Monday, May 23, 2011

The long journey home

And I do mean long.

I got home late Saturday night/early Sunday morning. That was not the original plan.

Saturday, I woke up at 8 and got everything ready to go. Julie and I loaded up the car with my (gigantic) suitcase & headed to the airport. After a tearful goodbye, I headed to baggage check and then to security. All those things went smoothly and I got to my designated gate around 10 am. My flight was scheduled to leave at 11:40. I was flying to Minneapolis where I would meet a connection to Denver.

Right around the time we should have started boarding there was an announcement. The Minneapolis airport was having a small problem with a power outage & my flight had been delayed 20 minutes. No big deal, and because of the power outage in Minneapolis my connecting flight would be delayed as well, so no concern there.

A few more minutes pass. We should be boarding the plane to leave at the delay time. Another announcement, the flight has been delayed another 25 minutes, but so has my connecting flight, so again, not a big deal.

12 o'clock rolls around and we start boarding the plane. Everyone gets on, gets comfortable and the captain comes on the intercom. Due to the severity of the power outage in Minneapolis they've had to shut down the airport for a short time. My flight is canceled.


I get off the plane with all the other passengers and get in line to talk to an agent. Several people started calling Delta customer service to reschedule their flights, but even if you can talk to a real person and get your itinerary changed, you still have to stand in line to get your new boarding pass. I opt to just stand in line because talking to customer service on the phone usually makes me want to throw my phone against a wall, and I was already in a terrific mood.

It takes a while, but finally I get to the desk and the nice lady helping me gets me on a flight to JFK in New York where I then would fly to Denver. That's fine. Whatever gets me home. I take my new boarding pass and give a description of my checked bag so they can transfer it to my new flight though I only had a small hope that would actually happen.

It's now 1 pm. My new flight doesn't leave until 4 so I set out to find something to eat. After eating and resting a few minutes and letting my phone charge at the Starbucks kiosk, I decide to go find my new gate.

It's now 2 pm.

I go to the TV screens that display flights and their information. I see the gate and the time my flight should leave and then all the way to the right is flashing in bright red letters, "Now 5:05." What. The. Hell?

When I walk to the gate and read the display, sure enough my flight is now scheduled an hour later than originally planned. Which means that if I stick with that flight I would have exactly five minutes to get off the first plane, make it to the new gate in JFK and onto the plane before they shut the door. So, basically It's a given that I would miss my connecting flight.

I walk around until I find a desk with an agent. They're helping some other woebegone travelers so I commence waiting.

When I get helped it just so happens that the person helping is the same one who rescheduled my flight a couple hours ago. She's very nice and gets me on to another flight and once again, takes my bag description to have it checked onto my new flight. Yeah, right. Not a chance in hell that bag is making it to Denver the same time I do. I asked if there was any chance there would be a delay with this new flight, no was the answer and I'd been upgraded to first class for both flights. Well, that was something.

My new flight takes me to Atlanta where I have a three hour layover and then board a second plane to Denver.

Let's take a moment to count all this up. At this point it's roughly 3 pm. I've spent all of 5 minutes on an airplane, 5 hours in the same airport, and been booked on 6 different flights for the day.

The flight to Atlanta wasn't scheduled to leaved until 5:15. Lot's of time to kill and I spent most of it on the phone complaining to various family and friends about my ordeal.

Eventually the time did pass. My flight was uneventful as were my three ours in the Atlanta airport and my second flight to Denver.

My plane landed at 11 pm and, of course, my suitcase didn't, so Andy and I spent some time while the nice people at the airport found it (New York) and scheduled it for delivery to me.

We got to the apartment at 1:30 am (3:30 am eastern).

But I'm home and my suitcase made it to me this morning at 5:30.

Hopefully in a couple of days I can tell you about some exciting news I have. I'm not pregnant, sorry. However, still exciting news, and this particular news has been a long time coming. 

Happy Monday!

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