas was canceled because I purchased the ticket and then applied for my passport (in enough time, mind you), which was (government-run program alert) every bit of a disaster. I ended up replacing the beach with the Rocky Mountains. There was the trip to South Korea last year where I nearly missed my flight from Beijing to Seoul and where upon my return flight my Achilles felt like it was about to rupture, forcing me to spend my intentional 20-plus hour layover in the Beijing airport. And now this year, Hurricane Harvey completely blew up my planned excursion to Scotland.
TROUBLE WITH SCOTLAND
My flight to Edinburgh was planned for Aug. 29. Harvey hit Houston on Aug. 26, shutting down not just the airports, but the entire city. Perfect timing. Of course, there were plenty of others who suffered much more extreme circumstances; but let’s not get caught up in comparisons.
Discovering that Bush Intercontinental would be closed passed Aug. 29, I called Finnair and informed them of the circumstances. The lady was very kind. She said due to the circumstances my ticket would be good for an entire year and that there would be no extra charge to reschedule. I also canceled my tour of St. Andrews Golf Course and my Jacobite Train ride from Fort William to Mallaig (both kindly refunded).
THE KIND HOSTS WITH AIRBNB
I was planning to stay in a house through Airbnb. I informed them of the hurricane and how I would have to reschedule. They were very understanding as well. I told them I would like to stay in their place once I rescheduled. Their place wouldn’t be available again until early October.
I determined I would leave on Oct. 8, the day before my birthday. Arriving in the Fatherland on my birth date would be a great birthday gift. The Airbnb people thought that would be a perfect time. I called Finnair back a few days later and told them my plans for a birthday celebration in Scotland. Not the same lady. Not the same result.
NO BIRTHDAY IN EDINBURGH
After a discussion with the Irregularities Department (which seems irregular in itself), I was informed that my ticket was good for a year, but that I had to take the trip between Sept. 1 and Oct. 1. Of course, September had already started and I wasn’t much for waiting an entire year to go. So I hung up, informed Airbnb people that I wouldn’t be staying with them. They refunded me fully (extremely kind people).
I studied the schedule a little bit more and decided on Sept. 19-29. I called Finnair again. Scheduled the trip. Searched Airbnb again. Found two places that were, unfortunately, more expensive than the original. Of course, this was foreseeable due to a much shorter amount of time to plan. Rescheduled my tour of St. Andrews Golf Course and the train ride.
On a side note: I planned a day trip to London while in Scotland. That flight was not refunded. I decided to replace the flight to London with a train ride and then a flight out back to Edinburgh.
So it appears that all is planned and ready to go. That is of course unless there is another act of God.