Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Travel woes

Friday afternoon, heading into a 2:30 meeting in Manhattan, my cell phone rang. “This is American, your flight’s been cancelled.” I had assumed this would happen, the weather in NYC on Friday was a mess: strong winds, driving sleet and snow, overall just ugly conditions. “OK, what do you have that’s later?” “Sunday, 9pm.”

Wow. (And I’m Platinum on Amerian Airlines, so the fact that they couldn’t get me on anything sooner was saying something.)

I ended up spending the night with friends in Brooklyn, and made the best of a bad situation by going to Blue Ribbon Sushi (who knew they had a Brooklyn location?) for dinner. I got to see their daughter (now 7 months old) and it was fun to catch up. American still couldn’t accommodate me on Saturday, and there was no way I was sticking Robin with the kids for the entire weekend, so I tried to get creative. The solution? Amtrak to Baltimore, and a 2:30pm flight on Southwest to Midway. Micraculously, it worked. I got home in time to spend a little bit of time with the kids, and Robin and I still had our night out.

I felt OK about getting home, until I saw the news Sunday night that US Airways had more than 100,000 passengers who were still stranded. Wow. I can’t imagine being delayed more than 48 hours without certainty as to when I’d actually be getting home. The announcements on the intercom at BWI on Saturday were enough to send people into murderous rages:

“If you were booked on a US Airways flight on Friday which was cancelled and you live nearby, go home. Call a US Airways reservation specialist to help in rebooking your flight – the counter agents cannot help you here.” Similar announcements were made for Southwest.

I’m still not quite sure how I was able to buy a ticket on Friday afternoon for Saturday – but I wasn’t complaining.

1 comment:

  1. Like we both already know, train travel is the way to go. Too bad the vistas get pretty ugly in and out of cities (garbage, grafitti, desolation, etc.) Still, nothing beats a train on schedule when all flights are cancelled.