Recent Splats according to Miz Yank

Getting there is half the fun, if you’re bad at fractions

[continued from Friday’s post…]

Once I got to Atlanta, I had a blast with my family.  The time passed too quickly, though, and I wasn’t ready to find myself back at the airport less than 48 hours later after I’d arrived.  Since my travel luck hadn’t been the best on the way down (the opposite of how my travel usually goes), I felt entitled to a smooth return trip.

Through pure coincidence I had booked the same return flight as my sister, Lynne, and her family.  We rode to the airport with our other sister, who was scheduled to leave at 9:45 or so, roughly two hours ahead of us.  Sure, this put Lynne’s family and me at the airport at 8:30—crazy early for an 11:45 departure—but we thought it might give us a chance to jump on an earlier flight.

The earlier flight had only one open seat, which I could have taken, but my niece and nephew had their hearts set on flying with me.  They looked crestfallen when I broached the possibility of leaving them.

“On second thought, I’ll just stay on your flight,” I told my sister.

“Are you sure?”

“Oh yeah, I’d love to sit with the kids. Besides, I’m not in that big a hurry,” I said, blowing a big, sloppy kiss of death in her direction.

We headed en masse to the T terminal in the Atlanta airport, whose amenities consist of one vending machine and a port-a-potty. It wasn’t easy but we managed to keep the kids entertained until we boarded.

This aircraft was one seat wider than the one I’d flown on before, which I took as a good sign. We pushed away from the gate on time, another good sign.

We sat on the tarmac for a bit after that, no big deal, so my nephew and I passed the time playing Hangman on scraps of paper.

Thirty minutes later, my nephew and I had hung at least a football team, and the pilot got on the intercom. Uh-oh…

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a maintenance issue. A crew is on the way to fix it so we hope it’ll just be a brief delay.”  Not a good sign.

Thirty minutes passed and we were still awaiting the crew, which must have been traveling on foot from Savannah.  About fifteen minutes later the pilot took us back to the gate and told us we could de-plane and return to the sumptuous T-gates to continue waiting and luxuriating.

At 1:15 p.m., United cancelled our 11:45 flight.  A representative told us we had been re-booked on a Delta flight leaving at 7:35 p.m.

We couldn’t help but be impressed by the length of the delay.  Most airlines would’ve had to point to Congress, sequestration and the furlough of air traffic controllers, but United’s commitment to excellence enabled it to achieve an eight hour delay completely unassisted.

Knowing that dozens of flights went from Atlanta to DC every day, my brother-in-law and I took the phones in search of better options.  We made no progress with United, so we headed over to Delta (which at least expanded our horizons by allowing us to explore the B Gates).  There, we learned that the whole rebooking thing was a myth. Delta had no record of us and we weren’t on any flights at all.

It took us another hour to get confirmed seats on flights home.

Balance was restored in the logistical universe when United booked me on one flight and my sister’s family on another, both leaving at 7-ish but on different airlines and out of different terminals.

Though we had lots of time in between the cancellation and our rebooked flight, we weren’t permitted to leave the airport.  That bugged me more than anything, since we could have spent the day with Baby B, who was just figuring out how to walk while we were there.

Then again, I shouldn’t complain.  It’s not every day that you get to eat all three major meals at the airport.  Or go on a 640 mile trip that takes ten hours by car and knock it out in just 11, thanks to the miracle of flight.

 

 

Comments

  1. Bwahahaha, OMG, that is HORRID!!! (I mean, not to revel in your misfortune or anything.) LOVE the title, too! Uuuggh, United…after our disaster last year, where our delay was OVERNIGHT, we vowed never to fly United again. I’m SOOO happy Virgin America now flies to Dulles!

    • Well as you can imagine, I am thrilled, just thrilled, that I made United my airline of choice and have accumulated tens of thousands of miles with them. Yippee.

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  1. […] major dividends by landing me a mere 6 hours later than my originally scheduled flight.  Or the trip before that, when my air travel took longer by plane than […]