At the end last month, I attended the 10th Annual Conference For Young Women Affected By Breast Cancer. The conference was a wonderful experience, the getting there, however, was a traumatic experience.
The kind of experience that made me think that if I never see the inside of an airplane again, it will be too soon.
Please bear with me (or feel free to move on to more interesting places) while I rant. This is my story.
1-At 8:15am (my flight is at 11:15 and I live fifteen minutes from the airport but I have become
paranoid extremely cautious about long lines and security), as I the taxi pulls up, I get a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. I ask my spouse to check on my flight status. It turns out that it's been cancelled. The cab driver is none too pleased when I send him on his way.
2-Wait on hold for an hour so that I can re-book my flight. It turns out that the big storm in New York has caused many flights to be cancelled (I was scheduled to go via Newark). My new flight will take me via Detroit.
3-Leave for the airport at 1:30pm for a 4:30pm flight. End up waiting for half an hour for ticket agents to finish their break and check me in. I truly don't mind that staff take breaks. It is a little annoying when they are doing so in full view of lined up passengers. Couldn't they go have a coffee or something? Couldn't Delta have other staff cover breaks? Do they all have to go on break at the same time?
4-Clear security and proceed to the bar near my gate. Have a big beer and a sandwich. Given what follows, I end up being very grateful for the sandwich.
5- Settle in at the gate only to learn that my flight has been delayed by an hour.
6-Board airplane and sit on the tarmac for 40 minutes as the wings are de-iced. I have a good book and lots of time to make my connection, so I'm not remotely worried.
7- Land in Detroit with an hour to spare beofre my flight to Atlanta. The flight attendant asks that all those with less than 25 minutes to make their connections be let off first. We then sit on the tarmac for an hour, growing increasingly anxious, as there is too much of a logjam to get to the gate.
8- Get off the plane after my connecting flight was scheduled to leave but note that the Departures screen indicates that my flight is still boarding. Sprint through two terminals and across the airport.
9- Arrive at my gate out of breath and with my heart pounding, to be told that a) my flight has left and b) there are no more flights to Atlanta that evening. I am directed to another gate to re-book my flight. The agent tells me that he has "no idea" whether I will be offered a hotel for the night.
10-Try to re-book by scanning my ticket. When that doesn't work, I join a very long line, in which I stand for three hours.
I've worn myself out just writing this. I'm going to go do something else now. I'll conclude this riveting story tomorrow. Do you have a travel horror story? Want to share it in the comments?