Today’s Adventures in Booking an Airline Ticket

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For tonight’s post I am going to give a peek into the sometimes funny realities of having a toddler and booking airline tickets.  Today I was booking an award ticket for my husband, and finally got the availability I needed to display right before it was time to go get my kiddo from daycare.  Trust me, toddlers know if you are late and it isn’t pretty.  However, since we all know award availability changes quickly, I had to grab the ticket right then.  So, I was admittedly somewhat hurried while I went through the booking process.  I was booking a ticket for him using my Avios points, so all of my information was pre-filled in the passenger information section in my British Airways Executive Club account.

I changed the necessary information from mine to his (first name, phone number, etc.), paid the $5.00 in taxes, and left to go get Little C from daycare feeling like I did a good job getting the ticket secured without being too late for pick-up.  Fast-forward to an hour later when I look at the itinerary that was emailed to me.  Oops.  Unless my husband has a gender change between now and when he flies, I had clearly made an error.  I forgot to change the Mrs. to a Mr. in the reservation window.  I’m pretty sure he would be the very last person in line for a sex change (hence why I sometimes refer to him as “The Man”), so I call up British Airways to get the error fixed.  Naturally, I can’t get through because “all lines are busy”.  Great.

I try off and on for the next hour or so and get the same message.  Finally, I get past the “we can’t accept your call at this time” message and sit on hold listening to the lovely “hold music” for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and then by that point we are all starving, so we decide to get dinner with me still on hold.  Here’s where the fun part comes in.  When my husband is out of town for work, the kiddo and I often eat dinner with Grandma and Grandpa.  They like to eat “practical” dinners (ie nothing “fancy”), so Grandpa decided he was in the mood for a buffet.  Yes, you may now start laughing at me and/or unsubscribe from the blog immediately.  They were fresh out of buffet coupons, so we had to make an emergency detour to my house as I had just received some in the mail that I saved for such a special occasion.

Naturally, this is exactly when the British Airways agent came on the line to help with my husband’s gender identity crisis.  I got my mom to keep driving around the block (in case you were not aware, the car must remain in motion when there is a toddler in tow or chaos may ensue) while I talked to the BA agent as my kiddo sang the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song.  On top of my toddler’s own background singing, I certainly didn’t want the phone agent to hear “Hey Mom, the buffet coupons are in the “junk drawer” in the kitchen.  Make sure you grab enough for all of us.”  Clearly we would not be sophisticated enough to have a BA issued ticket if we ate at small town buffets, used coupons, and had a junk drawer in our kitchen.

We managed to keep our buffet/coupon secret from the BA agent, and successfully had our gender issue submitted for a fix.  All was now right with the world.  Oh the adventures in booking an airline ticket in a toddler’s world.  It isn’t always pretty, but it is always interesting.

PS.  She loved the buffet – and as you can see by looking at her face, she especially loved the self-serve ice cream.  I lose a little self-respect every time I eat there, but that doesn’t stop me from diving into the basket of honey butter rolls.  Don’t be jealous of our high-class jetsetter lifestyle.  😉


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  1. For Daddy Points’s sake, I’m glad that rather than the alternative, it turned out to be easier to make the gender change to the ticket. 😀

  2. Too funny! But say for the moment you couldn’t change the gender via BA. Assuming this was a domestic AA redemption, you would have an AA PNR. Couldn’t you then theoretically edit the TSA pre-check info via the AA website? I’ve had to change TSA data a couple of times (i.e., new passport number), and there always seems to be an option to change the radio button selection from Male to Female). If you had entered the wrong name (yours instead of The Man’s), yes, that’s a problem. But gender shouldn’t be as big a deal.

  3. I used to LOVE hitting up the buffet when I was a little one! I was a Sizzler kind of girl… haven’t been to one of them in years!

  4. HAHA! I had the same issue happen when I (a male) used my old BA EC miles to book a ticket on a OW partner for my girlfriend (obviously a female, and with a very girly name) to join me on a trip. I didn’t see anywhere on BA’s engine to enter “Ms.” in the field and when I booked the ticket, it had her as “Mr.” She was none too pleased, and the worst part was that BA said I’d have to reissue the ticket for $40 + phone fee to have it fixed … so she stayed “Mr.” for that trip. I was going to keep the fact we were flying business class a secret but told her early to quell any anger 😛

  5. Oh please … I don’t know someone that hasn’t had that same look Little C has on her face at one point in their life.

    Sure, maybe it wasn’t at a buffet dinner with grandma and grandpa, but let’s face it, she loved every minute of it … and you did too!

    You’re generating some high school yearbook gold here.

  6. I cannot imagine that it would actually matter at all. If you present yourself with an ID showing a name that matches that on the ticket the gender is certainly not something that is going to “break” anything. And it is separate from SecureFlight if you’re in the USA, not that I’m convinced that matters either.

    • @Seth, I agree it was unlikely to cause any huge issues – but I would rather just fix it and have no chance of issues. Plus, he would not have been pleased to see Mrs. His Name on the ticket. In fact, unless he reads this post, he won’t even know it happened. 😉

  7. …”They were fresh out of buffet coupons, so we had to make an emergency detour to my house as I had just received some in the mail that I saved for such a special occasion.”

    😀 Too funny!

    • Coke. It’s a Coca Cola shirt. Though in her case it really should say “Please Drink Chocolate Milk”. 😉

  8. This is very funny, and stuff like this still happens in my life, even with 15- and 21-yr old kids.

    At some point though, you have to weigh the coupon savings vs. the cost of wasted time + extra gas. Probably not worth going home for the coupons.

    FWIW — I don’t think the greeting title matters on your husband’s airline ticket.

  9. Love this post and the admission about the buffet dinner! Having lived in Cali for the last 10 years, I miss the buffets we went to every Sunday in TX! Love Furrs!

  10. I can totally relate as last month I was in the car chatting with Amex Platinum travel making a Fine Hotels and Resorts reservation when the five year old started screaming “Never no never say never to a Neverland pirate!”

  11. @aadvantage geek, ha ha. He’s glad, too!

    @Micheal R, couldn’t get it to come up on the AA website, so figured it was just easiest to call and get it fixed to avoid the slightest chance of any issue. 😉

    @kris, I loved them as a kid, too. Especially the dessert part!

    @AK, oh no!!

    @Howie, I know we have pictures with me as a kiddo with ice cream everywhere, too. It’s a requirement of childhood.

    @CodeAdam10, real life is funny sometimes!

    @Raj B, we live two streets apart, so pretty much pass each others houses on the way out of the neighborhood anyway. No time/gas issue (well, other than circling while I talked to BA!)

    @carwag25, Southerners and their buffets. 😉

    @Jamison, I know Howie, so I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean anything adult by his comment. (however, other nasty comments were left and deleted – come on people!)

    @bluto, ha ha. So true.

    @David, apologies. All fixed. 😉

    @The Deal Mommy, ha ha – that’s a great song!

  12. I LOVE the expression of your child. She is so cute and sweet!!!

    Thanks for your site. I will have to wait till the Chicago Seminar to meet with you in person. It will be my first. Booked hotel and registered…..just need cheap airfare.

  13. Couple of thoughts:

    1)Agree with other posters that salutation doesn’t matter. In fact I recall that your last name on the ticket can have up to 2 spelling errors and it will be still fine.

    2)Don’t worry about total strangers judging you. 😉

  14. @sil, thank you for reading this site. 😉 Look forward to seeing you at the Chicago Seminars. I have a post about flying to the Seminars coming up soon….stay tuned.

    @Maxim, I hadn’t ever heard about the spelling errors being okay. I’m just too OCD to not have my tickets be exactly correct. As for #2, blogging wouldn’t be a very good choice if I really worried too much about what strangers on the internet thought. Ha ha.

  15. Here’s a helpful site when you know you’re going to be on hold for a long time (like with BA) – I’ve used it several times and it works great; they’ll stay on hold and then call you back when a live person picks up 🙂

  16. Nice to know that there are real people out there, chow down! The funny thing about buffets is watching all those people who are bound and determined to get their money’s worth. They like to build upon their plate what I like to call the “buffet condo”. They just keep on stacking it up. Wonder what psychological urge is being met by doing this. Guess they don’t know that they CAN go back for more.

  17. This was such a hilarious post XD Don’t get too down on yourself about buffets…I grew up on buffets with my family, although I generally don’t do them any more, but there’s something for everyone there! 🙂

  18. LOL – always enjoy reading your posts about your kiddo. Totally been there, done that when I read some of your adventures. Sounds so much better when you blog about it though!

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