Saturday, June 30, 2007

Adventures in Air Travel



We had a great time in Houston with Grandma and Grandpa. Charlotte finally got used to riding in a car and was so patient while shopping and eating out. She can't wait to visit again!

In retrospect, we should have stayed a bit longer! On Wednesday, we flew to Chicago for our connecting flight to LaGuardia. Since it was supposed to be the same plane going to NY, I didn't worry when the flight was very delayed and almost averted to Wisconsin due to storms in Chicago. But when we landed, they announced that the plane was no longer going to NY. To my dismay, I found out that our flight had been cancelled. Although there is a flight to NY from Chicago every hour, due to the storm in Chicago most flights had been cancelled and the remaining ones were booked solid with 50+ people on standby. I was directed to a "rebooking center" which consisted of a counter with three red phones you could use and a phone number printed on a banner above it. After recovering from the shock of that, I noticed that there were about 100 people in line to use those phones. I called the number from my cell phone and found out that the soonest flight I could be rebooked on was 5pm the next day! Of course, the airline (AA) wouldn't do anything for the passengers.

So Charlotte and I were picked up by a friend of Pete's who was in town and spent the night at a Marriott in a neighboring town and lounged around all day napping and snacking on food from the breakfast buffet which wasn't too bad! Much better than the cots that we saw a lot of people camped out in on the news. We went back to O'Hare at 3pm, not before Charlotte ruined her outfit by pooping all over it, leaving me to dress her in the spare onesie I had in the diaper bag which she had far outgrown, so she used it as a shirt instead.

Our flight was delayed to 6:30pm so we settled in, only to find out an hour later that this flight too had been cancelled - this time due to "weather" in NY. By now my cell phone was almost dead, so I joined a long line at a different booking center (this one manned by actual people!) and had my parents handle calling the rebooking phone number. Although they said the soonest flight again would - unbelievably - be the next day at 5pm, they talked them into booking me on a United flight at 9am the next morning instead. By this point I was wondering if I'd ever see my own bed again. As I trudged out to the hotel shuttle, I looked at Charlotte in her now perma-spot on my stomach in her Bjorn and she looked at me with biggest grin on her face I think I'd ever seen! Wouldn't you know it - she was having the time of her life! That really cheered me up.

On this third day of wearing the same clothes, we got on the 9am flight without incident, though I had to laugh as they had me take Charlotte out of her Bjorn and hold her up while they patted her down as we went through security. We made it to NY in one piece. Miraculously and quickly, I found our luggage which had arrived two days prior. Upon arriving home, we took a nice long nap together. Thankfully, Helaman gets home today and we will be all together again.

This cartoon really has new meaning after hauling the diaper bag, my carry-on and Charlotte around for three days straight.


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9 comments:

Lachelle, Rob & Eliza said...

Oh my goodness. That story gives me nightmares! You and Shanna both had horribe flying experiences this last week. I am already terrified to travel by myself on a 3 hour flight to Washington in 2 weeks. And I just went and made sure my spare onesie in my diaper bag was the right size for Ellie. Did you have enough diapers packed for all those days?

Call Couple said...

Oh my, that sound horrendous!! It makes me nervous to fly with out a husband or friend in tow! I would have broke down in tears!! Glad you made it back home!

miggy said...

I had a 2 1/2 hour delay last week and cried at the ticket counter, I think I would have had a heart attack in your situation.

Jessica said...

Ugh! That story makes me completely nauseous! I'm so glad you guys finally made it home and so sorry it was such a nightmare.

The Cope Family said...

oh my gosh- AA is so annoying that way- we had quite the runaround with them last time we flew- although not nearly as badly as your experience! glad you made it home. although i've heard chicago is a nice place to live...

ehenneman said...

That was ten times worse than I imagined when I first heard you had problems. I love that Charlotte cheered you up, though. What a trooper!

Tawni said...

I just had a panic attack reading you story. It sound like you and Amy have a lot in common with your recent travels. I give you props. I would have cried and cried and yelled and yelled. They would have escorted me out of the airport. I HATE airlines. They are so unhelpful. Women and children should get first priority!! Period. Especially women with no luggage and babies. Im sorry to hear about your struggle, but it sounds like you did great and your daughter was happy happy! Your amazing!

Lucy said...

I can't even imagine! Hope it doesn't happen again.

Matt thinks you should have just sat at the gate with a screaming baby until someone felt bad and let you on the plane. I think the hotel sounds like a little more fun. :)

Julia said...

You poor thing-- with a baby too. I'm glad she was such a trooper.