Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Hunky-Dory Holiday Act I

Well, after a very long sleep last night, I think I'm pretty much recovered from the holiday weekend. I promised a recounting, so here goes:

I left Uni-town at night, and as you can tell by the earlier posts, things went downhill quickly. We were about 30 minutes late before even leaving the ground. The captain called it a 'balance problem.' I thought that there were only balance problems after the holidays. What with the eggnog and all. Anyway, I got into Big Enough To Be A Hub, But Not A Hub Airport (BEHBNAH) at about 11:42. My connecting flight was a 11:45 departure. From another terminal. I thought I might have a chance. Silly me. I jogged to the gate only to be told that I was too late. Did I see the plane still attached to the ramp? Maybe, Maybe not.

So a sauntered over to the 'So You've Missed Your Flight' counter and waited in line. There were already several people in front of me from another flight, and as I waited, I saw a long line of everyone from my flight line up behind me. It was so sad to look at the counter folks as they gradually found out another flight's worth of people with less than the proper holiday cheer had come to yell at them.

I eventually got to the front of the line and was given a seat on a flight at 6am that would set things right (although it would be through another city). They offered me three meal vouchers (although I'm not sure how you could eat breakfast for $5 at the airport. Maybe a coffee?), and a hotel for the night. I figured since the place would be leaving in a little under 6 hours at that point, I might as well stay in the airport, and they could give the hotel slot to someone else. It looked like they were going to need all the hotel slots they could find.

The problem was that the next flight was on another airline, so I had to go out of security and re-check in. No problem, I've go the time, right? Checking in was a bit problematic. My seat wasn't really reserved, so I got bumped. Next flight was at 8am. Ok, not so bad, but I did kind of wish I had taken that hotel room. On the plus side, I was going to get in at 4pm-ish rather than 6pm-ish. I've tried to figure out how that worked out, but I think it must be quantum physics. I never could get a hang of that.

So, I finally get my correct tickets. I go back to the terminal. Oops, wrong terminal. Back out and through security again. Oh, did I mention that if you fly with an expired driver's license, you get the nice line of 'sssss' on your ticket and get the extra bonus friendly security search? Did I also mention that my driver's license is expired? Not to worry, I don't drive, and in any case, the security people are usually really nice to me.

Well then. Back to the terminal in time to burn a $10 meal voucher on Burger King. Good grief. If it were my money I'd be humiliated to spend that much money there. When I got to my gate, it seemed clear that this had been an ugly day for a lot of folks. The chairs in airports are designed so that you can't lay down on them, but good old-fashioned American ingenuity seemed to smile on several of my sure-to-wake-up-with-cramps gatemates. One guy had piled bags up in two adjacent seats so he could lie down on top of them and the armrest in the middle. Well done, my friend, well done.

I close the more convenient option: walk walk walk, floor, floor, walk walk walk, floor. I guess I got about two hours of sleep all told, so I was top of form when the plane finally got there.

Oh, but of course when I got to my destination, my checked bag didn't make it with me. So we rushed off to get some supplies at the not-so-local Target. While looking over my possibilities, the baggage guy from the airport called to say that he had my bag! Woohoo! A not-so-local drive and my precious bag was in my hands.

So, despite the grief, it all ended up as well as could be expected. I didn't get to spend enough time with the family, but that's pretty standard. I never get enough time with them, maybe that's why I love them so much :)

I can't imagine why you've read this far, but since you have, I'll let you know that I'm going to put another holiday update up later. If you actually got this far this time, maybe I'll reach your boredom threshold with that one.


mendi-la said...

dude, that makes me glad i didn't travel this year - kinda - how many hours did you actually get to spend in your hometown?

Overread said...

umm... about 38 hours, I think. Something like that.