So I've been reading along with some of the folks, and find their stories hilarious, horrifying and totally entertaining. While mine might not be any of those, I thought I'd take a stab at playing along!
Check out Travis' blog, if you haven't...
This true nightmare takes place several years ago when my In-Laws decided they would like to celebrate their 50th Anniversary with their two children and their families in... Branson, MO!! Woo-hoo! (that was sarcastic, friends) In the middle of August. If you've never been, keep this in mind. During our trip it was 103 degrees EVERY DAY with 90% humidity. This is why I don't live in the midwest. Sorry y'all. I know you probably grew up there and think nothing of it. I grew up in Seattle. If the thermometer hits 90 degrees people will lay down and not get up until the heat wave is over. We are weather wimps. As you read the following account, keep in mind that I am not only traveling to Branson, in 103 degrees, but doing it to spend time with my in-laws, which includes my SIL, who single-handedly can make a room of eight other people
It is 1:49am Branson time as I write this. Mind you, I got up at 4:00am Seattle time this morning after finally falling asleep after 1:15am the night before.
First flight (7:45am through Dallas) gets a fuel leak. They make us get off.
They rebook us on a different flight through Chicago. They have us describe our luggage so they can pull it and put it on our new flight. They have over five hours to accomplish this task.
We finally leave Seattle at 1:30.
We have 50 minutes in Chicago to find our new gate and board our flight, which goes smoothly, thankfully.
We arrive in Springfield. No luggage. Did we really expect anything else?
They tell us it most likely went through Dallas as originally planned, so we wait an hour till the next flight from Dallas comes in. No luggage. Likely it is still in Chicago - next flight from Chicago is in at 1:00 tomorrow afternoon. IF it arrives on that flight, we might have it by 4:00. Tomorrow.
We drive an hour to Branson. We pass 5 religious colleges and more churches than I can count. I am reminded that I am in the "Bible Belt". There's a midnight classic car cruise happening. It's 11:50pm and the road the map shows to our hotel, is closed for the cruise, the nice police officer informs me. I call the hotel and am informed there is no alternate way to the hotel until the cruise is over and I will not be able to get to the hotel until 2:00am. Up to this point, I have been very calm - just dealing with it all as it comes. Now I am crying. But I'm also laughing hysterically. It's ridiculous.
We go to the 24 hour Wal-Mart. We call Hubby's sister and tell her to go to bed, we will see her in the morning. She is resisting, they wanted to help us bring our stuff in. What stuff? We have three small carry-on bags with reading material and a laptop! We tell them we are sleeping in - don't call us, we'll call you.
Wal-Mart is scary and full of drunk teenagers out for the car cruise, but we find shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops for Hubby and shorts and t-shirt for me. I thankfully packed my flip-flps in my carry on bag. Toothbrushes all around, hairbrush, deoderant, ponytail holder and razor for me. I have no facial products, no make-up. Nothing. We have also managed to pick up beer and margaritas. We need these.
We FINALLY make it to the hotel. I lay in bed now hoping that this is the worst of it. All will get better from here on out. It simply can't get worse, can it?
Bang. voices. beep. bang. bang. television. beep. bang. flushing toilets. These are the sounds you wake to in a cheap motel. The beeping is the funny little key activating the door lock on neighboring doors. The banging is the rude, unthoughtful, self-absorbed folks who let their self-closing doors slam assuming if they are awake with their kids, you must be, too. The television is those nice hotel tv’s that come on all at one volume - extra loud. And the kids don’t know any better so they continue watching it at that volume without turning it down. My son sleeps peacefully through this racket while my husband and I shoot dagger looks at each other. I lay there and figure out that it was 15 hours from the time we arrived at Sea-Tac airport to the time I left the Springfield airport. It was supposed to be an 8 hour travel day. Ugh.
4:00pm - still no luggage. Made a call to the airlines. Luggage arrived in Springfield at 10:50 this morning. Was picked up by the delivery company at noon. They have a six hour window to deliver. Good deal - should be here soon. Here being the luxury condos that we've moved to for our stay - my in-laws have booked them and are paying. No complaints, just wish I had luggage.
6:00pm - still no luggage. Called again. Same story. I remind her that American Airlines has had possession of our luggage for 36 hours now. That’s 36 hours that I have been without it. She is so sorry. Gee thanks.
7:50pm - still no luggage. Called for the third time and asked them to contact the delivery company to find out where our stuff is. I’m put on hold and when she finally comes back on, the humiliation she is suffering having to tell me where my luggage is almost makes me feel sorry for her. But not quite, because I’m going on 38 hours now. Apparently the driver who picked up the luggage at noon dropped the delivery slip between the seat cushions of the truck. Luggage was never delivered and was returned to the warehouse. It will go back out with the 10:00PM driver and should be there by midnight. I am silent without any words to describe the thoughts fleeting through my brain. She is hugely apologetic and asks if we’ve had to buy anything - I tell her yes, $50 worth. She says, "Is that all?" I'm tempted to run back to Wal-Mart and buy shit for homeless people just to make AA pay. She puts a voucher for $50 in the system and tells us to turn in our receipts to the airline counter for a reimbursement. “It’s the least we can do”. You have no idea, I think, but I do appreciate her humility, if that’s the right word. At this point they should be refunding the full price of my travel!
It did arrive about three minutes before midnight. And the OCD gal that I am, needed to unpack and put everything away. Which is why I wrote this at 1:49am. To make the seething in my brain go away so I could sleep.
Fun Times Traveling With Ally!!