Sunday, January 24, 2010

Travel Troubles Part II

Okay, so I mentioned in my last post that we were driving home to Springfield so we could pack for our vacation. The next day we headed to warm Florida for a wonderful vacation with our families.
(Hopefully I can post pictures later this week)
It was our last day of vacation and exactly 7 days after our little ice accident that we got an email from Orbitz telling us that our flight to Charlotte, NC was cancelled. It was less than 24 hours prior to our departure and we suddenly had no idea how we were going to get home. We contacted Orbitz and they were able to connect us to US Airways. After giving them a little pressure, they were able to get us on another flight home, this time going through Philly.

So we got to the airport about 10:30 for our 12:30 flight on that Sunday morning (exactly 3 Sundays ago). We are walking down the terminal looking for our gate when I hear "your flight is going to be delayed until at least 5:00." I thought to myself, "man that sucks them." And then I looked to my right to see that the announcement was coming from our gate. We went and spoke to an agent and they said that they still expected us to make our connecting flight but that they would set us up a hotel in Philly and a flight out the next morning if for some reason were delayed longer than expected.

Surprise, the plane we were waiting on didn't even arrive until 5:20 and we didn't board the plane until 6:00 p.m. We arrived in Philly at 9:00 p.m. forty minutes after our flight home had taken off. When we asked about our luggage the airline agent told us that we could wait for our luggage but that it would be a while so we probably just wanted to head to the hotel. The hotel they were putting us up in was the Quality Inn. And they might be nice hotels (we've never stayed in one), but as Drew says "when the name Quality is in the name, it just raises red flags, kind of like when a place advertises clean beds."

So after exiting the plane we head to get our luggage. We had been in the airport all day and I just felt gross and I wanted to get some fresh clothes and all my stuff. We waited, and waited until all the luggage was on the conveyor belt, and our stuff was no wear to be seen. We decided to go talk to the airline agents in baggage. Turns out that their policy is to forward luggage on, so that it doesn't have to be checked again the next day. So instead of giving us our luggage, we were given toiletry bags. Awesome.

Next we headed in line to catch the shuttle to the Quality Inn. There were about 20 or so of us waiting for the van. At this point it was around 9:30 p.m., we were tired, and hungry. After waiting in the cold for about 10 minutes the van pulled up. The driver rolled down the passenger window to tell us he was already full, and that he would be back for a few more trips. Realizing that the hotel was 15 minutes away, and it would be 30 minutes before he came back, we started to consider other options. We were not looking forward to waiting 30 more minutes in the cold, only to fight other people for seats in the van. And we figured it would take additional time to check in, and it would probably be too late to find food.

While waiting in the cold we met a Canadian couple who were both medical residents. They called the Marriott that was attached to the airport via skywalk and found out that their AAA rate was only $90. The decision was easy. We were checked in and in our warm clean hotel ordering room service within 15 minutes. Who knows what time we would have gotten to bed if we waited for the shuttle.
The room was nice, but not much a view.
And trying to lighten the mood and laugh about the whole situation, I used my timer to get the picture below. If you cannot tell my husband did not find it entirely entertaining as he was incredibly exhausted.
Oh and although the toiletry bags the airlines gave us looked nice, they were pretty crappy. The toothpaste tasted like pure baking soda!

Being that the hotel was attached to the airport we figured that arriving at 6:00 would give us plenty of time for us to go through security for our 7:40 flight. We were very wrong. When we exited the hotel and entered the skywalk there was a line more than half way across the skywalk. That line was to get through security. And this was at 6:10 a.m. By the time we got through security it was about 7:20 a.m. and we weren't at the right terminal. We sprinted through the terminal to catch the shuttle. The shuttle driver called our gate but the agent didn't answer (he said that was a good sign because that meant they were still busy boarding). When he dropped us off we quickly started sprinting again, and of course our gate was at the end of the terminal. When we got there completely winded, huffing and puffing, we saw that it was not the correct gate. Sometime when we were going through security, they switched the gate. We had to run to another agent who told us the correct gate. We went running in the other direction toward the correct gate. When we got there the door was closed and we could see the airline agent walking away. We must have just missed her. According to Drew's watch it was exactly 8:30. And the worst part was that if we would have had the right gate we would have probably made it on time because we spent a whole 2-3 minutes running down the terminal to what we thought was our gate and then running back. Needless to say Drew and I were incredibly frustrated. Although we were extremely annoyed, we tried not to be too incredibly rude to the agent as we knew we needed her to get us on another flight. She claims she waited until 8:32 to close the door, but as Drew said "I guess we need to adjust our clocks."

Finally around 11:30 on Monday we did get on a Flight home. And we eventually made it home to sweet home Springfield late Monday afternoon..... about 30 hours later than we were originally scheduled to get home!

And the really ironic part is that last night (as I started writing this post) my husband had complete deja vous. He was traveling out of St. Louis for an interview and his first flight out was delayed over six hours! And then his connecting flight was cancelled. He was stranded in Atlanta and waiting in line until midnight to try and get a second connecting flight. He had to stay in a raunchy hotel and then woke up early this morning to try and get out on the first flight out, but it was full! He finally did get out on the second flight today, but again he arrived at his destination about 20 hours later than originally scheduled. Thank goodness this is a two day interview because he missed part of the first day today, but made it to dinner and will be there for tomorrows interview.


LittleMissDreamer said...

oh dear... this makes me exhausted just reading about it! Glad you finally made it home safe:)

Katie said...

Wow, I can't even imagine!! I'm glad y'all got home safely though. I'm so sorry you had to go through all that!!

Mrs. D said...

Oh my goodness that sounds awful! So glad everything worked out in the end.

Happy Dash said...

yeah, I think I'd take a pause from traveling too after that :)

Ams said...

Oh my goodness - I did NOT know that this was the mission that you had to go through to get home! What a mess... I can't believe you guys missed your NEXT flight home the day after. How terrible :(
I swear, I am over airplanes, flights... all of that!