Monday, March 16, 2015

Lighting Strikes Twice

So Jeff and I slept about 2 hours Friday night packing and getting everything ready to come home.  We get the kids up at 3am and head to the airport. The kids got up really well. Elliana was really happy to go to America. We get the airport and the lady said the kids are all set but someone has cancelled Jeff and my flight to Germany. We were all set after Germany we just had to get there.  They said the kids could go on but we said we travel together.  So that started calls to United, Adoption Airfare, and home at $2.50 a minute.  I was getting very upset. So the plane left and we were not on it.  If you remember our initial flight to Riga was canceled due to weather and when United rebooked our flights they did not book the return flight properly. The flight out was completely full and they were not taking any more stand-by.  To make a 3 hour frustrating story short, we spoke with the first poorly trained United Air representative, and we were conveniently disconnected after they tried to blame Lufthansa for the problem.  Our next rep who was appeared to be a bit better trained attempted to get us on the flight before it took off well again we were conveniently disconnected.  The third poorly trained rep told us that the whole thing is our fault and that we missed the flight so we have to pay for all new flights.  The reason why we were told this is that the previous rep got us on that flight some how 10 minutes before it took off.  Keeping in mind we still have not even been given tickets or checked baggage and we still had to go through security.  Lufthansa basically told United to go fly a kite because that was too little too late and they were not holding a international flight for two people.  Keep in mind that United Airlines does not allow their reps to give out direct numbers for any particular representative so every disconnect we got we had to re-explain our entire story to a new person    

So knowing we were not flying out that day and there was nothing more we could do at the airport we called and got a hotel so the kids could go to bed.  That freaked out Elliana. She kept saying something over and over again. She started screaming and kicking and everything she could do to say she was mad. Well our Latvian phone was in our suitcase and we could not get to it. So we could not call our translator until we got to the hotel. 

Jeff and I were also extremely frustrated. We called the translator once we get into the hotel room. Found out that Elliana thought we were not taking her home with us and that we were returning her.  That put me over the edge. She was so upset. So we hugged her and told her we loved her. She did clam down but she was so upset for hours before we could get someone to explain the problem to her.  This made Jeff and I feel horrible on top of mad and upset. I put the kids and Jeff to bed. I go out into the hallway and talk with United for a few more hours. I finished got us all on the plane and called my Dad so he would not be waiting for us at the airport. My emotions were so high then when I talked to him I cried. I have not cried in years. I just wanted to get my family home. Also, to think Elliana thought we were taking her back! I have not cried in years but I could not take any more.
So we tried to waste time in Latvia. We did go back to our favorite restaurant just to cheer us up. I did have a great meal at the Flying Frog.  We found a better park that the kids played at. I was about to crash at the play area. I only had 2 hours of sleep an emotional rollercoaster and I could not stand up. Jeff said he would watch the kids while I go back and sleep.  I have a great husband. I got 2 more hours of sleep.

That night we packed and woke everyone up at 3am Sunday morning again and loaded up in a taxi to the airport.  The kids were doing great. We get in line and the same Lufthansa lady from yesterday came up and said Jeff and I are good but the kids flights are not there.  They were considered a “no show”, due to yesterday.  I freaked. I wanted to cry all over again. Jeff wanted to punch someone and the kids started to cry again.  So I took two long breaths told myself “you better pull it together.” I called United again. We also called our agency we booked with. United made another mistake.  So with our booking agency on one phone and a United Rep (5th person from United in two days) on our second cell phone we put both phones on speaker so that those two could finally get this mess straight.   With less than an hour to spare and me getting my extremely forceful business side out, we got three more tickets for the kids and all boarded the same flight home. I did however say to my husband  “If this happened in American I could handle it better than I could being in another country.”  Well later that day I ate my words due to yet another United Airlines fowl up.

To be continued.. (I am tired and have to sleep, I have a total of 11 hours for 3 nights)

P.S. to answers some people's questions. I will be blogging about how the kids are adjusting while in America. It just may not be every day at least one a week. 


  1. I'm so sorry you had such a rough time getting home. Mark has been extremely frustrated lately with United as well. Everything is overbooked etc and they are quick to blame the passenger..... it seems it's always out of their control and never their fault.

    1. Could not agree with you more. We are trying to get them to pay for the hotel and the cab fee. One of the 8 people I talked to from United was trying to get another airline to cover the cost. It was very unethical which I was not ok with and I told her no on the phone. I will try not to use United in the future