Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My very sad flying experience with AA and UA.

So, I have to tell you my story of the worst travel experience of my life....  It's so outrageous that I must write it down so that I can remember the date and people can cross reference and believe me.

I have to preface this with saying that this is my second business trip in 2 weeks.  This one was from good old San Antonio to Hartford, CT. 
On my way out there I was on American Airlines with a layover in Dallas. 
I left around 9am Monday morning.  I go into DFW with no problems...  I was scheduled to have a quick hour and a half layover and be on my way. 

Well, there I am, sitting on my plane when the pilot comes on and advises us that the left engine is bad and that the plane is out of service.  Good to know, right? 
I was thankful to know BEFORE we went in the air. 
So, we sit for an hour. 
Then, the flight attendant comes on the speaker and advises us that they found us a plane but we need to change gates.
So, I hop on the skycab and head over.  An hour after THAT, we finally are told we are getting ready to board. 

Nope, the pilot has now been up too long and is no longer legal.  So, we de-board. 
Then the flight attendants were out of compliance.

FIVE HOURS LATER we finally get on our way....  FIVE.   There were no weather issues.  Nothing. 
Just 5 hours of wasted time in the Dallas Airport.

To top it off, I ask the flight attendant for a blanket because I am freezing and she looks at me with disgust and advises me that those are for "first class only".  
Bite me AA.

So, fast forward to my flight home just 15 hours later.  This time with United.  A layover through Chicago.

I board, thankful to be on my way home even though they made me check my carry-on bag because they had no room.  We taxi onto the runway and then we stop.  For over an hour.

The weather is Chicago is bad.  And no one is allowed to head that way.
We finally leave..

Then terror.

The plane was dropping 20 feet at a time in the air.  I was groping the older gentleman next to me without meaning to out of pure fear.
Flight attendants must sit.  Too much turbulence.  I just want on the ground.

We finally make it.
Its raining pretty bad.   And lightening.

And we taxi.  And then we stop.   Short of the gate.

For almost 3 hours.   There are 80 MPH hurricane strength winds.  Frequent lightening flashing everywhere.  And now we are told to fasten our seat belts and put our heads down because there is a tornado warning.
And we are in a plane....that is rocking back and forth like a massive riot is happening outside.

Keep in mind its now close to 10:30pm.  I haven't eaten since 1pm.  They have nothing but stale pretzels on the plane.  And I have only had one vodka diet in the last 5 hours.
We cant deplane after the storm because the winds have damaged the gates.
Short of being out of compliance with the 3 hour runway law, we get off the plane.

O'Hare is chaos. 
People sleeping everywhere, there are lines 100 people long and my flight shows "closed". 
Having no idea what this means and not able to ask any staff because of the massive crowds, I decide to run for it.  To another terminal.  Across the Chicago airport. 

I make it.  I see people standing around.  They are 3+ hours delayed.  THANK YOU!!!!!

By now my phone is completely dead so I plug in for 5 seconds to call Thomas, tell him I will be home by 2am and board this tiny 20 person plane. 

In the middle of a thunderstorm.
After a terrifying flight on a much bigger plane not 3 hours before.

But I want to go home.

So, we are ready to take off when the pilot comes out. 
Mind you this plane is so tiny, he doesn't need a speaker, he can just talk and we can hear him. 
Apparently we can't gas the plane because there is water in the gas line in the ground.
So we wait another hour for someone to come shop vac out the water, in this tiny plane, with a hysterical exhausted baby crying in the seat directly behind me.

Then we finally leave.
I need a cocktail.  Get me in the air.

So, we are up.  

I order a double Seven and Seven.  I pull out my debit card because no major airlines take cash anymore. 
None apparently except this one.....  because apparently they are too "small" of an airline and don't accept cards.  Only cash.

And I don't have cash.
So,  I get no liquor.
God forbid anyone on these planes have a heart and give me a freaking drink or a blanket after 12 hours....

So we land in San Antonio at 3:15am.
Its storming and lightening.   For the first time in 5 months when I fly into the SAT airport.

Am I being punked?
I must be being punked because after waiting for 30 more minutes for my luggage - its not there.
So no laptop for work.  No toothbrush. 

I file my claim and head outside.
In the rain.
To my car and finally get home looking like a drowned rat.

But I am home.  And safe.
Thank goodness.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The month from down under...

This really is going to be the month from you know where.

As I have said a million times before, I absolutely love my job.  The only times I even remotely get run down is when I have to travel and leave my girls for too long.  This month is going to be one of those times.

I am off to Charlotte, NC on Sunday until very very late Wednesday night.  Then the following Monday at the crack of dawn, I am headed to Hartford, CT and then turning around and coming back late Tuesday evening.  Finally the following week I have 2 day trips that will start with me up at 3:30am to Austin and Houston. 
I am not expecting anyone to feel sorry for me per say but just be patient if my temper flares a little in the coming weeks.