Friday, December 21, 2007

holiday travel is full of fail.

i thought my trip to south carolina was rough. the trip was a two-leg flight: st. louis to washington-dulles, and then from dulles to greenville-spartanburg. the first leg went without a hitch. i arrived at dulles, hopped on the train to the other terminal...and promptly found out that the flight (which was supposed to be leaving at 9:45 pm) was not leaving until 12:18. that was a bummer.

then it got delayed another fifteen minutes. sigh. a drop in the bucket.

and then...the plane arrived a little after midnight. the pilot was there. the flight attendant was there. the first officer...not so much. no one knew where he was. i know, i know, they usually keep flight crews together, right? apparently, united does not. apparently they are stupid.

finally, they found the first officer--he had been on another flight that was even more delayed than the plane coming from philly, the one that would be taking us from washington to greenville. finally, he landed, and we left dulles a little after 1am. by then, i was loopy, slap-happy, and tired. i just wanted to get out of the airport and go to bed. luckily, i slept the entire flight, got to my friend's house...and proceeded to sleep until noon.

i thought that was bad. i thought that was a travel nightmare. i stand corrected. today is already worse--and i haven't even left greenville yet.

i was supposed to leave at 12:20 today. no problem, right? go to the airport around eleven, check in, and be on my way? it's four days before christmas. i'm a naive idiot for thinking that i'd have a smooth trip today.

i got to the airport and got in the check-in line. i look up on the board: delayed. it didn't say for how long, but it said we were delayed. i found out from talking to a fellow passenger that it was delayed about an hour. i could deal with that--except that i'd have to find another flight from chicago to st. louis, since my layover in chicago was very short.

finally i made it up to the ticketing counter. since i booked my flight on priceline, i couldn't change my ticket from the self-serve window. i wouldn't be able to change my ticket until i got to chicago, if my flight had already left. that wasn't the best of all possible situations, but i could deal with that. i checked in, checked my bag, and went to the gate.

(i hate checking luggage, but i had to. i ended up with enough stuff that i needed a third bag--and, since i can only carry on two, i had to check one. i'm fully convinced they will manage to lose it--which will be awful, because my "feelings are boring. kissing is awesome." shirt is in that bag. sigh.)

i got to the gate and asked for an official time quote for my flight. the person at the desk types something in the computer...and then gets a dejected look on her face. just then, the flight had come up cancelled on the computer system. we were all sent back downstairs to the ticketing counter to change our flights.

luckily, united automatically rebooked me to the next flight out--at 5:42pm. but, the attendant at the ticketing computer failed to check for this, so he gave me a scare. he spent a few minutes looking around for flights, furrowed his brow, and told me it didn't look good. finally, he told me he could get me out from greenville to chicago at 6:30 on another airline, and then from chicago to st. louis at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon. it was only when he was about to book me for that trip when he saw that i had been automatically booked on a new flight that is slated to get me bac to st. louis this evening. i got that taken care of, got the new tickets, and went back to my friend's house for the afternoon.

let's hope this flight runs...well, if not on-time, at least close to it. i'm hoping i get back to st. louis tonight, because i don't want to deal with any more airport drama. i know this is a pipe dream, but so be it. i've already had my cancelled flight, my share of airport trouble for the day. i'm sick of it.

i also hope my bag gets to st. louis with me. but, since i'm transferring through o'hare, i know that's about as likely as me getting to st. louis at 8:59 tonight, as printed on my ticket.

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