the flying fiasco
Yesterday I flew home from a short trip to South Carolina. The purpose of the trip? My uncle’s wedding. Yesterday, I flew back to good ‘ol Texas, but it was not the best experience I have had flying. I don’t consider myself to be a “frequent flyer”, since I only fly once or twice a year (this year beat my record… 3 times!) but I do go often enough to be very thankful that I’ve never had any of the nightmare travel stories happen to me. Yesterday changed that status.
I flew Delta. I was actually looking forward to the experience because I have always had positive outcomes with Delta travel. And, I like the Atlanta airport! It’s big, but easy to get around with the nifty underground train, and has lots of stores and food options during layovers.
I got to the Charlotte airport an hour and a half early, as is required for domestic flights, especially during the busier holiday travel times. Got through security, piece of cake… went to my gate. Found out that the plane taking me to Atlanta was coming in from Atlanta (shuttling back and forth), and had left late. “Okay, no big deal”, I’m thinking, because I had an hour layover in Atlanta anyways, a little delay is no big deal. Little? NOPE! We waited, and left probably close to 40 minutes late. That left me with 20 minutes to make my next flight, so I was praying the gates were in the same terminal. We get to Atlanta and SIT ON THE TARMAC for 20 minutes. Why? There were no gates open. Then, when there was a gate open, there was nobody manning the dumb thing! I’m in the LAST row of the aircraft, knowing full well it’s gonna take me another 15 minutes to get off, but I get off at 4:05 and RUN from terminal C to terminal A (quite a trek) in hopes that my connecting flight has also been delayed. It wasn’t. The guy at the gate tells me the next flight leaving for San Antonio is at B24. So, I trek it from terminal A to terminal B, still going at a good pace because now I’m going to be on stand-by, and I need to get on the stand-by list before the other hordes of people who missed the flight!
I get over there, the nice man tells me that he’s trying to find a seat for me, but there are none open… it’s a full flight. He does eventually find one, and then I discover that the gate has been changed… to E6. Yes, yet another terminal. So, I take my sweet time getting over to E6 because now I have a seat assignment, and I”m gonna be stuck in this airport for 2.5 more hours. I stop for a slice of spinach and chicken pizza (daring for airport food, I know, but it looked good). I wait, and wait, and wait. 6:00 comes around, and I know we should be boarding ’cause they start 30 minutes out most the time. They tell us that the flight attendant crew is delayed because their flight coming into Atlanta is backed up! *sigh* By this time I’m fully irritated, but also starting to gain the “who cares” attitude. I just want to get home and see my babies! The flight attendants arrive, we get home, and it is 9:00pm. 1 hour past my children’s bedtime, and 3 hours past my original arrival time. I’m waiting for my one checked item of baggage (not actually a suitcase, but a really great bargain I found in the Pottery Barn Outlet!). It is not coming out. I ask Matt to take the confirmation stub and ask the baggage help lady if it maybe made it onto the earlier flight, the one I missed. She told him that it not only did not make it onto the earlier flight, it also did not get on to this flight! THEY HAD 3 HOURS TO GET IT ON THE STINKIN’ PLANE!!! So, our options are: a: wait around for 20 minutes for it to arrive, or b: Delta will deliver it to my house the next day. I chose option b. I figured, the kids need to get to bed, and I don’t mind making them drive all the way out to my house because hey, I did a little waiting on them the whole day.
So, I’m waiting for the call. Who knows if it will actually come. I have my doubts, but I’m trying to be positive.
I think it will be a while before I fly Delta again.
POST UPDATE: The guy from Delta did call, at 10:30PM that night saying he was about to leave the airport. We live a ways from the airport, so when he didn’t show up by 11:15, I put a note on the door, and went to bed. I woke up around 1:30AM and went to check, and it was there. Who knows when it actually got delivered!!! I’m just glad it did.