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Mike and I had planned a trip for this month to include being in Texas for a few days before heading to Indiana/Michigan to spend four days at a campground with friends, then returning to Texas to house/dog sit for our daughter and husband.  We try to be flexible when we schedule our trips, including  allowing extra time for delays.

Our first part of the trip (from Spokane thru Denver to Houston) is behind us — and it did not go as planned.  We flew out of Spokane, leaving just about 15 minutes after the original scheduled departure time.   We had picked up some of my favorite potato chips from the Starbucks at the airport and I enjoyed mine along with a cup of illy coffee which United Airlines serves on all their flights now.  I was able to enjoy reading on my Kindle while travelling, also.  (I try to have at least a couple new books on my Kindle whenever we travel.)

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Once our flight got to Denver, we found we had a longer layover than we anticipated so I went on a mission to find a place to eat where we might be able to watch the last part of the Seahawks vs Falcon game.  I was able to accomplish both tasks at the Cantina Grill.  We ordered burritos after watching the end of the game which the Seahawks won! (Go Hawks!)  🙂  I had ground beef & pinto beans in mine, while Mike ordered shredded chicken & black beans—the rest of the ingredients were the same in both.  We ate every last bite!

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The evening took a different turn as we checked on our flight from Denver to Houston, only to find out we were not going to be leaving on the flight we thought we were, but were going to go the next morning.    When you haven’t planned an overnight stay near an airport it can be an expensive addition to the budget.

When the delay is due to a problem that is not the responsibility of the airline, you need to find/pay for a hotel yourself.   BUT, did you know that you can ask at the airline customer service desk for a pink sheet from www.apaglobal.com that gives you the ability to log in online or call the 800 number for the best deal on a room in the airport you are at?  You can log on and find what is available (simply putting information into two areas on the website—the code on the pink sheet and the airport location you are at). Or you can call the 800 number and talk to a representative.    Mike called the 800 number and found us a room at Holiday Inn Stapleton for under $80.

I have copied the front and back of the pink sheet (And I have no idea why the copy shows as a pale purple in my pictures below!  Trust me, the sheet IS pink that the customer service rep gives out at counter.) so you can see it.  It has saved us a lot of money a number of times when we have not been able to catch a connecting flight.

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Most of the hotels we stay in when travelling include a “free breakfast”, but this Holiday Inn did not have that.  We did check and find we could get breakfast for about $10 each at the hotel restaurant.  However, when we asked about it, we were also told there was a free shuttle to the nearby Walmart if we wanted to go get something there.  Since our room had a small refrigerator, a microwave, and a Keurig coffee maker we opted to do that.  We kept it simple getting pastries (a treat for us that we seldom buy) and apples and some cream for our coffee.  Much less expensive than breakfast at the hotel and we were able to eat in our room.  It is always a good idea to talk with the front desk staff to find out what is available.

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I would definitely recommend this hotel (Holiday Inn Stapleton).  I am not sure what the standard price is for the King size bed room, but it was a very nice set up that was a bargain for the price we paid.  The staff on duty when we checked in and checked out were friendly and helpful in answering all our questions.  When we came down to the lobby to check out and wait for our shuttle ride back to the airport, I found they had coffee in the lobby so I was able to have a second cup of coffee!  Both in the room and in the lobby they served a brand of coffee I had not tried before called Royal Cup.  It was good!  (As I often say, coffee is mandatory! :-))

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We will be flying again tomorrow; hopefully this time without another unexpected layover.   🙂    Remember if you are in a position where you need a hotel for an unexpected layover near an airport that you can go to the airline counter and request the Airport accommodations sheet (This is how it is spelled on the sheet!)  that will have the website address as well as 800 phone number to locate a good price on a nearby hotel.

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