Sunday, August 20, 2006

At Least We Have Internet Access

Warning: This is a venting post, lacking wit and charm. We’ll return to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow, including photos from the entertaining part of our trip! Or, you could visit Lady O at her new home, Fourth Breakfast.

We arrived at the airport this morning at 9:30am, endured a massively inefficient check-in process, a passable security screen, and settled in to wait for our 11:45 flight. Wait was the operating word. Every fifteen minutes from 11am onwards, the attendants broadcast an announcement to hang around – they’d have an update on our flight any moment.

Eventually, they told us that there were mechanical difficulties with the aircraft, which hadn’t yet taken off to even come to Las Vegas to get us. Abject apologies from America West. Minor annoyance on our part. I called my folks, who are holding down the fort with Q. “We’re going to be two hours late!” My mom said that they were doing well and not to worry.

After another hour of blurry loudspeaker announcements, the plane still hadn’t arrived. Actually, it hadn’t even taken off! However, ladies and gentlemen, don’t leave the boarding area, there might have news any moment.

“Sorry, Dad. We’re still on hold here at the airport.”
Dad assured me that Q was doing fine and that they were all having fun.

The plane arrived at about 3pm, two hours after we should have gotten home. They unloaded the passengers and re-discovered the mechanical problem. I’m not sure what was worse – being the folks who just arrived, since they flew on an unsound plane – or being us, since they cancelled our flight after another two hours of “Don’t wander away, we may take off with short notice!”

Mom101 wrote about the Isle of Misfit Toys the other day, and I thought of that as we were led to a room that was clearly the Isle of Misfit Passengers. It took until 6pm to get re-routed. The only remaining flight today was to go standby on a midnight flight to Oakland that would be followed by a shuttle back to our regular airport at 3am. Standby for a midnight flight – uh, no.

We turned that down and accepted a hotel voucher and tickets home tomorrow. Thank god, my folks were flexible and can watch Q another day. Had we known how long this mess would last, we would have rented a car, driven 600 miles, and been home by now. Grrrr.

One small blessing – our vouchered hotel has free internet access. Wish us luck for tomorrow.


Mamacita Tina said...

Don't you love how airlines can hold us prisoner? Scary. Yes, you too can have your life put on hold...just try to fly on time, we dare you.

Jenny said...

Hijacked. You've been hijacked.

Good luck sweetie! I'm traveling next week and hoping for the best.

Kristen said...

ARGH, what a pain!! We went through similar madness coming back from Portland in May - problem with the plane, terrible communications, delays, etc. Good luck getting back!!

Girl con Queso said...

URGH! The worst. At least there weren't Snakes on the Plane. Or were there?

Lady M said...

Thanks for all your kind words. It helped my mood to read them while we were stuck!

Snakes on the Plane would have been so much more interesting! Instead, we got to hear the dinging of slot machines for hours. It's so good to be home now.