Seriously – can we talk to whoever thought that flying large groups of people in what is basically a big tin can on steroids would be a good idea? Who thought that scenario wouldn’t be rife with confusion and trouble? Granted, I’ve never really had trouble with flying until last week but my touch of trouble with flying was enough to last me a life time. You see, after the disastrous flying of Wednesday night and trying to get to Virginia, coupled with the troubles at the airport Sunday night, I was just about ready to hang up my hat on Monday morning…but I should backtrack because some stuff went down before Monday morning rolled around.
I’ve already written about the delay(s) and re-booking on Sunday night – you can read that here. What I didn’t write in that blog was that once we got back to the house on Sunday night and tried to find my reservation for the next day; we kept coming up with nothing. Once Delta called us back at 12:35 because of the hour and half + wait time, we found out the reason there were no reservations: the desk agent said she’d re-booked me, but no such thing had happened and then finding a flight for me began to look almost non-existent. There were no flights out of Dulles, Reagan, Baltimore or Roanoke…and it was after 1 AM. Things weren’t looking good. The woman on the phone finally found a flight leaving Reagan at 11 and that was that.
I went to sleep after 1 AM and was up again by 7. To say that I woke up anxious and stressed would be an understatement. I mean – I already don’t really like to fly and the anxiety from the two earlier days of flight stresses combined with a lack of sleep – not good. I’ll be honest, I cried for the duration of my shower and then later when my Dad was helping me get everything in my suitcase, I retreated to the corner of the room and sobbed some more. Finally we got on our way and things went so smoothly getting into downtown DC that it seemed like something of a good omen.
|Saying good-bye to my Virginia home one more time…|
|Leaving Reagan….before things all went crazy. Again.|
Like I said in the above picture – everything went fine leaving DC. I got to Atlanta at about 12:45 and my flight to Jackson was supposed to leave at 1:30. The first thing I learned once I landed was that my flight to Jackson had been delayed until 3:22. At first, that wasn’t a big deal – I could get something to eat for lunch, take my time and not be too rushed. I’d still be back to Jackson by about 3:30 and then home by about 5. I found a little corner at my gate to sit in, pulled all my stuff to me and was going to take a short little nap. Until I get another buzz on my phone around 2 telling me that my flight had been delayed again…till 4 this time.
|I was SO tired…I needed a nap. But that wasn’t going to happen.|
Over the course of the next 8 hours, my flight got pushed back from the original time of 1:30 to 3:22, 4, 4:40, 5, 5:56, 6:20 and then 7:20 before it was finally cancelled. I couldn’t take a nap or rest because every time the time of the flight changed, so did the gate that the flight was leaving from. I started out at D24 and by the time I finally left at 8:30, I’d been to 11 gates. Eleven. You see – while my flight was bouncing from gate to gate and getting later and later, I was riding the train from one terminal to the next to try and get on other planes going to Jackson. I was #9 on the stand-by list on a flight leaving at 2:51 and then I was #2 on the list on a flight leaving at 4:38. I didn’t make either of those and tried to get on a flight leaving at 5:51 – but it was overbooked and so not only did they not have a stand-by list, but I found out later that the flight never even showed up!
Minutes before I found out my flight was cancelled, I got a call from my Mom telling me that she’d randomly posted on the Air Force Academy parent’s page of Facebook about what was going on with me. A woman who lives in Texas and has a child at the Academy saw the posting; she works at Delta and is apparently someone with some power because she contacted my Mom to tell her that she’d booked me on a flight that was leaving at 8:30; I had a guaranteed seat and she was certain that the flight would be leaving. I could still get on my original flight if it left any earlier than 8:30 but if not, then I should just get on that flight. What’s more, I got a $100 flight voucher in my email and she also made sure I’d have a $25 food voucher. I’m glad I knew all that before what happened next – because at 7:20, they announced that my flight had been cancelled completely. I watched the people around me go into a sort of panic and I knew if I’d not just talked to my Mom, I would have done the exact same thing.
I used my food voucher to buy a $10 smoothie – seriously. It cost $10. And I’ve since discovered that I didn’t get anything back. So I guess $15 of that food voucher was wasted, but with only 30 minutes before I boarded the flight, I didn’t really have that much time to find or consume $25 worth of airport food. I guess I could have bought lots of Pop Tarts from a store and had breakfast for the whole rest of the week…but those aren’t things I was thinking about. To be honest, I wasn’t thinking much at all. I know that when I got on that plane, I’d never been so happy to see a seat on a plane in my life. Heck – I’d have sat in the bathroom for the whole flight if they’d let me.
I got back to Jackson at 8:40, drove home half awake; thank goodness for my little sister hanging on the phone with me all the way home. I should mention, by the time I got to my house, it was pouring rain. I was so tired I couldn’t wait for it to stop so I grabbed my things and ran for the door. I finally got into my house at 10:45, soaked to the bone and just completely done with all of it. I crawled into the bed with wet hair and damp skin and didn’t even care.
|A really expensive smoothie. It was good but I don’t know about $10 good…|
|So glad to have a seat on a plane – finally. I don’t want to see a plane for a while…|