Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'm Getting Dizzy & My Eyes Are Crossed

I'm sending one adult and three teens to Michigan this weekend for MADD Powercamp. Since it is a ropes course, and I do cane rather than ropes, I'm not going. I am, however, in charge of reservations and making sure that everything goes well. Which would be ok if they weren't departing from three different towns. And if they were all starting out on the same day. Or if Travelocity's response to my initial request wasn't, basically, "You can't get there from here" (the single most consistent response to anyone trying to travel around or out of Alaska by any means of transportation whatsoever).

So, I spent three whole days, including working through lunch, just lining up the reservations. In order to get to Flint in time for camp on the 10th, three start on the 8th. Two come to Juneau on the ferry. One goes to Ketchikan on a float plane that has been known to be fogged in. The fourth starts on the 9th. Then the three who have flown out of Juneau have to meet the one who flew to Ketchikan in Seattle. At this point, Travelocity can figure out how to get them to Michigan. Coming back is just as complex, with one stopping in Seattle to visit family for three weeks and one stopping in Ketchikan for a day to have a tooth pulled.

So, three days to figure out the schedule, let my brain rest over the weekend so I could look at it with clear eyes before I made the reservations. Last week, I spent two days working out charts and tables in order to send them a letter telling them their individual confirmation numbers, flight plans, seat assignments, etc. Had the agency secretary read it for clarity.

Came in this morning and spent two hours figuring out meals -- how many of each, considering that the teen from Craig will be having dinner with her grandmother on the 8th, the teen from Juneau will be fed breakfast by her mother on the 9th. All that sort of thing. Worked out a table. Took it to the same secretary, who is also a bookkeeper, to see if her numbers agreed with mine. They did. I presented this to the director to get an advance for the chaperone to take to buy these meals. And he said, "Have her put it on her card if she can and we'll reimburse her when she gets back."

And now all I have to do is compose a letter for the parents of each of the girls to sign giving permission for them to travel (and outlining that girl's itinerary) and to seek medical attention if it is needed.

I really appreciate travel agents about now.

6 comments:

Ally Bean said...

I have difficulties getting travel arranged and I'm here in the middle of the US. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you. But it sounds like you have it all covered. Good for you!

Ted said...

Very mind numbing! I'm glad I never became a travel agent 'cause that kind of planning would make my head explode.

Deja Pseu said...

One word, "Oy!"

Coordinating D-day probably would seem like a piece of cake after that...

Maya's Granny said...

I have to admit that I was worried people would read this and decide that I was whining about some little task I was too dumb to do. It is reassuring that you all understand that it is mind numbing! And it is difficult. And it makes my head spin.

Cherry said...

I'm dizzy trying to keep the few details that you shared with us, straight in my head.

Nice Work!

Autumn's Mom said...

Uh no. Not whining. That is a job you are handling there. May I use you to book a trip to hawaii? haha