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Airlines & Cable Companies & Medical Bills

September 22nd, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I often say that we just avoid the "big guys" as much as possible. To save both money and probably even moreso, to save on frustration.

But there are some areas where we have little choice (utilities, etc.).

The airlines are quite a doozy. I probably can't complain too much because I rarely fly unless I can find a rock bottom deal. The rest of the time, it's on our parents (this current trip is on MIL's airline miles).

The airlines are really getting on my last nerve though, for this trip.

For whatever reason we didn't get seat assignments - this is an airline I fly with all the time. (Tickets were bought with some sort of rewards - maybe credit card rewards - I don't know).

Beggars can't be choosers, eh?

I was dissapointed to see that the only seats available at check-in (I logged on exactly 24 hours before flight to nab seats) were in the back row of a smaller plane. (I have only flown to Hawaii on GIANT planes before). I told dh to pack ear plugs as a particularly bad flight is still seared in my memory - same plane - stuck by the back engine. I am pretty sure it is the same type plane and this flight is pretty long. Dh will be glad he is deaf in one ear. I should feel lucky we get to sit together.

SO, I asked dh to call and ask for assigned seats on our return flight. He called, and let my preface this by saying my dh rarely takes no for an answer and doesn't take much crap. But, pretty much, they said it is impossible. Somehow everyone else has assigned seats, but us? Rolleyes Ugh!

Meanwhile, when I check in, they try to sell me a million upgrades. Who pays for this stuff? The economy seating with extra room, about $79 a person. Fast track through airport security? Another $70 or so a person? Egads. On and on and on...

I then looked up the meal choices. Since our flight leaves a few minutes before 10am, the fresh food served on 3+ hour flights, is not served on ours. Breakfast is served, but not lunch. Rolleyes

Which is fine, because it cost an arm and a leg. Dh tells me he pretty much rather die than pay a penny for airline food. I tell him this is nice, but I rather pay $5 or $10 than starve. I am one of those people who has to snack constantly. I will try the snack thing, but if I feel faint, I am going to eat. Dh will have to get over it. I totally see his point and will try to pack enough food, though.

& so the fun begins!

(Ugh - I am just not a travel person!)

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In other news, I got our latest Surewest bill. It has been "inching" up $10 or $20 a month as our credits expire - just at the same time they raise rates.

You know dh loves his video and all that. & trust me, we never paid a dime for cable when we made less than $60k-ish per year. Never!

But, I did about fall over when I opened this bill. $180! For cable, internet and phone.

In the end, I thought this may be a good thing. Dh started griping and we talked about how maybe it was time to drop the cable. I thought we would have all week to discuss it a bit.

Instead, he called Surewest to complain, and they lowered the bill back to $160/month. IF we signed a 1-year contract.

Ugh!

I suppose we have all year to discuss dropping the cable. I thought we were so close! (With netflix any everything). If dh had to buy a dedicated computer to run hulu through the TV, it would most definitely be worth it. At these prices? Ouch!

It's hard because Surewest is a good company. Their customer service, and their services/products, are excellent. I can guarantee if our only options were any of the other big guys, we'd be completely out of the game - even though they cost less. I can't tell you how many times dh legitamitely threatened to leave Dish and they never took a dime off our bill. (We refused to sign any contracts with them). It's nice that Surewest will at least work with us.

Next year I suppose this all could be moot. If dh is working next year, I won't care about the bill. But in our current financial state, it's a little ridiculous.


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In other news, I have a MRI scheduled for when we get back from vacation. I stumped more Doctors with my arm, so the concensus was that it's probably nothing but they want to look at it to be sure.

Dh is more supportive this time. Less, "When I had "nothing" it was a tumor," and more "I think it's probably nothing." I suppose the Doctors were convincing.

We will be MRI buddies. Since his surgery maxed out our deductible this year, I already know MRIs will be $50/pop for the rest of the year. Now is good a time as any to deal with something like this. On January 1, it would cost about $1500 a pop. So, phew! (& dh already is signed up for one MRI a year for several years - like we really want to pay for more than one).

Dh has a doctor appointment today - he's got some fungus thing that won't go away. He ran out of medicine and decided he better get a refill before we leave. I think he should have told his doctor ages ago that it didn't exactly every go away. Rolleyes So glad he had some motivation.

We are getting our HMO's money's worth this year, that is for sure. His only real side effect from surgery (besides one-sided deafness) is that his eyes are bothering him a bit. I am wary for him to get glasses if his vision is fluctuating, but he should look into it. I've got a female checkup, the MRI, plus a consult about my neck. Outside pregnancy, we are the types who could go years without seeing a Doctor. So I think we have had our fill!

I learned that my good cholesterol was a little on the low side. My doctor didn't say anything, but I saw my results. Get that from my dad's side of the family. He always had cholesterol and blood pressure issues, from very young. Genetic. I am not sure if I have ever had a cholesterol screen (since I so rarely go to the doctor). So, interesting to note. I thankfully inherited my mother's low blood pressure. The nurses always delight in my low numbers. (Though I also tend to get faint very easily - so as with anything - too low is not always the best thing. I tend to run more normal with age and weight though. Though my numbers still seem to impress).

2 Responses to “Airlines & Cable Companies & Medical Bills”

  1. LittleGopher Says:

    Makes me glad that I don't often take flights! Hope you have a wonderful trip that makes you forget all the hassle of getting there and back!!

    Also best wishes on the upcoming MRIs - may you have good news all around....

  2. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I hope your flight went smoothly and that you're having a blast in Hawaii!

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