In Transit

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It’s a good thing there is no punishment for not posting the Daily Prompt post on the day the Daily prompt is released!  I realise the objective is to encourage people to post daily but life keeps getting in my way so I will be a little pick-and-choosey and running late when it comes to them.   This one is the  In Transit  prompt.

I’m the stressed-out zombie armed with a spreadsheet sitting as close as possible to the service desk, at my departure gate, so I can eavesdrop on what’s going on with my flight.  Why isn’t my plane already at the gate?  Will I make a connection?  Do I have time to go to the toilet (again) before we board?  What happens if….

The other day the manservant and I flew from Washington DC  to Denver.  Via Dallas.  Yes, there absolutely are direct flights.  And I wish we were on one.  Why weren’t we?  Well, we  *I*   fly on frequent flyer miles…..

So, we turned up at Washington-Dulles at a compromised time –  I would be at an airport 3 hours before a flight; the manservant is comfortable with the absolute minimum allowance.  As we wait in line to check-in we hear over & over “I’m sorry, you’re not going to make your connection…..”   so we were prepared when the agent said the same to us.  The plane doing a round trip DC-Dallas had apparently not left Dallas yet.  We absolutely had to be in Denver Friday morning so the agent found an early, very early, morning flight Dallas-Denver and we checked in to our delayed flight to Dallas.  Our bags were checked to Denver and we were given boarding passes for that Friday morning flight.   It was a little unnerving knowing that we were not going to be picking up bags in Dallas – I was pretty sure my bag was going to go missing – or just be waiting in DC for my return a few days later. I only travel with a change of tee-shirt & knickers in my backpack and didn’t have time to pull anything else out of my checked bag.

While we waited for our (very) delayed flight we had dinner – oh, United gave us vouchers for our dinner.  $12 each!    Not enough for a fancy feast but it covered half of what we had at some sit-down place.  And, while we were eating, I booked a Dallas airport hotel for the night  – which was really only going to be about a quarter of a night. At full price.

Upon arrival in Dallas we went to the taxi rank and asked to be taken to the Westin Dallas Fort Worth just down the road. Before we’d shut the doors the driver said “that will be $25” ….  I thought the manservant was going to have a stroke!  Apparently they have a minimum fare which I’d have gladly paid – hell, it was midnight and I wanted a bed so badly I’d have paid $50 to get there!  But the manservant was already out on the footpath looking for an alternative.  A young couple stepped forward and said “we’re going to the same hotel, would you like to share a cab?”   Absolutely!  As we rode in the taxi pleasantries were exchanged and it was discovered they’d been on the same delayed flight as us, they were going to Denver, they live close to my workplace, and the young man has a degree in Physics (and the manservant is an Astro-Physicist).

As we stepped up to the check-in counter, the young lady said “wouldn’t it be funny if we had rooms next to each other”  …. no, that would’ve been weird!

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12 responses

  1. Is have been too afraid to leave the airport! I had a very long delay once and they simply wouldn’t issue is hotel vouchers (early 90s, KLM in Europe). They’d offer coffee, then a meal, then coffee, then a meal. It lasted 24hrs! Many gave up but I had only that week of holiday, so I hung in there with about 30 others. Rough–and not just the waiting. We had further problems down the line.

  2. I don’t blame you for booking a hotel to spend a quarter of a night. When I missed my connecting flight from O’Hare in Chicago to Minneapolis (my departing flight out of San Francisco had been delayed by dense fog), American Airlines offered a half-off voucher for a hotel room at the Airport Hyatt, which would have cost each passenger $80. I was broke, so I told the attendant I’d rather just spend the night in the waiting area. Worst idea ever! There was an electronic recording on the PA system that droned on all night about not leaving our bags unattended in the airport; then the cleaning staff went through with a monster vacuum cleaner. To add insult to injury, these two women sat down on the benches adjacent to where I was trying to sleep, and they yakked so loud and for so long, I finally picked my groggy self up and found another bench to sleep on. I was the first to get on the plane the following morning—at least one thing went right—but after watching the sun rise over Chicago, I fell into another restless sleep all the way to Minneapolis. I swore after that, no more connecting flights. I’d fly direct from then on, even if it meant having to pay through the nose.

    • Yeah, I think sleeping in an airport is a really crappy experience. I once landed early morning in LA from Australia, and my connecting flight to DC wasn’t until 2 or 3pm. After 14 hours of flying I was exhausted but I still didn’t get any real sleep while I waited. All those announcements about “unattended bags” are really annoying – and in LA they do them in English and then in Spanish. I think we’ve passed the age when that might seem like part of the adventure…. 🙂

  3. Sometimes I wonder why anyone is willing to fly anywhere–the hassles are so incredible. But, then, one flight will go fine and I’ll marvel at being across the country or ocean in a few hours and I’ll keep going back on the planes!

    • I agree and I’ve been very lucky with my flights. I’ve been flying to new places since 1976 (Australia to England then) and have had relatively few bad experiences. I think the worst was missing a flight in Hawaii because I misunderstood the date and arrived at the airport a day late LOL. (the flights from Hawaii to Australia are around midnight). Much harder to get on another flight when the fault is your own.

  4. We’ve flown to Flinders Island twice on an 8 seater, that’s fun. Certainly not much security, more weight restrictions because of the small plane. I have been searched before in India, and that wasn’t pleasant….

    • Yeah, I don’t think I’d like to be searched!
      I’d love to see Flinders Island. We flew to Moloka’i on an 8 seater from Kona (Big Island) and they weighed us!! We were then seated accordingly to balance the plane and our “hand” baggage was put in the wings. One male passenger had to choose his wife or his golf clubs; he took his clubs! I was in the tail as I was the lightest – it was a little scary!

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