$830 Sydney to LA and Return a bargain? – Not so…. A Journal by Alfred DeAureus

Three months ago, Delta Airlines advertised a “Deal of the Year” in the internet. I persuaded my brother who has 6 children to buy tickets for him and his wife. I found out later that he booked 8 tickets including a 15-seater van to tour the USA for 3 months. My parents were also convinced to join them. After making computations, and travelling through Christmas and New Year, $50k can easily evaporate. As a consolation, my brother declared that it is also a celebration for his 3 sons who are graduating from the university this year. I am now uncertain if I am delighted for them or not.

For the meantime, my wife and I and our 2 daughters, were also hooked into taking this so-called deal. For $890, Delta is also giving away a 3-night, 5-star accommodation in Anaheim plus a 2-day pass in Disneyland. Now who can refuse that! We then booked for an 11-day tour. But a week later, I discovered that the wife has booked the four of us to fly to 5 more states (Las Vegas, North Carolina, Michigan, New York, and San Francisco). I just did not know how we could squeeze 2 days per State in our travel, but the wife assured me that it is possible – so she said! I found out that the fare from Sydney to Manila was twenty times less than the combined domestic fare in the US! I am now starting to doubt this so-called “deal of the year!”

Just like in a poker game, I became addicted even if I was losing all the way! But like any sensible husband and father who knew that a consensus of three is always powerful and objecting to it could give me sleepless nights, so I just “went with the flow.” I reminded my wife that I was not enthusiastic about walking; that I disliked carrying things regardless of weight; that I never liked to be hurried; and that I could not be expected to follow them everywhere while shopping. Beside Hollywood and Beverly Hills tours, I found out later that the wife organized a car and van rentals in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, a 5-star accommodation in Hotel Intercontinental right at the centre of Times Square in New York, a tour package for a limousine service and helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon in Nevada. I was speechless!

At the final leg of our trip, we were informed in Los Angeles that the flight was overbooked. My daughters needed to get back home and did not want to be detoured or delayed. But my wife and I opted to take the next flight a day after. We were given a hotel and meal voucher in LA and we were routed to Sydney via Honolulu the next day. We were impressed with Delta Airlines when they booked us in a 5-star hotel for 2 nights. Meals at the hotel were also included and that was a bonus! I rose to the occasion when I surprised the wife and booked a 2010 orange convertible Ford Mustang. It was the least I could do. We then cruised the coast including Pearl Harbour, Waikiki and the Dole plantation. For voluntarily not taking the flight from LA to Sydney, we were awarded $600 voucher each. Good or bad? I now see the good wife every night planning our next trip…. Hmmmm!

Updated: 2010-12-11 — 03:36:16


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