Sunday, August 2, 2009

Our Worst Trip EVER!

AJ and I just arrived from Florida and this is what greeted me when I entered the kitchen.
Oh boy! Was I busy opening packages! This is why I haven't visited anybody today. I hope you all forgive me. Our house is a mess cause I left John for 2 weeks and he insists it looks lived in. LOL!
Those packages aren't really what I wanted to publish on my blog today. I just wanted to show you how the house looks like.

Anyway, AJ and I had our worst trip ever. We left Tampa at 4:30 PM July 31st, to fly to Baton Rouge with a stop over in Atlanta. We were scheduled to be in Baton Rouge at 7:15 PM but at 7 PM, we were still flying over Atlanta. Suddenly, the pilot announced on the PA system that we could not land because Atlanta is having a severe storm and they closed the airport. After a while, the pilot announced that we were running out of fuel so we will divert to Birmingham, AL to refuel. Before we got there, he announced again that Birmingham is out of fuel so we have to go to Huntsville, AL. We landed in Huntsville but there was a long line of aircrafts getting some fuel and we were supposedly 4th in line.

After about 2 more hours of just sitting inside the plane, the pilot announced that we were now next in line but the fuel truck ran out of fuel so we have to wait for another 30 to 40 min. for it to get fuel and come back. All we were offered inside the plane was water without ice.

Finally, the fuel truck arrived and gave us fuel but we had to wait for another 20 min. because there were paperwork to be signed and someone would be bringing them. After 20 min. the pilot announced that a car is coming and the driver must be bringing the paperwork and after they are signed we are flying and heading back to Atlanta. Well, the papers arrived incomplete so the car had to leave again to pick up the rest of the paperwork so waited for another 20 min. Finally, we flew and landed in Atlanta. Before we landed, the pilot announced that there will be additional personnel who will be assisting us when we get in the airport.
But of course, our connecting flight has left and we had to check to see if we were rebooked. It was about 10 PM when we got there. I looked for a personnel but I could only see 2 people answering questions: one was in the front of the very long line and another with a dozen passengers surrounding her. So I stood in line with the 12 people and after so much patience waiting, it finally came my turn and I was told to go to the end of the long line to find out if I have been rebooked. They could have just put that in a big sign and it would have saved us all a lot of time waiting. Do you see that mile long line? We had to walk all the way to the end of it and stand in line and wait for our turn to scan our tickets to find out if we were rebooked.
Suddenly a Delta attendant pulled a few of us from the line and told us to follow him and told us that he can tell us if we were rebooked. After forming another line by his counter, he took care of the first person in line and then left to check all the passengers who were boarding from that gate. Finally, after about 45 min., he came back to take care of the second one in line. I was 4th in line but it took at least 2 and a half hours for him to wait on me. Where are the extra personnel they promised? Usually, there are 2 or 3 people working behind each counter (I least I know this from my experience with Tampa Airport) when there is a scheduled flight. Why is this guy alone and he had to help us too? I felt so sorry for AJ because she was so hungry but I did not want to leave the line to buy food afraid of losing my position. I told her to sit down and I will just wait for my turn. It was around 12:30 AM before the guy got to me. He told me he could book us on standby at 8:45 AM but can confirm us 1:59 PM.

I called John cause by this time, I was willing to do anything just to get home. I told him we will just sleep in the airport and try to get on the 8:45 AM flight but he would not let us do that. He told me to book for the 1:59 PM confirmed flight and call Marriott and reserve a room and he said as a platinum elite member, they are obligated to accommodate us. We booked for the 1:59 flight, the guy gave me 4 pieces of paper which I assumed were our tickets and itineraries. AJ repeated she was hungry so we walked to the food court and on our way there she said, "Lala, I feel like we are hobos!", which really cracked me up. LOL! The only consolation I had was that AJ was with me and she was so good and patient about the whole thing and just followed whatever I told her to do. She felt so grown up and so proud when a guy asked her to watch his baby while he took care of something when she was sitting and waiting for me. She keeps telling us how she could not believe he would leave his baby with her.
I took AJ to the foodcourt and while she was eating (I lost my appetite so I did not get anything for me), I checked the ticket only to find out that he did not give me a printout for AJ. I left AJ at the foodcourt and walked back to the counter where the guy was and demanded he print me out a ticket for AJ. If you have been to Atlanta airport, you must know how big and busy it is so it was always a long walk. The guy insisted AJ is booked but I insisted for him to give me a printout, and so he did. I went back to AJ and then we took the shuttle train to go to the baggage claim to the courtesy phones to call Marriott. Of course, Delta would not compensate us for the hotel stay because they insisted the delay wasn't their fault since it was an act of God. In my opinion, running out of fuel is not an act of God, especially if there were so many other Delta planes having the same problem.
And guess what! Of course, there weren't any vacancies in any of the Marriott's near the airport with available shuttle service or any other hotels, so we took a taxi to Marriott's Marquis all the way downtown. We were told the taxi will cost $25 one way but the driver charged me $36. This turned out to be a very expensive trip. The hotel cost us $160 plus whatever fees they add. We finally got to the hotel at 2:30 AM.

Well, we had no change of clothes, no toiletries nor makeup since everything we had were packed in the checked in luggage except for some breakable home accessories that I put in our handcarried bags.

But even without make up and no change of clothes, we were smiling in the morning because we had a good night sleep. The beds were so comfy. We could not even comb our hairs.
Here are a few pictures I took of the hotel.

It was a beautiful hotel with a nice view from the room.
When we came back to the airport to check in, it was still pretty crowded but we made it and the plane left on time.
And now we are home sweet home.
I think I will stick with flying SW Airlines from now on.


Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

OMG Christine,
What a nightmare!! I had to chuckle though because even during all this you were such a good blogger and took pics at the hotel! I am so glad you and AJ made it home safely and now I am so curious, are there pretty goodies in all those boxes? Just being nosy, hugs, Cindy

Candy said...

Poor things! I have been TRAPPED in a plane on the tarmac before and it is no picnic. Claustrophobic! For occasions just like this I always stick a toothbrush and a little snack, at least, in my carry on. Glad you girls made it home and yes...home is a wonderful place ;-)

SmilingSally said...

Oh! You poor thing. I would send a copy of this to Delta and demand SOMETHING! How awful. If I were you, I'd never want to fly again--especially Delta!

Thanks for sharing. I've missed you. Have a wonderful Sunday.

susan said...

I'm glad you are finally home; that is a miserable experience! But WHAT have you been ordering??? The UPS guy must know the way to your house by heart. Open them up! Take pictures!

Unknown said...

Oh no... this story reminds me exactly of a trip I took with one of my children a few years ago. We got stuck in Detroit over night.... what a nightmare!!!!! Much better to be stuck in Atlanta! :)

Glad you finally made it home.

KBeau said...

I do like Southwest, but sometimes they don't fly to where I am going. When we returned from our trip to France on Delta, we missed our connecting flight from JFK to Atlanta because of weather at JFK. When we finally arrived in Atlanta, we had missed our flight to Birmingham, which was the last one for the night. Even though the delay was weather related, Delta gave us $40 off our room and have sent us a voucher for $100 off another flight.

Justine said...

OmG, what a misery! I would have been whining and complaining and probably crying too! AJ is such a trooper!

But OMG, Christine, what the HELL have you been ordering that you came home to that many packages? I think you've got a problem and need an intervention.

Justine :o )

Lynn said...

You should have thrown a fit.
I had such a good fit in San Francisco the United gave $1000 to shut up!
New Mac!!!!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Wow, Christine, what a trip!!

Allidink said...

Flying is sooo sketchy. You never know when something awful like that can happen! Wow! Sorry :(

All the best,

Tara said...

What a huge pain in the A**! I bet you have never been so glad to be home in your life! I hope your next trip goes much more smoothly. Sounds like your travel partner was a little angel. Welcome home!

Terry said...

Howdy Christine
I am so happy that this portion of your life had a happy ending.
oh my goodness what a time !
Blessings to you sweet lady.
May you enjoy home life for awhile .It is only a little bit of a mess at home and it will organize so think postitive thoughts :)
Blessings to you and yours.
Happy Trails

lvroftiques said...

Well girlfriend you handled it with much better cheer than I would have! And what a good traveling companion AJ is!! AMAZING!! I was feeling tired hungry and grumpy just reading your story lol! But it does crack me up that you managed to keep on bloggin' through the whole poopy ordeal. You've got stamina girl!!Lol! Love Vanna

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Your airline/airport traveling adventure could really qualify to be on "Believe it or Not!"

Wow! Thank goodness you are back at home! And your hotel did look amazing.

And I am sure you had lots of fun opening your Christmas :o)

Get some rest :o)

Christie Hines said...

Oh girl...what an ordeal! I feel so sorry for you... and I am pure exhausted from just reading what all you had to go through to get back home...I can only imagine how you all felt. Thank goodness you are back home. Now, I bet I can guess what you are up to today. I bet you are resting and relaxing by that gorgeous pool! Am I right!?
Hope you have a great day sweetie!
Big Hugs,

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

OMG! Christine, that was a nightmare! I am so glad that you and AJ FINALLY made it back home. It wears me out to just think about all you went through. And since I'm reading these posts backwards, I also know that you stayed up until 6:00 in the morning when you did get home and that you are having guests for lunch and swimming tomorrow! I am exausted just reading about all of it!! laurie

Anonymous said...

what a nightmare and running out of gas in man made.NOT------GODS dare them!!!!!!!!!!thats discusting.bless your sweet,sweet hearts.i am so sorry you all had to go thru all that.tell aj you are the prettiest hobos i have ever seen....ann

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