To the 7th Layer of Hell and Back

I am going to stop for a second, breathe, and compose my thoughts. I am going to attempt to convey the true feelings of my last two days. If it wasn’t close to Hell, I don’t want any part of Hell because this was agonizing.

It all started on Thursday, December 17th. That was when I first learned of the snowstorm that would paralyze the entire Eastern Seaboard on the 19th. This had me concerned because my flight was on the 19th. I rebooked for Sunday and thought to myself “no problem”. Boy, I could not have been more wrong.

I had scheduled a Super Shuttle van pool to pick me up at 12:24 for my flight that left Dulles at 3:02. I got a call from Super Shuttle at around 12:15. “Mr. Thurman, I regret to inform you that our driver is stuck and will not be able to make the scheduled pick up”. Well, that sucks. I called Red Top Cab and it was busy. I finally got through to them and arranged to have a taxi pick me up. The trip to Dulles Airport (including tip) was $70.00. Less than 5 minutes after I just spent $70.00 for the cab ride to Dulles, I was informed that my flight from JFK to PDX was canceled. ARRGH! “What can you do” “Everything is completely booked until Thursday.” “So I’ll get in at 11:00 on Thursday night?” “Yes.”But I leave on Saturday night? Do you realize I’ll get there Thursday night and leave Saturday night?” “That’s the only thing available. Do you want me to book me on this flight?” “I guess.”

At this point I was fuming. I called my friend to see if there were any flights on the 20th from Dulles to Portland. He found a United flight that was a non-stop and got in at roughly the same time. I asked the jetBlue ticket agent if he could get me on that flight. “We don’t have a relationship with United” “Do you have relationships with any other airline?” “No”. So I told my friend to go ahead and book me the flight on United and I would deal with jetBlue the next day. So I got in line at the United ticket counter to check-in. My friend checked me in online, but I did not have a boarding pass and I needed to check a bag. Unfortunately, the line had about 800 people in it (no exaggeration). The line just about extended to the other side of the airport. So I waited. For about an hour and a half. I got through about half the line. Then, a miracle happened. A United worker randomly asked me where I was going and I told her as well as the fact that I was already checked in. She directed me to a much shorter line. I got my boarding pass and checked my bag.

At this point, it was 4 o’clock and my flight was supposed to leave at 8:42 (it was delayed). So, I went to my gate and took advantage of the free Internet. Then at about 6:30, the unthinkable happened. I got a call from United. My flight was canceled. Two flights from two different airlines were canceled. United had nothing available. Nothing. So I devised a plan. To take that jetBlue flight on the 24th and change the flight on the 26th to the 30th and switch my vacation days. The only problem was that my bag was still on the United flight. I talked to a gate agent at United and he called down and told them to release my bag and told me to get it at Baggage Claim Carousel 3. Great, I thought. Not the best case scenario, but it will work out. I waited and waited for my bag. After about an hour, or so, my friend called and informed me that there was a seat open on jetBlue tomorrow (today) that went from Dulles to Long Beach and Long Beach to Dulles. I went to the jetBlue counter and was able to book that flight. Now, my bag really needed to come soon. It was 8:30 at this point. I got to the airport at 1:30. I talked to a United employee at baggage claim and he told me that it probably would not get off the plane and it would be sent to Portland. OK. I needed to get home. I called a friend, and he graciously agreed to pick me up.

I got home around 10:30. I went to the Super Shuttle Web site to arrange a pick-up for today. they Web site said that they could not fulfill reservations. So, I went to the Red Top Cab site and made a reservation with them. About 2 hours later I got a call that said that they would not be able to fulfill that reservation. they told me I needed to call back tomorrow morning and They would get me a cab as soon as possible. I called them about 5:15 and told them I needed a cab ASAP. the cab came just after 6:30. Luckily, my flight was delayed, so I had plenty of time to catch my plane. Two trips to Dulles: $130.00. So here I am now in Long Beach. Hour 3 of a 5 hour layover. Flight is delayed by 30 minutes, but I should get there tonight (fingers crossed).

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2 Comments »

  1. Melanie said

    A-HEM!!!

  2. Melanie said

    Can we at least expect a post about your trip to Miami? 🙂

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