Writing regular blogs about the business of travel keeps me up to date with the latest news in airlines and travel. But there’s nothing better than to blog about ones’ real life experience making reservations and actually traveling. It makes you realize that the devil is in the details.

I have to travel to Florida in the middle of November for a meeting.  My first step was to go online and search for fares from Hartford CT to Orlando FL.  I did what I’d recommend you do…I chose an airline that I know has a lot of flights out of my home airport (Delta) and a carrier where I have a fair amount of airmiles.

But the most frustrating thing about being on an airline website to book a flight is when you find the perfect flight then you have to get off line and tell your associate about the cost, so that he can pay. Or you have to show your spouse what a great deal this is, or you have to get your relatives ok that the dates all line up.  That fare will be super hard to find again, and the web page will time out, leaving you having to start all over again.

So there I was, great price (I don’t know how Delta can make a profit with fares so low all the way to Florida non-stop) then I retreived the credit card information and was ready to book. What happened to that page that I left open on my desktop? Gone!

So I went to Delta’s website and found the number to call to speak to an agent. The airlines would rather you book yourself without calling them, but I just lost that airfare screen, and on my scratch pad, I had the payment info. I found the number and after a long time, got an agent on the line.

I remembered the fares and the times so I told the helpful Delta rep what I wanted, and she found me almost as good a fare as I had seen on the website. I had everything she needed…except the exact billing address of my colleague. Gulp.

I frantically Googled my Connecticut friend, trying to get his street address.  There are a lot more men with his name in Connecticut than I thought. Gulp again. Tick tick, my name was on the ticket, but it wasn’t paid for yet.

I emailed him, hoping he’d quickly get the email while I was still on the phone to get me that address. I guessed, putting in the company address as well as a few others I found in the Google searches. While I was nervous, my Delta pal was fine.  Tick tick, tick. Finally she said yeah, here we go, and the billing address, the charge card’s 16 digit account number, that 3-digit number on the back, and the expiration. Bingo!