Airline fun

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Posted by w0ep on September 10, 2018 at 8:10 pm

[Today’s run: 3.4 miles (Watson Road)]

I had another quick trip out to Colorado at the end of last week.  The boss wanted me to be there for the installation of some new equipment.  I flew out of GTR on Wednesday.  We did our work on Thursday and Friday.

I had set aside Saturday in case work overflowed, but it didn’t.  Saturday morning I ran the Coyote Ridge trail which goes up into the foothills between Ft. Collins and Loveland.  I ate lunch with Daughter and Son-In-Law.  Then I took a short drive up the Poudre Canyon.

Sunday was a travel day.  I got up early and got myself down to the Denver airport.  The flight from Denver to Atlanta was redirected to Huntsville, AL for refueling due to a weather problem over Atlanta.  By the time we landed in Atlanta my flight to GTR had left without me.

There are only three flights to GTR a day, all from Atlanta.  I was scrambling with lots of other people to try to get my schedule rearranged.  I called on a courtesy phone and the lady said I was now set for the evening (last) flight.  Later I tried to print a boarding pass but the kiosk thing wouldn’t do it so I waited in a line and spoke to a woman who printed my pass.  It said “standby”  which was not encouraging.  But she told me to go and wait.

So I waited for that flight for a few hours.  People slowly converged.  Eventually the gate attendant lady said the flight was overbooked and she started asking for volunteers to take $500 and then $600 to bump to the next day.  I thought, this doesn’t look too good for Mr Standby.  I spoke to her.  No, I was not eligible for  the $600.  Not only that, but there were no empty seats on the next day’s flights.  I could not get a seat until Tuesday. (I wonder if the people taking her $500 knew that!)  She said I should talk to a customer service person.  So I found another courtesy phone.  This time the lady gave me the straight scoop:  no way I was going to get to GTR by plane in a reasonable amount of time. But she could get me to Birmingham.  So I took that.

While I was waiting a few more hours for the Birmingham flight, my wife found a hotel for me with Expedia.

I eventually did get to Birmingham and the hotel shuttle picked me up.  The hotel was an “older property”  but the bed was OK and I got a good night’s sleep.  The internet didn’t work and the breakfast buffet was $7.95, so I skipped it.

This morning I called the official corporate travel agency and they were not much help.  Back to the wife and her Expedia:  she fixed me up with a rental car.  I summoned an Uber driver who quickly arrived and took me to the rental car place where I acquired the car and drove home.  Instead of 3:30 PM I finally made it home around 10 AM, and glad to get there.

This is not the first time I’ve had a problem getting  home to GTR.  Flying out is great, the place is only a few miles away.  But the limited return options can be a real bummer.

Looking back, I wish the first of the four Delta employees I spoke to would have looked at the stacked up demand for the GTR flights and given me straight information.  I could have gotten a rental car in Atlanta soon after I arrived and been home Sunday evening instead of sitting in the airport for another 7 hours (and another overnight).

Later we took the rental car to GTR to return it to the rental agency.  So I did get to visit GTR today.

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2 Comments

  • On September 10, 2018 at 9:43 pm Jonathan Howard said

    Between that and flat tires you are learning the virtues of patience. Whether you want to or not.

    • On September 11, 2018 at 7:08 am w0ep said

      That is so true!

      A few weeks ago I was sitting in a lawn chair watching chipmunks, doing nothing, and I felt relaxed. I then had to do nothing in an airport for a few hours and found it frustrating.

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