Monday, March 10, 2008

Since When Does It Snow in Atlanta?

A good day of travel looks like this: Show up at the airport on time. Get through security with the minimum amount of hassle. Flights leave on time and don't suck. That is what Sunday was like for me, as I flew from Texas back to Virginia. Unfortunately, Sunday was not the day I was originally scheduled to return. Saturday looked more like this:

Arrive on time at the airport. Security is severely backed up, especially considering that it's 6:00am on a Saturday. Finally get through security and run sock-footed down to my gate, which is already boarding all passengers. Turns out that because everybody was delayed by the security issue, they kept the plane open for boarding for another half hour, so that at the time we should have been taking off, people were still scurrying onto the plane. Once everybody is seated--finally-- the captain announced that due to a snowstorm in Atlanta, our flight has been grounded for at least 45 more minutes. We sit (in the plane, on the ground) for another hour (this is so fun) until another announcement is made: possible two-hour continued delay and they are de-boarding the plane.

At this point, I'm not too worried. If we're going to be delayed, I'd rather wait in the terminal (where Starbucks lives) than on the plane. I have a connecting flight but I don't think I'll miss it; if all of the incoming flights have been grounded, it's not like my second flight is going to leave on time either. I call Don, let him know I'll be late; call my Dad to keep him informed; have a nice conversation with the woman beside me (she was going to visit her daughter, who's in graduate school in Atlanta). Then Dad called me back to say that according to the Internet, my second flight-- from Atlanta to Virginia-- has been cancelled, and that's when everything started falling apart.

The short version of what-happened-next is that I rescheduled my flights for the next day, Dad came back to the airport to pick me up, and I enjoyed a pleasant, unexpected extra day with my family. The long version includes more cancelled flights, overbooked flights, being shunted from my gate to the ticket counter (where the woman asked me, "why did they send you back out here, why didn't they just book it for you at the gate?", prompting the development of a facial tick around my eye) being squeezed onto flights that were already oversold ("we're really not supposed to do this, you know"), and worrying to pieces about the next day's flights being just as messed up, which would make me MIA at work today. It also includes two days of getting up at 4:30 in the morning, except that Sunday it was really more like 3:30 what with the Daylight Savings Time and all. Usually I'm a big fan of Daylight Savings, but not when I have an early-morning flight that same day.

Now I'm back at work, and instead of being well-rested from my vacation, I'm tuckered out from three consecutive nights with very little sleep. Tonight I'm going to bed at eight and getting eleven hours. Seriously.


ayla said...

Wow. You should really figure out what charity the travel gods prefer and make tribute before every vacation. I know other people with bad travel Karma, y'all should start a cult or something. ;) Glad you got home okay.

aqurain said...

It sounds like your restful vaction wasn't that restful after all! The weather in the south has been really screwy lately. Hope you can sneak out early from work!


Bex said...

it seems like everyone I saw sunday looked like they hadn't slept in days. Between the weather and daylight savings it effected people a lot more than I would have guessed.

MindfulMama said...

Sleep solves all problems. hope you get some :-)

Jaclyn said...

Sleep does help :)

I hate that pre-flight wait before takeoff, I have no clue what I would do if there was a delay. Yikes, but yay for an extra day with family.