Up In The Air

Boy, what a debacle this week has been:

  • Boss walks into my office at 1:30 PM. "I know you're busy, but can you travel to Akron Ohio?"
  • "When?"
  • "Today."
  • "Today? They're two hours ahead of us. That means I need to be on a plane, like, now..."
  • "True..."
  • I'm in Layton at this point, so I race home, pack a bag, and haul to the airport. I get all the way to the TSA check in when I realize that I don't have my wallet. So, I run back out to the parking garage and somehow, amazingly make the flight.
  • My flight from Atlanta to Akron leaves at 8:30 AM. I get to work around lunchtime in Akron, and spend my day working in a freezing cold aircraft hangar.
  • There are basically no flights back home, so I'm booked on a 6:30 AM flight Friday morning, but the folks I'm working with want me to come back in Friday, which I decided I should probably do.
  • Another day in the freezing hangar. I was supposed to fly home early that Morning, so the secretary does her best to get me rescheduled to leave that night. Well, the east cost is buried in snow, and the travel system is a total mess across the board. The best they can do is to move my flight to Saturday morning.
  • I wake up in a panic at 5:50 AM, 30 minutes before my flight. Luckily, I checked in the night before, and I make it to the airport with enough time, I hope, to make the flight. Except there's one problem. Atlanta was "buried" in three inches of snow, and both flights to Atlanta that day were canceled. I get my rental car back, get my hotel room back, and spend most of the day catching up on the sleep I missed.

  • Not wanting a repeat of yesterday's near miss, I wake up at 4:50 (ungh!) I get to the airport promptly at 5:40. (I remember, I checked.) I get to the check in kiosk, and it won't let me check-in. WTH? I look at my itinerary, and I realize, with total dread and disbelief, that the Sunday flight leaves 16 minutes earlier than the Saturday flight had been scheduled to leave that day before. Of course, if I had checked in earlier, that wouldn't have been a problem -- one thing, though, the agent who rebooked me the day before had told me check in with him in person. Bah, if only I hadn't listened.
  • Well, I try to make a gamble. I have a copy of Saturday's boarding pass. I figure that if I can get through security somehow, they might still be boarding (It's 5:55 now.) Well, in what is surely a sign of the competence of TSA, my boarding pass from the previous day totally gets me through somehow. I get to the gate, but just like the ticket counter, NO ONE IS THERE. (What airline is this?) After about 10 minutes, someone finally wanders by. I milk my situation for all it's worth, and they get me rebooked, With only one extra stop now.
So, there you go, a total mess. Some of it caused by the airline, some of it because of the weather, and some of it, my own fault (though I still really think that airlines need to list the check-in time on the itinerary instead of the flight time - especially if no one is at the gate.)

Hopefully I'll be home sometime today. Happy Valentine's Day all!