Friday, April 27, 2007

4/26/07 - DC: Day 4 ... but there wasn't supposed to be a "Day 4."

As you can tell by the title of my post for yesterday, something unxpected happened to me on my way to Orlando. Have you ever heard of something called "Murphy's Law?" If it can go wrong it will go wrong? Well, that's exactly what happened to me as I tried to leave DC and fly into Orlando. One other thing I want to add is that I really was having a hard time leaving DC - I had such a great time in my three days that I didn't want to go, and I told several people this... I guess you really have to be careful what you wish for!!!

Getting to the Airport from my hotel was no problem... I arrived there around 7:45am - in plenty of time for my 8:45 flight out of DC which was to arrive at 9:55 am at New York's La Guardia airport... I was supposed to then catch a flight out of New York to Orlando at 11:10am, arriving in Orlando at 1:50pm... As you'll soon find out, things didn't go according to plan. In the end, I really didn't know whether to laugh or cry... trust me, you won't believe my day!!!

The first sign of things to come was when we got a notice around 8:30am that the flight out of Orlando to NYC was delayed. At 9:30, we were told that there were some "electical problems" and the flight would leave at 10:00am... That wasn't all that comforting and at that moment I kind of wished they would just cancel the flight or find us another plane. Around 10:30 they told us the flight was cancelled and that we would all need to go to the American Airlines counter and make new arrangements.

Less than an hour later (11:25 am) I was able to schedule a direct flight on US Airways from DC to Orlando for a 2:15pm departure time and a 4:26 arrival time... The woman at the terminal also told me that most likely my bag would be sent through US Air and that I didn't need to do anything else... That was reassuring... and I was also happy about this as direct flights are just A LOT easier to deal with. Around 2pm, we come to find out that there are some "mechanical problems" with the plane and that they may need to change planes. Around 3pm, they told us we would be put in a different plane... unfortunately that plane was smaller than they plane we were supposed to be using by about 10 seats. What this meant is that there was a good chance I would miss this plane as well... and that's exactly what happened as there was not enough room.

Not wanting to go through the baggage security check a third time, I decide I'll just let US Air schedule me on the next plane to Orlando... as it turned out that plane would not be scheduled to leave until 7:35 pm... to arrive in Orlando at 9:45pm. Finally, at 7:20pm, I boarded the plane. We took off at 7:45pm - exactly 11 hours after I was originally scheduled to leave!!!

Needless to say, if I had known I would have been stuck in DC an extra day, I would have done something with it - go to the Smithsonian, take a boat tour on the Potomac, call my two friends/relatives I know there... something!!! So yes, I wasted an entire day at Reagan Airport. Most of the time was spent reading, writing and making LOTS of phone calls to friends and family... I also listened to my portable radio - it looks like an IPOD. I got VERY familiar with the DC FM radio stations during my four days here... but a lot more so while in the airport! For all of you Carrie Underwood fans out there, I heard her no less than eight times while in that airport for over 12 hours!

Now you would think that after I had arrived in Orlando at 9:40pm that the rest would and should go smoothly... WRONG! I was told that my bag would be at the US Airways terminal for pickup - either it was on an earlier plane, or it was on the same plane as mine. I checked through both areas and by 10:10pm, I went back to the baggage counter to put in a claim. Before I did that though, I asked the US Airways person at the counter if she could contact American Airlines just in case they had somehow gotten the bag back and sent it to Orlando... sure enough, this is exactly what happened... by 10:30pm, I finally had my bag!!!

Given that Verizon was paying for my transportation, there was supposed to be a shuttle waiting for me when I arrived. I told them that I should be there around 10pm and that I would be outside the US Airways terminal. A little after 10pm, I heard my name over the loudspeakers, but I couldn't tell if it was for my luggage or the shuttle... I checked with several people that worked at the airport and no one else could tell me either...

I attempted to call my transportation people several times, but I had no luck geting someone to pick me up. I finally ended up having to talk to the "head person" in charge of the trip who advised me to just take a cab and that Verizon would reimburse me in the morning if I just brought the ticket... So, this morning I ended up getting a $63 reimbursement for my cab ride... I finally arrived in my hotel room at 12:37am (Friday morning)... I completely missed the corporate function happening Thursday night and the chance to go out to "Pleasure Island" where my friends were out celebrating... By 1am, I was thoroughly exhaused and in bed!!! Just happy to be there safe and sound...

I don't know if any of you have ever experienced this kind of day traveling... regardless, it's another experience I won't soon forget!!! If any of you have similar experiences, please write back to me or eMail me... I'd love to compare stories!

No comments: