Saturday, June 27, 2009

How NOT to spend a Friday evening

I haven't been home in nearly two years (since Frenchy made his first visit there, in August 2007) and I haven't been there at the same time as my parents AND my sister in over three years. Shocking but true.

So I've been pretty psyched about the prospect of a weekend at home in the sunshine with my parents and Nicole, and also to get some much-needed wedding planning in. So tonight I went to the airport in order to take a 7:30 flight to San Diego. I left at 5pm, sat in traffic for an hour and a half, and barely made it to JFK by 6:30, in time for check in.

But I shouldn't have worried. By the time I got there, the flight had already been delayed to 8:30. And then, within a few minutes, to 9pm. So I settled in for a long wait - a supposed severe thunderstorm hadn't even shown up yet - and decided to treat myself to a beer. A big beer.
And the next time I checked the departures screen, my flight was leaving at 10pm. So I signed up for an hour's worth of wifi, and did my best to entertain myself. The next announcement I heard told us that our plane had landed finally and was just waiting for the gate to open up and the passengers to unload.

The minutes ticked by. People got more and more annoyed. And another announcement told us our gate had changed. So we all packed up and rushed across the airport terminal. Only to learn that the plane hadn't landed at all, and was still circling over JFK. I felt sorry for the people on the plane... they'd been on a 7-hour trip from Chicago, complete with an unplanned stop in Virginia. At least I was in airport with beer and wifi.

Except that the restaurants and newsstands had all closed. And my wifi connection was no good at the other end of the terminal.

When our flight was delayed until 11:15pm I started to think the worst. You see, San Diego airport has a noise curfew, and thus planes can't land after 2am. Planes that are already en route can, but not planes that haven't even taken off in time to arrive. The thunderstorm had long come and gone and, admittedly, it was impressive. Dozens of flights had been cancelled. And yet we were delayed again, until 12:15am, with a scheduled touchdown in San Diego at 3am.

And around that time, the pilot announced that the flight would be cancelled because the crew would have been on the clock for over 24 hours by the time we'd land. Whoops, time to run again. This time to the Delta ticketing counter, where we were unfortunately the last mob of people to have had a flight cancelled. Meaning nothing was left.

I have an 8am appointment at our wedding location and a 10am dentist appointment. Not to mention a cake appointment, plans to see two bands, and of course the whole hanging out with the family thing. And MEXICAN FOOD! I want Mexican food!

Ugh. So I waited in line, sat on hold on the phone, no luck. Nothing that would've gotten me to San Diego for longer than 24 hours. And as crazy as I might be, I'm not THAT crazy. Fortunately, that's when my dad stepped in. My dad of a gazillion frequent flier miles. Next thing you know, I have a flight at 6am out of Laguardia, stopping in Chicago, getting me to San Diego by 11:30 in the morning. And with upgrades to first class, no less!

And nearly nine hours after leaving my apartment, here I am again. And I'll sleep 2 hours and then try again. Fingers crossed this time...

1 comment:

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