Friday, October 19, 2007

Getting Home: Flying Snafu

Nice shot of our plane, no?

There's one itty, bitty, teensy, weensy detail that's worth noting. The plane is American Airlines. We were supposed to be flying United.

This is just the outcome of a typical international flying snafu.

As our boarding time got closer and closer, we noticed our flight had no gate. Finally, at 11:55am, for our 12pm flight we walked over to the info desk. Apparently, a bird flew into the engine, bringing our travels to a halt. Amazing, all this technology, and we can't keep out a bunch of friggin birds? Forget the terrorists, let's work on bird control.

Things went from calm to chaos as United Airlines scrambled to get people assigned to new flights. I watched two ticket agents wonder aloud what we were supposed to do about our luggage, and how they were going to handle the hotel arrangements. It's like this was the first time a flight had ever been canceled at Heathrow.

We nearly got on a Virgin Atlantic flight back to the states, but as the guy was keying in our ticket, a man came over and said there were no more tickets available. Argh.

We had to make that classic decision - fight to get home, or surrender and try again tomorrow.

We chose to fight. We had a bittersweet victory. We got a flight home tonight, which was good. But it's through Chicago, which is another 4 hours of flying time. And then there are the little annoyances: the plane doesn't have our kosher/veggie meal request, we lost our aisle/window seats, we lost our economy plus status, our luggage may arrive in a few days or not, heck even the movie I was planning to watch isn't being shown on this flight.

What a pain.

That's enough kvetching. To finish off this post, and this mostly to save my sanity, I'm going to list 5 great things about our situation.

1. I'm traveling with the prettiest, most intelligent, sexy and adorable traveling companion in the world.

2. I was just back by the bathroom, and there was this guy snoring incredibly loudly. I'm sitting nowhere near him.

3. They gave me the *whole* can of Coke when they served me my drink.

4. There are some interesting movies to watch that I've never heard of, which should be fun.

5. American Airlines has more leg room in their economy seats than United, so our Economy seats aren't half bad.

6. I'm vertical.

Editor's note: I hate not having an aisle seat, we will never get our luggage, we are flying west to go east, I just lost my miles on United towards my next premier status and I am sitting next to Mr. "Let's look on the bright side." I guess we all see the world differently.

--Ben

Update: After 24 hours of travel, we made it home safe and sound. 2 days later, there's still no sign of our luggage. Yeah, the adventure isn't over yet.

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