Taking the good with the bad

July 24, 2005

As some of you know, one of my best friends got married on Saturday and because I was in the wedding I headed back to Florida last Thursday for the rehearsal and whatnot. The wedding and the weekend in general were wonderful. I had a great time, met a lot of really neat people, and got to catch up with some friends I hadn't seen in years. The wedding went off without a hitch and the rehearsal dinner and reception were a lot of fun.

So, overall, the trip was great, but getting to and from Florida was anything but.

On Thursday, the alarm on my mobile phone decided that it wanted to get me off on the right foot by refusing to sound. I missed my 6:40AM flight. I was livid, not only because I just missed my flight, but because I don't think I've ever missed anything in my life (of any import) or even been late for that matter. I called Expedia, through whom I booked my NorthWest flight, and they told me that everything to Orlando from San Jose was full (of course). I then had them look at flights out of San Francisco. They had one seat on a 12:30PM flight for a little more than $500, which was more than my initial round-trip ticket. It was my only option. I was at the airport by 8AM (friend had to be back in San Jose for work) and I waited there for 4+ hours until we started boarding. I had a layover in Minneapolis where we sat on the tarmac for over an hour because the beverage people were running behind. And what did we get for this delay? Perhaps a free alcoholic drink or a "snack box?" Nothing. Nothing but a "we're sorry about the delay, but now that the beverages have been loaded we can leave." Thank god, because without my half can of Mountain Dew I might have complained about arriving in Orlando on time. As it turned out, I didn''t get into Orlando until after midnight and by the time I rented a car and drove to my dad's house it was approaching 2AM.

Knowing that the fun couldn't possibly be over, I was all kinds of excited to see what the flight back had in store for me.

My flight was supposed to leave at 1:28PM. I got to the airport around noon after returning my rental car and shuttling to OIA. As I approached the automated ticket kiosk I was apprehended by a NorthWest agent and asked if I was on the flight that was to connect in Minneapolis. I said I was and she proceeded to tell me that the flight had been cancelled because "the plane just leaked 400 gallons of gas onto the tarmac." She then pointed me to the end of a line that practically reached California and said that I would be helped "soon." Two and a half hours later it was my turn to bitch about the situation and make it known that I could have walked to California aleady had I not been made to wait in the line. I handed the guy my ID and waited patiently while he pretended to type a novel at 200 words per minute. Almost a full five minutes later he said, "I'm sorry, but there is nothing available for San Jose today." I said "of course there's not" and then turned around and asked the remaining line if anyone was suprised that there were no other flights available to Silicon Valley today; while a rhetorical question I got quite a few "NOs" and a lot of negative head-shaking. I had the agent try San Francisco and Oakland as well. Nothing. The earliest he could get me back to San Jose was 7:30PM... the next day. It was my only option. After taking that flight, I shuttled back over to the car rental place, rented another car, and then drove the hour back to my dad's place.

Anyone want to bet that I don't actually get back to San Jose tomorrow?

I thought typing all of this out would help to squelch my anger and frustration, but I'm afraid it hasn't helped at all.

As you were.

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