Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I swear, we DO know how to catch a plane

For the second time ON TWO CONSECUTIVE TRIPS Aaron and I managed to miss a flight. The differences being that this time:

1) We didn't have our luggage
2) We also didn't have our kids
3) It wasn't our fault
4)We actually got vouchers from the airline for hotel & food
5) Aaron had already taken an extra day off after our trip
6) I had an emotional meltdown

Let me also add that the missed flight was the ONLY United flight on our itinerary that left on time. And it was the last flight into Fargo for the night. Our flight leaving Vegas was delayed, so we landed with about 10 minutes until our departure time. Have you been to the Denver airport? Literally, it was about a half mile between our gates. Aaron ran the whole way, but the crazy older lady with us and I weren't able to keep up. (I did beat her, though...don't think I'm THAT out of shape!)

When we got to the gate, the poor agent got the full brunt of 3 people's frustration. Especially the crazy lady's. I just started crying.

I think it was mostly because I have a really hard time adjusting my schedule in my head (I'm a little Type A - no kidding) and I'd really planned on seeing my kids that night, albeit asleep. Instead we had to take a 30 minute shuttle to a Radission that had seen better days. And we had to wear our same clothes the next day, of course.

What really burned me up is that if our flight attendant (who was talking to passengers around us about being from ND herself!) had called our connecting flight and told them we were on our way, it all could have been avoided. ONE PHONE CALL. Aaron thinks they gave away our seats, so they were full anyway. Whatever.

That lady must have really made an impression on the gate agent, cause he pulled her out of the voucher line to get her the Radission. Then, very nicely, she insisted that we go with her. She also grabbed a couple extra toiletry kits provided for us - so now I have some nice cosmetic bags!

Our flight left the next morning at 10am, and we were in Fargo at 1pm local time. We got the big welcome at the airport from the kids - Leah was practically giddy! She did tell me right away that Grandma had cut her sandwiches into little triangles instead of BIG ones. Important stuff first.

Lesson learned: pack AT LEAST a pair of clean underwear in carry on. We each had a carry on, but they were filled with useless things like books and electronics. Also, the toiletry kits did not include a contact case or saline. So I'll be putting those in my quart-sized resealable bag.

Also - Vegas's airport security is a well-oiled machine. Not only did it move at a fairly good clip, but they had actually amusing security videos playing - with like, a fully armed Klingon trying to get through the metal detectors. And lots of other fictional characters, as well. Not bad! In Denver, we were left to our own amusements, which included Aaron doing a fine cow impression. And me imagining people dressed in 19th century outfits (would she still be pretty with her hair in a bun and no makeup or plucking? And a floor-length dress?)

Have a similar experience? What did you learn? (There has to be SOMETHING, right?)

1 comment:

Noel said...

Last week I started my 2008 quest for 2009 Gold Elite or higher status on Northwest. Northwest wasn't doing too well in Minneapolis Friday night...4 planes waiting at adjacent gates to be marshalled in. Then our flight to Fargo was 45 minutes late. At least the minivan started at -15 F. My theory is that with the fuel prices high last month, the airlines have skimped on ground support personnel to offset the cost.

One thing worse than missing a flight by 10 minutes is to arrive as it is pulling away from the gate :-Q Usually the person at your arrival gate (not the flight attendant) can make a meaningful call to your departure gate (Ilene was just looking over my shoulder and commenting that my elite status may have something to do with such a call being successfully made).

I've been to the "new" Denver airport once: 60 minutes from the flight gate to rental car lot exit/entrance plus expensive gas near the airport. Makes one appreciate Hector International where I can be from the door of the plane to the door of my house in 15 minutes.