The Griswolds visited Aruba for the 4th time, accompanied by two of our three kids, my mother and father in law, and my wife’s sister and family. Despite cancelled flights, Covid-19 related challenges, and lost luggage, we had an amazing time.
We absolutely loved our 3 previous stays at Oceania, so it was a no brainer to book there again. We rented a 4 bedroom, 4 bath penthouse condo, booked flights through Expedia, and went with Wheels to Go for our car rental. Back in March when we booked, Covid cases were on their way down, I was hoping that Aruba would allow proof of vaccination in lieu of a Covid test, but alas, it was not meant to be.
We scheduled our Walgreens Abbott ID now tests on the Sunday preceding our Tuesday flight, and were relieved when our negative test results came back in a few hours. My wife completed the on line ED form, and we finished up packing.
At 10:30 pm the night before our 6:30 am flight, I received an email from American Airlines indicating that our flight from Charlotte to Aruba had been cancelled. No explanation or apology, but they were generously offering to put us on a flight 2 days later – at no extra charge!! Not only would we lose 2 days of our vacation, we would need to get a new Covid test since our testing window would have expired. I immediately called Expedia, and my oldest son got on the phone with American, and we were both faced with 2+ hour hold times. While on hold, I checked to see what our other options were. JetBlue had a flight leaving at 7:30 am for $642pp. My wife called her parents to make sure they were ok with that, and I checked the Aruba site to see if we needed a new ED form (we did). I wasn’t sure if we would be allowed to complete new forms so close to the new departure time, but it didn’t matter because when I refreshed the JetBlue site, the flight was now $1,042 pp!
I checked for flights the next day and found one for $484 pp. We would lose a day of our trip, but we would still be in our 72 hour Covid window so I booked it. After 2 hours I was able to get through to live body at Expedia and get a refund for our American flights.
My sister in law and her family were flying out a few hours later than us, also on American, and their flight in was not affected. They were able to check into the resort and get provisions. While we were sad to lose a day of our trip we made the best of it. My wife cleaned the house again from top to bottom, my older son and I golfed, and then we all had a really nice dinner out. I checked my email before going to bed and was relieved that there was no last minute JetBlue cancelation of our flight.