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Ralstonlan Aug 23rd, 2006 12:09 PM

A perfectly planned romantic longweekend trip gone bad.
I had this great idea to surprise my husband with a long weekend in Paris for his birthday gift.

I booked the flights for October, direct from Boston to CDG for $730.00 each. Great flights, landed us in Paris at 6:30 AM , with the whole day ahead of us. Return flight was also direct, getting us back in Boston to pick up our son before dinner time.

Then I realized we could stay an extra day and changed the flights at a cost of $200.00 each. Oh well, I said, it is worth it for another full day in Paris.

I was on the wait list for a business class upgrade using miles (and the co-pay fee) and it came through. Yeah, I said, even though the co-pay is now $500.00 each.

Trying not to panic that our tickets are now up to $1463.00 each, I rationalized that it was business class after all, and it was going to be a perfect romantic getaway , just the two of us.

I booked a package at Hotel D'Aubusson including pick up at airport. We have been to Paris on three other occasions and have always wanted to stay there. Great, I said.

I arranged for a place for our son to stay while we were gone.

Reserved a table at Jacques Cagna for the first night.

I took an old map of Paris I had to the framers so I could give him the map on his birthday (Sept. 1) and surprise him with the tickets. Everything in order, I was so excited about this gift.

Last week my husband called to tell me those dates I mentioned to him to take off from work in October were impossible for him. I had to tell him what I had planned, so he could possibly stress the importance to his partner. No deal. It is absolutely not going to happen.

So, I cancel the hotel and start down the airline path of no return, no refund, no transfer.

The worst case scenario is I cancel the flight, have 1 year to use the original value if the tickets($763. each) and forfeit the $1000.00 upgrade co-pay. Oh yes, and pay the additional $175.00 to put the miles back in my FF account. The $400.00 I paid to change get the extra day in is also gone.

The best I can do, is re-book the flights for a later date, pay another $400.00 to do this, and get put on a wait list for the upgrade. If the upgrade does not come through, I can pay the $175.00 to put the miles back in my account and still forfeit the $1000.00 co-pay.

Boy, talk about no good deed going unpunished. Now, instead of my husband being thrilled with such a nice surprise, he is furious at me because we are loosing so much money. Which I can't blame him for that.

Thanks for listening. I just needed to vent. I don't think I'll be planning any more surprises in the near future.

Michel_Paris Aug 23rd, 2006 12:17 PM

Sorry to hear about this. Your surprise seemed so perfect to me! Almost makes you want to have your hsuband 'phone in sick' , yes? ;)

i_am_kane Aug 23rd, 2006 12:19 PM

Oh, my. My sympathy to you. What a mess, and all you tried to do was plan a romantic weekend in Paris.

The best laid plans of mice and men...

Just remember, something good always comes out of something bad.

caroline_edinburgh Aug 23rd, 2006 12:19 PM

I am so sorry for you, Ralstonlan. It would have been a wonderful surprise. I hope you end up having a lovely time, another time, to reward you for your thoughtfulness.

missypie Aug 23rd, 2006 12:26 PM

How old is your son? Mine is 15. If it were me, I'd go with him!

cigalechanta Aug 23rd, 2006 12:50 PM

Lol, missypie, I was thinking the same thing!!
Ralston, I always fly direct from Boston but pay much more. I hope you go.

tcreath Aug 23rd, 2006 12:57 PM

Wow, what a mess. I am so sorry. This may sound bad, but I agree with the above. I would never want to be out the money, so I would probably go myself and see if I could get somebody else to go with me. Otherwise you lose out on an awful lot of money.

Good luck and best wishes.


mvor Aug 23rd, 2006 01:05 PM

Crikey, I am SO sorry for you but i_am_kane is right: you've earned lots of good karma! I, too, hope you decide to make the trip in October. Best of luck~

Dukey Aug 23rd, 2006 01:11 PM

Let me see if I have this right...<b>he</b>is pissed because you &quot;wasted&quot; the money because <b>he</b> can't go? Hmmmm..I can understand but I think a little understanding, and forgiveness, might be in order.

And now there is a possible plan for you to go anyway and without him? I honestly wonder how he'll react to that.

Christina Aug 23rd, 2006 01:16 PM

That is really too bad, but I suppose I'd get whatever refund I could and apply it later instead of taking someone else's romantic present and going by myself.

I know you just want to vent, but I'll admit I don't see this as so tragic and I think it's hard to relate to the kind of money you must have with all the perks, paying for upgrades, etc. Your husband has a partner, so that means he is running a business and should be accustomed to how often scheduling can change or how likely trips can come up, etc. This isn't some low-level clerk calling in sick to a boss (perhaps he's a lawyer or something like that?).

I think expensive surprises that involve someone to take off work are probably not good ideas when someone is in a profession or job where that is unpredictable, so maybe that's not a good thing to do again. Some people just don't like surprises like that, either.

palette Aug 23rd, 2006 01:18 PM

Grab your best girl friend and have a ball. Make lemonade out of those lemons. Or sell the trip on eBay.

Ralstonlan Aug 23rd, 2006 01:22 PM

Thanks everyone for your understanding! I needed it.

Michel_Paris-- No , unfortunately, phoning in sick is not a possibility. Though it did cross my mind!

missypie- my son is twelve, and I did think of taking him, but still would have to forfeit one ticket and but him another one.

cigalechanta- There are some direct flights in October on American right now in October for $552.00 (before taxes of around $100.)

Dukey- I haven't entirely ruled out going by myself, but don't think it is going to sit well. Some things are just not worth it.

L84SKY Aug 23rd, 2006 01:25 PM

Well, all you can do now is bless it and know that something good is on the way.
Your hubby just had a knee jerk reaction. If he's really upset about the $$, see if you have a friend that wants to buy into the trip.

rkkwan Aug 23rd, 2006 01:26 PM

Gosh, I have lots of ideas for the OP. But all inappropriate for this family-friendly forum. ;)

milliebz Aug 23rd, 2006 01:32 PM

Wow. I feel so badly for you. Can one of your girlfriends swing the lower priced tickets? You could do the Carmela Soprano thing. Alternately you could take your son. I have a 12 year old who loves Paris. I would go.

Carrybean Aug 23rd, 2006 01:50 PM

I don't guess your son has the same first name as your husband?

I really feel so terrible for you, especially how your husband reacted. It's just a crying shame.

FainaAgain Aug 23rd, 2006 02:06 PM

Oh, I am SO sorry! I would be devastated!

Want to borrow my husband for October? :)) Who even forgot my birthday yesterday!

BTilke Aug 23rd, 2006 02:33 PM

Oh that is such a shame. No wonder you're so frustrated. And your husband is probably just as disappointed and frustrated and he's probably directing some of that disappointment at you.
As for the money, it's not an insignificant amount, but in the course of any long marriage, stuff happens. The next time it may be your husband who has a costly mishap.
I agree, going to Paris on your own or with your son probably isn't the wisest option.
Since your husband is the one with the unpredictable schedule, let him pick the dates and plan the next overseas trip.

SeaUrchin Aug 23rd, 2006 02:35 PM

I got into a screwed up situation like this once and I was told you can't transfer the tics to another person. Her son would have to have the same name. If so, I would take him and have a nice weekend, I'm sure birthday boy would approve since he will be working anyway.

Sorry this happened to you too.

jody Aug 23rd, 2006 02:48 PM

What will really be crappy, is when the time comes around whatever was so important , as to have to cancel, falls through.

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