Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Recent events and travel nightmares.....

Warning this post is long.......

First off, i've been travelling on and off to Toledo, Ohio to visit hubby for the weekend(he is working there for the last six months), on some occassions my son was with me but most of the trips i was alone. Nothing really colorful i can write about the suburb name Holland. We were greeted by a horrible blizzard during our first trip last March, too scared that i swear i will never live there even if i were given a house lol. Coming from a tropical island like me it was nerve breaking enough as i watch my husband drive slowly into the slippery ice highway. What a first experience to remember ha? Anyhow, we arrived an hour late than expected to the company house safe and chilled. You can tell, i'm not really a big fan of winter and snow. They said Lake Erie and the zoo is the main attraction, entrance located in between toledo and detroit but the lake is too big that it runs all the way to ontario,canada . We have such a short weekend trip all the time that we didn't even think about going there at all.

I am a Northwest airlines frequent flyer to detroit whenever i come visit and i make sure it's a direct flight. I got lucky since detroit is their main hub and and there are more than two direct flights a day from San Antonio. I choose detroit to avoid connecting flight to toledo since Richard's office is just 45mins. drive from detroit airport. Besides, I have no patience when it comes to long and horror stories of connecting flights. Unfortunately, one of my trips there last july(on a short notice) had me fly to atlanta first then detroit with AirTran airlines. Departed on time from SA but arrived an hour late in Atlanta due to thunderstorm, the pilot had to divert to Alabama for refueling coz we didn't have enough to stay on air while waiting for landing clearance. So i missed my flight even after the pilot assured us that mostly all connecting flight are delayed too in their departure for the same reason, so i was positive enough that i will make it to the next one. It made me upset that the plane left almost an hour earlier when i arrived, false hopes as it turned out to be. My original flight to detroit was scheduled at 4:30pm(friday), i was given an 11pm departure confirmed seat as my next iterenary. There was one at 8pm but they put me on standby because it was fully booked. There i was, sitting on the floor of a busy airport hoping that i will make it to 8pm sched but at no luck my name didn't get called. Off to detroit passed 11pm and arrived there at 1;30am(saturday)it didn't end there yet, we have to drive to toledo as my final destination lol. Alright, i admit it was my first bad experience and i was upset, i moved on and savor the day(one day and half) left with hubby.

Came sunday, i headed back to detroit for my 7pm flight to Atlanta. Got there on time so i was feeling very optomistic that this one is a hassle free trip. Arrived in atlanta very early for my next flight going home to San Antonio that i even managed to eat dinner across the boarding gate, then an announcement came that my flight time of 9:30 is a bit delayed. So i said "no big deal", coz i'm already here there's no way for me to miss it right? I checked the gate to make sure it's the same gate since i noticed airtran changes gate every two minutes during my stay there last friday. As soon as the new orleans flight departed we will board you shortly, as the service lady informed me. 10pm had gone by and still didn't hear the boarding alert until i saw the monitor changed to maryland, i told the guy sitting next to me(also bound for SA), what happened to SA flight? it got lost. He checked the gate and what do you know, they already had left four minutes ago. WTF??? how did i/we missed it. We were sitting across the gate and we missed it? how possible is that? didn't hear any paging for boarding and last boarding, didn't even callled our names? i was furious that i actually was cursing in anger. I could not recall one moment in my life being that upset, and trembling. Both of us cannot be defecient in hearing. Nobody can help us at the gate, so they directed us of course to the customer service that has 50 passengers in line at 10:20 in the evening that has the same if not exact problem as ours.

That was the last flight maam and the earliest flight we can get you in confirmed is 1:30pm the next day(monday) is what the guy told me. I can put you standby for 10am if you want. I'm like whatever then. I explained what happened with a mean tone of voice, next to me was the guy who missed it too. He gave me a discounted hotel room that i endep up paying most of it and a toothbrush. I was about to cry while richard is consoling me over the phone. We discuss options for me to get home that night but it will cost me more money and still i have to stay for a night somewhere since it was too late and there is no other airlines that will fly to SA direct. No choice but to take the hotel room since it wasn't an early flight the next day to hang out at the airport. Nothing with me but my purse that has make up on it. My baggage was on the way home before it's exhausted owner that night lol. How ridiculous is that?

Checked-in pass midnight, called my coworker in the laboratory and left a note to my boss that i will miss work tomorrow, called grandpa asking him to sleep in again tonight with matthew. Set the AC down to 60 degrees as i was burning hot in anger. I'm not a person that calms down easily, 4am then 5am i am still awake and sweating under the comforter. What is going on? can't help it eventhough i tried. Then at 7:30 i decided to go to the airport and take my chances with the 10am standby. What's the point of staying in bed if i could not even sleep. Washed my hair and totally freshened up, you won't even notice that i was wearing the same clothes lol.

Finally a sign of good luck, my name was called from the standby list. So relieved that i didn't have to wait 4 more hours to depart that bloody airport. I was the only one out of 10 that were on standby from last nights mess. I went looking for them but they were not around. I guess they rather sleep and make the hotel stay worth their money. Certainly not me, i was so anxious to get home and be with my son.

It sounded like i'm over reacting, but come to think of it, this was my first terrible experience, first time with this airlines, i didn't feel like flying that weekend in the first place , and the attitude of the airtran employees in atlanta is the worst ever. Unacceptable. None of them are courteous and polite to help me out. I have never encountered such unprofessional behavior in all my travels until now. And it didn't happen once, it happened twice on one trip and during those times none of them were nice enough. Never again will i fly with airtran airlines and if i can avoid atlanta airport i will do so tremendously.

Sadly after the nightmare, i told hubby that i'm not flying to toledo anymore to see him. Especially now that we don't have a babysitter and i definitely will not take matthew on any trips by myself if it's just for two days. It's more convenient if he fly to SA to spend time with us coz he only got himself to carry. I love and miss him so much but it's rather smart to stay home with matthew. And after what had happened to me in atlanta, no more connecting flight going to detroit. I don't care how cheap their tickets are.

Next post is a fun one, i promise.


3 Responses to "Recent events and travel nightmares....."
  1. geri said...
    7:16 PM

    Van, I can imagine all that frustration building up. I can't believe the incompetence of the AirTran personnel. Well hopefully soon Richard will be home for good and that travelling chapter in your will be behind you soon.

  2. Kim said...
    9:36 AM

    wow that is definitely a nightmare vanz, good thing mattie is not with you mas lalo kang ma stress noon.

  3. Opal said...
    3:18 PM

    Good for people to know.


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