Wednesday, April 18, 2012

That's a Wrap!

I am back home from my adventures in Los Angeles. I spent the final few days with Katie picking out a couch and bar stools, setting up a bank account, lining up insurance, and shopping for the necessary items she will need to get by until her stuff can be shipped to her. She was also busy making contacts and lining up interviews. In a lot of ways it does not seem real that she is staying out there permanently. She has traveled so much during the past year that it felt to me like a temporary stop on the road we call life. The song "Wide Open Spaces" came on my iPod while I was with her, and I thought the lyrics were so poignant of my feelings.

Who doesn't know what I'm talking about
Who's never left home, who's never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone

Many precede and many will follow

A young girl's dream no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn't yet guessed

She needs wide open spaces

Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes 

I decided to book a flight to head home on Sunday. I went back and forth as I had heard the weather forecast in St. Louis. But I had only reserved my hotel room through Saturday night. I probably could have added another day, but quite frankly after 11 days I was ready to head home to Jim and my own bed. My flight was scheduled to leave at 12:25, so Katie dropped me off at the airport about 10:20. I checked my bag and printed out my boarding pass. My first clue to potential problems should have been that I wasn't charged for the bag. I attributed that to the fact that I booked my flight so late and paid an obscene price for it. The second clue was my boarding time, but I didn't even notice that. I just looked at the boarding pass long enough to ensure that it was Flight 818 to St. Louis. My bad!

About an hour went by before I checked my boarding pass again, and then I freaked out when it said that boarding was to begin at 3:40, with the flight departing at 4:10. Holy crap! I ran to check one of the boards, and sure enough the flight was delayed. After speaking with an American representative I found that due to bad weather in St. Louis on Saturday, many flights had been cancelled and it was balling everything up on Sunday. Bad weather on Sunday added to the problems, especially since the Midwest, Dallas and Chicago were all experiencing delays. Darn it! I should have gone with my gut and booked for Monday.

So I hung out at the airport all day, and mid-afternoon my flight disappeared from the board altogether. The American rep assured me it was because they had no room on the board and bumped our flight to add a different one on. Liar, liar, pants on fire. When I asked later, I was told that the gate had changed. When I went to the new gate, there was no mention of Flight 818 on the screen at the gate. I had to check with other passengers to make sure I was in the right place. Finally they 'fessed up that there was a mechanical problem with our plane, but they thought it could be fixed. The woman next to me said they were told the exact same story on Saturday. She was supposed to fly to St. Louis at 8:15 Saturday morning. They fed the passengers b.s. about delays, then a maintenance problem, then the fact that they thought they had a different plane to put them on, until finally at 9:00 Saturday night they told them they weren't going anywhere and put them on the Sunday 12:25 flight. So when the gate attendant said our plane could not be repaired but they thought they could get another plane for us, we did not hold out a lot of hope.

We finally began our taxi down the runway at around 7:00. We got a free snack on the plane, but only if you were smart enough to ask for it. They weren't offering, that's for sure. We arrived in St. Louis at 12:40 a.m. Poor Jim had to stay up to come and get me, and he had been on a challenging motorcycle trip all weekend. Next time I will listen to my gut.

1 comment:

Mrs. Wryly said...

The flight delay story from hell.

It had to be hard to leave your little girl in that big city, although you know that she can fend for herself.

I thought she had a job; why does she need to line up interviews?