How I Almost Didn’t Fly

Imagine: it’s seven hours before you are set to depart to the airport for your trip to Europe. Your bags are packed. Phones, batteries, iPad and computer are charged and loaded with movies and music for your flight. All that is left is to check in online. No big deal, right? Should only be a few clicks, answer a few questions, and you’re set.

Except that is not what happened.

A brief history on my ticket. I used my Chase Sapphire card (more on this in another post) to redeem miles with Virgin Atlantic. Since Virgin does not fly into mainland Europe, I booked a flight through Virgin on Delta as they are partners. First class from LAX to Düsseldorf. This was my first time purchasing a ticket with a partner of another airline, so I was not 100% sure what to expect. However, everything seemed ok – I was able to upgrade seats, choose meals, etc. I had no reason to think I would have any problems.

I realized late last night I had not checked in to my flight. I wasn’t too particularly worried as I was planning on using the Delta One lounge at LAX anyhow, but figured I should check in to avoid any possible hiccups the day of my flight. When I attempted to check in online, Delta’s website told me they couldn’t verify the ticket. So I tried to check in on Virgin Atlantic, but as I suspected, they directed me to the Delta website.

At this point, I’m starting to get concerned. So I reach out to Delta via their SkyMiles Customer Service number and spoke with someone who advised there was a problem with my ticket and I would need to reach out to Virgin Atlantic to see if they could assist.

Now I’m worried. The night before a flight is not the time to find out there is a problem with your ticket. I called Virgin’s Flying Club Customer Service number and spoke with a delightful woman named Olivia, and explained the situation. She told me, “Oh, I think your ticket just needs to be re-synced”. She put me on hold for a few moments and called her ticketing department. She came back after 5 minutes and said, “Ok, Mr. Olsen, your ticket is all set.” She then waited on the phone while I checked in on Delta’s website.

What a relief!

When I checked in this morning in the Delta One lounge, the attendant advised she would have had to do the same thing – reach out to Virgin to have them re-sync my ticket. So while I probably would have flown either way, it was reassuring to know everything was taken care of when I got to the airport.

Lesson learned: there’s always a solution to a problem.