Rebecca (beeker121) wrote,

  • Mood:

best laid plans

Here was the plan for today:
cab at 4am to airport, 6am flight SFO-Midway (Chicago), 90 minute layover, then flight to Pittsburgh that landed at 4:30p local time; so I could eat dinner, make some phone calls and get to bed early.

Here's what actually happened:
cab at 4am to airport (this went fine, except for the part where he was driving really slowly)

6am flight out of SFO - we had boarded and pulled away from the gate when the captain came over the PA system to tell us that there was an electrical problem that would prevent us from taking off.  We were going back to the gate for a mechanic to look at it.  At the gate we were informed that a mechanic was 30 minutes away.  Once the mechanic arrived it was a 45 minute fix and then they had to do paperwork, etc to get back into the flight queue.  A customer service rep came on board and said that he knew many of us were making connections in Chicago and this delay would likely screw them up but as long as we weren't going to one of two cities (it was a long time ago, one of them was Norfolk) they'd get us re-booked to make our destinations by tonight.  We take off around 8:30a and have an uneventful 4 hour flight to Midway.  Once the decent starts one of the attendants comes on over the PA to say that they've turned the plane wifi on for everyone briefly, that Midway has been dealing with weather issues (understatement*) and it may be possible that connections we thought we had missed were still there - we should check.  My connecting flight had been cancelled (flight #1)

At Midway around 2:30p, I called the travel agent for my company who said they showed my reservation had been re-booked for the 9:35p flight out (ugh) but that I might be able to get standby on the 4:40p.  I made my way to the gate of the earlier flight, where the line was mercifully short, and the woman who helped me there was actually able to get me a real seat on the 4:40p (flight #2).  It was delayed for an hour, but okay.  New boarding pass in hand I went to get lunch and walk around and stuff.  The flight delayed again until 6:40p, and then at around 5:45p it too was cancelled.

I got back into the service desk line - now much, much longer.  I think it took a little over an hour to get to the front.  Once there I was booked on the 6:30a flight the next day to Pittsburgh, and put on standby for the 9:35p.  (At this point I was kicking for myself for accepting the kindnes of the first lady who had gotten me on the earlier flight, if I hadn't taken it than at least I would have had a certain seat on the 9:35p.)

I was seventh on the standby list - I'm guessing the order had something to do with either when you boarded your first plane of the day or what time the flight you had originally booked for was supposed to be. I waited in the gate area and it was  announced that they were waiting for the pilot to arrive, and that as soon as he was there they'd begin boarding.  He made it around 9:55p.  Boarding began and then my name got called - i was on the flight!  I think all of the standby folks who had stayed in the gate area made it - I had been chatting with a woman who was #38 and she boarded the plane.  Yay, not trying to find a hotel after everything by the airport is booked, or just sleeping in the airport.  Third flight to Pittsburgh is the charm, right?

So I am in Pittsburgh after 18.5 hours of travel door to door (apartment to hotel).  My luggage is not.  I usually pack pajamas or sometimes even a change of shirt in my carryone but that didn't happen this time.  Honestly I'm lucky I have a comb.

This is why I stopped flying through Chicago years ago.  But my coworker was also travelling today and was all, 'we could meet up in Chicago and then go in together; I've never had problems flying through Midway' and I thought, why not?  Blech.

How was your Monday?

***Apparently no planes landed at Midway for a while in the late morning, my coworker left Oakland on time and her plane flew to Chicago and then because of poor visibility ended up flying to Kansas City to sit on the ground for an hour before it flew back to Chicago.  I was hearing stories of folks who got diverted to Des Moines, Detroit, all over the Midwest.  I think I preferred the electrical problems.
Tags: airplane stories, stupid chicago

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