travel hell

Last night, I had a 7pm flight from grand rapids to chicago, then an 8:15pm connection to san diego, landing at 10:15. It was not to be.

In the early afternoon, I got a text from united saying my flight from grand rapids was cancelled. After researching options, I decided it was best to drive to chicago. Four hours later, I arrived at o’hare and returned my rental car.

So far, so good. But that’s when things really began to unravel.

A half-dozen delays came through quickly, all weather related. When the departure had been moved from 8:15 to 10ish, the gate agent announced, “well, our control center has failed us again. The plane is here, but we don’t have a pilot. He’s in indianapolis, and his plane hasn’t been cleared to leave yet.”

The pilot arrived at about midnight, and after we boarded the plane, told us he hadn’t intended to be in indianapolis, but had been forced to land there for refueling when he couldn’t get into chicago. Then they’d kept him there due to weather.

Now boarded, we pushed back from the gate, planning on arriving in san diego about 2am.

Unfortunately, that’s when the pilot told us something was wrong with the plane. We returned to the gate and sat on the plane for 90 minutes. At about 2am, the pilot informed us that they couldn’t fix the plane in time, and we were going to move to a new plane. Off we go, gathering our stuff and wandering through an otherwise empty terminal, standing in line for another boarding process, waiting for the bags to be moved. We took off at 2:30am, and, with the time change, landed in san diego at 4:30am (7:30am where I started the day). It was weird walking through the sd airport when the starbucks workers were just beginning to stock their pastries, the tsa employees were just getting to their stations, and the neurotic “arrive 2 hours early” fliers were cuing up.

I got to bed at 5:30am. Now I’m at my kids’ school for may faire, and just finished working the rootbeer float booth for an hour. Feels like time for a nap.

9 thoughts on “travel hell”

  1. Although confused,I read your story to my wife. She HATES flying alone and begins to cry anytime things don’t work as they should (which is always). After reading it she asked me “So, when do you think I would have started crying?” My reply “‘So far so good. But that’s when things really begin to unravel.”

    The part that confused us was the first sentance… Do you mean you were suposed to leave GR to Chicago and Chicago to SD? That’s what I assume, otherwise this is a REALLY strange story.

  2. I just attended our kids May Faire and I’m wiped out (2nd grader parents do clean-up), although I didn’t have the travel fiasco as you. Do your kids attend a Waldorf School? I’d be interested to hear about your perspective about this education as a Christian brother. Grace, ERuss

  3. “Last night, I had a 7pm flight from san diego to chicago, then an 8:15pm connection to san diego, landing at 10:15. It was not to be.”

    “At about 2am, the pilot informed us that they could fix the plane in time, and we were going to move to a new plane.”

    Based on those two sentences, I think its to say you were sleep deprived at the time of writing this!

    Hope you’ve caught up on your sleep.

  4. doh — i’m a dork, and tired. the first flight (the cancelled one) was from grand rapids to chicago.

  5. oh, ERuss, yes, my kids go to a Waldorf school. we absolutely love it. it’s been a fantastic experience for both of them. yeah, it gets a tiny bit weird occasionally; but my kids’ spirits are at least acknowledged there!

  6. I researched your blog site, and saw a response from a couple years ago re: Waldorf, Steinter, etc. We too think its the best place for my daughter, and yes – it’s a bit weird at times. We will be homeschooling our daughter for third grade. I remember the first time I attended our first May Faire – I thought I was walking into a real-life GAP commercial….Beautiful nevertheless. Were the rootbeer floats – organic?

  7. my word, I was in Chicago a couple weeks ago and thought my travel nightmare was bad! made my first connection to DTW, got delayed for 3 hours after a 3 hour layer — i was on the plane, just sat down when the flight attendant said, “you’re not going to want to hear this…” off the plane we went, back to the terminal. about 12 midnight we board the plane again, sit down — and had to wake up the air traffic controllers at DTW. then we had to wait for refueling because there was a potential for bad weather in Richmond and we needed to be able to land at another airport. drinks were on the captain on that flight. and i got an apology letter from the airline last week, and they’re giving us 1,000 bonus frequent flier miles to make up for it!

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