Wednesday, March 19, 2008

traveling blues

Where do I begin? I'm singing the traveling bad luck lost luggage missed flight blues...

We arrived at the Houston airport 5 hours before our flight to try to catch an earlier standby, but as soon as we get to the ticket counter to check in we are told that flight was cancelled, as was the 9pm flight - apparently they cancelled them the evening before - though that info was not online. Go figure. So we had to wait until our scheduled flight at 1220pm. We rode the tramway over to the International terminal and got breakfast, looked in the bookstore, got Starbuck's and generally tooled about. We met some other passengers who also had been on the cancelled flight to CO Springs and were trying to get on our 1220pm flight standby. The cancellations were "weather" related even though outside there were clouds but not a lightning in the sky. Apparently that wasn't the case elsewhere around Texas... tornadoes in Dallas etc. And I heard one rumor that because of the strong winds they had to shut down several runways and everything was taking off and landing on certain directional runways only...

So we went to our gate about 30 minutes early, only to find it had been moved to another gate - across the airport. We went to the new gate just in time to find out the flight had been cancelled. So we got in line (get used to this waiting in line thing- we waited in lines for hours upon hours!) ALL flights to CO Springs were cancelled for the whole day on Continental. The ticket agent checked other airlines and other Continental flights to Amarillo and Denver, and she somehow miraculously got all 3 of us on a 220pm flight to Denver. This is about 1.5 hr north of CO Springs, so then the only problem was figuring out how to get our rental car, which was reserved in CO Springs at a special rate. So we made it on the flight, and we even all sat next to each other (much to Savie's chagrin- she wanted to sit by herself - or at least not by me...). But we made it safe and sound with a mildly bumpy flight to Denver. Unfortunately our luggage had other plans.
We waited at the airport for about an hour but no luggage. We got in another line... then we told the lost luggage lady where to deliver it. She had no clue where it was - Houston? Denver? CO Springs? Next we went to get our rental car - and waited some more. There were around 25 people in that darn line, then even once we got to the counter, it took a good 'nother hour. First they were going to were trying to honor the rate I had reserved the SUV at CO Springs at, then the manager said no they couldn't. Then we got back to where they could. Aye yi yi. So at about 8pm or 9pm, we finally drove away from the airport - 12 hours later... We stayed with friends in CO Springs and hoped the luggage would be delivered overnight. No such luck.

Plan A was to drive straight from CO Springs to Amarillo Tuesday afternoon, but since we wanted to wait for our luggage we waited... in vain. Since the ringtails can't wait (I'm writing an article on ringtails) this morn, without luggage, we went shopping for a few items - with $150 from Continental - then headed to Amarillo. Or Canyon technically, home of West Texas A&M University.

Despite it being a very long two days full of one thing after another going wrong I actually wasn't in a bad mood at all and considered it a good day! The kids kept saying everything is going wrong and we had such bad luck and asking whose "fault" was it (Savie blamed Sam's new shoes!). It is true that one thing after another went wrong! But I said the most important thing is we got here safely. Then on top of that, we were even able to get on a new flight at all, we were able to get the nice rental car at the same rate, we got to stay with a nice family and even got to see snow! Plus we got some $$ to buy some new things. We have a little wiggle room built into our schedule, so it's all good.

So just when all the "bad" should be over, this afternoon we arrived in Amarillo after a 6.5 hr drive and we were going to go see these bats emerge from a tunnel/cave with the same biologists who are doing the ringtail study. I didn't realize how far it was out of town or I wouldn't have gone... It was an extra 100 miles each way. And this is our luck: We arrived literally 5 minutes after the bats emerged. And surprisingly the kids were totally good sports about it but I am exhuasted. And sick of driving! So let's hope tomorrow is a brand new day, with a little bit better luck.

1 comment:

maggie, dammit said...

Oh no!

Tomorrow can only get better, right? (Don't you hate when people say that?)

Sorry. :(