11 April 2016
I was scheduled to appear at JPoint, a conference in Novosibirsk, Russia. I was very excited to go, I purchased tickets and - because my schedule is very busy and I spend very few contiguous days in the US before in which I could secure a VISA, before having to venture out to parts unknown, I had to commit more than $800 USD towards securing an expedited VISA through a travel agent. Which I did. And then came the big day when I was to board a flight from Los Angeles to Russia, via China. It was a long-haul flight but I was excited. I got to the airport late as I was stuck in traffic in Los Angeles. The front desk was already closed and I couldn't even proceed to security. For some reason, the front desk wouldn't let me check in online enroute, so by the time I got there, there was no way to checkin, either. It was so frustrating. I called my travel agent and explained the situation and - miraculously - the agent with whom I was speaking found a route that left later, got me there earlier and was cheaper! Amazing! I had her book it! I waited in the airport, already exhausted, only to amble to the checkin counter (I couldn't even checkin and get to a lounge or somewhere comfortable for hours, before) only to discover the flight was to Moscow. Not Novosibirsk, the destination city. I scrambled. Was there a flight that connected from Moscow? Surely it couldn't be that big a delta?? It was. It was equivalent to landing in Los Angeles when I had a meeting in New York City where the timezone was three hours ahead. It was the wrong flight and it was too late to find an alternative flight, Star Alliance or not. This was so very frustrating and I wish the situation had been different. I am sorry, and I hope that, next time, things are better.