Broken family at Christmas
December 22, 2010 8:41 AM   Subscribe

MeFite desperately seeking advice/contacts/ideas for travelling from Dublin to Orlando stat

Due to the snow conditions in Europe we have been stranded in 3 different cities en route to Dublin since Saturday. This has included horrendous nights on freezing cold airport floors for me, hubbie, our 13 year old Aspie son, and dozens of fellow travellers. Our family in Dublin boxed together to buy him a trip to Orlando with USAirways as his secret Santa gift, and we booked the rest of the family as well. Due to our delay of 27 hours half our family have gone out on the scheduled flight. So now our daughter is alone with our aunties there while we are stuck in Dublin. USAirways say the code that our son's present was booked on 3 months ago is too cheap to allow any form of rebooking or upgrade. So it doesn't qualify for their website's claimed "flexible approach" to the European snow situation. The best quote we have had was £10k leaving on Christmas Eve.
So, MeFites, while we stay doing the rounds of Dublin airline desks desperately seeking to go out on any possible cancellations we are told that the only availability even remotely affordable is from the 28th onward. Our family return on the 1st. We have huge problems charging our cellphones and laptop on the busy concourse. If anyone has some googlefu and Christmas spirit, could you tell me available flights and prices via any hub with a connection to Dublin that doesn't bankrupt us? I've put my cellphone number in my profile if you can help.
posted by Wilder to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total)
A quick check makes US Airways look like the best bet departing on several flights available tomorrow, but their roundtrip fare is about 2700 USD (over 2000 EUR) - slightly cheaper to fly back on 12/31 instead of 1/1, but not by much. Price goes down by about half if you're willing to leave on 12/26 and return on 1/3 (this itinerary appears to be split between several airlines, however, so the cheaper price may not be worth it when you consider possible further missed connections). These flights I found on Kayak.

I'm by no means a travel/airline expert, but worked in tourism for a few years. I don't doubt that buying a new ticket is likely your best option. I'm sorry!
posted by pammeke at 8:58 AM on December 22, 2010

How many people are flying? Orbitz shows flights on Christmas Day for $856USD pp. (this includes taxes and fees) via Chicago or Boston with Aer Lingus or United.
posted by inturnaround at 9:02 AM on December 22, 2010

Also, check with US Airways to make sure you can fly return with them since that was already purchased. Often if you skip the first segment of the intinerary, the rest of it is cancelled. Ensure that this isn't the case. They may be a wee bit more flexible with this than with moving the whole thing.

Hope things work out.
posted by inturnaround at 9:04 AM on December 22, 2010

Oh. I'm sorry, please disregard my first message as I did the search from MCO to DUB. That price is not correct.
posted by inturnaround at 9:05 AM on December 22, 2010

Can you get to knock or Shannon at all?
posted by fshgrl at 9:36 AM on December 22, 2010

inturnaround makes a good point - the prices I quoted are roundtrip Dublin-Orlando-Dublin. Your son's best option back to your home (south coast of England, by the look of your profile) would be a one-way flight on an inexpensive airline such as easyjet - this is assuming that your UK-Orlando-UK flight was originally booked as a package deal, rather than flying on two separate reservations (UK-Dublin-UK with Dublin-Orlando-Dublin purchased separately).

Good luck!
posted by pammeke at 9:38 AM on December 22, 2010

Response by poster: Sorry it wasn't a package deal all the way - we three were flying Ryanair to join with the rest of our Irish family, including our daughter who is a student in Dublin, who had a reception committee with bunting saying "Killian your surprise Santa gift from all your family is a trip to Orlando"...

So the Irish part of the family went this morning, and we were left stranded. Just looking for Dublin-Orlando-Dublin bookings, ASAP and coming back January 1st (or December 31st).

Thank you very much for all the comments, as we are in a freezing crowded airport and your kindness is the first warmth we've had!
posted by Wilder at 10:01 AM on December 22, 2010

Alright - cheapest deal looks like this one I found on Orbitz - roundtrip leaving tomorrow morning at 9am, returning on the 31st at 2:30pm (looks as if you'd celebrate the new year in flight, which could be interesting). It's via Newark and Charlotte, so 3 legs. It's about $1,500 ($300 more expensive if you stay through the new year, it looks like).
posted by pammeke at 10:11 AM on December 22, 2010

Again, for about $1,000 more per person ($2,500), you could fly on US Airways with only 1 stop going & coming. That price is airline-direct, so you should be able to walk up to the counter and buy it, or go to their website.
posted by pammeke at 10:20 AM on December 22, 2010

Response by poster: We just rang USAir in the UK and a sympathetic staffer persuaded her supervisor to authorise an exceptional upgrade option to business class for the flight out on USAir tomorrow morning. Christmas has been saved! Thanks so much to Alex at the Dublin desk and Sabeena & Sarah at UK Customer Services in Liverpool. Our trust in mankind and karma has been substantially restored - we've read some negative comments online and on twitter about USAir but they really came through for us. Thanks pammeke, inturnaround and fshgri for your help and concern - much appreciated.
posted by Wilder at 10:42 AM on December 22, 2010 [3 favorites]

Ooh! This made my day. :)

Blinking back happy Christmas tears. Hooray!

Have a lovely time.
posted by pammeke at 10:49 AM on December 22, 2010

Response by poster: Update: unfortunately the weather and technical difficulties with the plane continued.

We taxied twice down the runway before aborting, yesterdays flight Day 5 eventually got out. At least USAirways put us up in a hotel, first in Dublin and last night Philedelphia.

A shower and a warm room is simply heaven in these circumstances. Their staff have been amazing, I'd heard some negative feedback but the flight crew went over their contractual hours so we wouldn't have to be cancelled, but first an engine problem and then, cruelty of cruelties, as we were just about to take off second time, they closed the airport as the snow was too heavy.

We're now in Philly on Day 6 and fly out this evening when the greatest Christmas gifts we've ever exchanged as a family will be simple hugs. I've never been apart from my daughter at Christmas and I know they are miserable as they await news.

Flying out at 3.45, maybe I should post a Philly breakfast meet-up!
posted by Wilder at 3:29 AM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

« Older Inexpensive but Decent Beer of the Month Club?   |   Sometimes earlier, at about 3pm. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.