Sometimes you just get lucky. My trip to Argentina was possible due to luck on multiple fronts. It was the perfect storm of luck. I didn’t rely entirely on luck as I invested time, sweat and almost tears to figure out the best decision. In other words, I did my due diligence. But sometimes in life, luck plays a larger role than our analysis.
We were two days before departure for Argentina to spend Spring Break when we received a call from Delta. They canceled our flight because Argentina was going on a one-day nationwide strike. Delta put us on the flight leaving the following day, meaning our vacation would be shortened by a day.
On a separate call with a supervisor, he suggested that since we were taking kids maybe we want to think twice about going down there because of the political unrest. We would receive a full cash refund. We considered it briefly, but I have lived in Argentina, I am fluent in Spanish and know the culture is generally kind. So rather than take the supervisor’s suggestion, even though I was initially influenced by it, I went to Facebook to contact a few people I know that live down there.
Ask Those That Know
Thankfully I got a response from three friends, two of which live in Buenos Aires and one that lives in a northern province. All three said this was no big deal. It had been planned for months as a general transportation strike…information Delta didn’t seem to have. They said nothing big would happen except for a few protests and if I stayed away from that, I would be fine. So the decision was made, we were going to Argentina.
We decided to leave the next day (one day before original flight). This way we would pick up an extra vacation day rather than lose one. I called Delta. Then they dropped the bad news. They were completely sold out the next day…apparently others had the same idea. After a 50-minute call, I was told there no seats available, even on partner airlines. We were stuck with traveling a day later than originally planned. I was disappointed because just a few hours earlier seats were available.
Sometimes The Gut is Right
I was about to go to bed and I had this nagging feeling to check Delta one more time. I fly enough to know that weird stuff happens all the time. I logged into Delta and looked at seat capacity for the next day’s flight, and to my surprise a ton of seats were available. I quickly called and got us booked on that flight. Delta had no clue how or why 30-minutes prior the plane was showing as totally full, but now there were seats.
I try not to make financial decisions or serious decisions with my gut, but sometimes it pays to at least look into what it is telling you – in this case it paid off in a much greater way than I had even imagined.
So we got down to Argentina a day early. We took a six-hour bike tour of Buenos Aires the day of the strike. There were no buses, trucks and very few cabs on the streets. We owned the place! The tour guide said he had never had such a favorable day to do a tour (weather and traffic). By the time we got to the Casa Rosada (equivalent to White House) the protests had all gone home, nothing left but a bunch of littered paper on the ground from the morning’s activities.
The Real Luck
I don’t know why, but I looked at Delta a few days later to see what would have happened if we would have come on the “day late” flight Delta originally scheduled us on. Well, that was the day that Atlanta had horrible thunderstorms. Our flight from Minneapolis never made it to Atlanta as it was diverted to Nashville. The evening flight from Atlanta to Buenos Aires went off as planned, but we wouldn’t have been on it. We would have been in Nashville.
In other words, had we not taken the “day early” flight, we never would have made it to Argentina. We would have canceled and returned home, losing our deposits on hotels and activities in Argentina, but more importantly the experience. It ended up being a wonderful trip filled with culture, sightseeing and Argentine friends. There may have been some tears for Argentina, but they were tears of joy. A truly blessed experience, made possible due to getting information from those that know, looking into what my gut was telling me and most of all luck.