Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Never Again - Christmas Travel

I am in Washington with my family for Christmas. It's so nice to be with everyone (except Kevin and Lena and Isak, and fetus that has put mommy on bedrest so they couldn't be here - we all miss you).

Oh, but getting here. Getting here has given both Jaren and I migrains. His worse than mine :)

We got to Idaho Falls to fly out at 1 p.m. early and sat and waited... waited... found out our plane was delayed 20 minutes.

Okay, that's not too bad. We have an hour layover in Salt Lake, now we have a 40 minute one, we'll still make our flight.

So we wait, wait, 1:20 comes and goes, now the flight is delayed till 1:50

I start to panick a little, we might miss our flight. We go check with the lady at the counter and our flight to Tri Cities is delayed 40 minutes.

Few! We'll still make it.

So we wait.. wait... 1:50 comes and the plane barely arrives. It takes 30 minutes to get people out, feuled up, lugage unloaded and loaded, then us loaded. By the time we get into the plane I'm quite worried. I tell Jaren he had better be ready to sprint and cut people off.

We land, we are out after everyone else infront of us which drove me crazy. As soon as we get off the ramp I take off. I was a good 15 feet infront of Jaren, we get to our gate to see that our flight is delayed till 4:30.

Oh! Well... that's okay. Just means Lindsey (my sister) will have to wait in Tri Cities a little longer to pick us up.

At this time it's just after 3:00 p.m. and I'm hungry so we walk up, get $9 sandwiches (ouch) and eat. Then go back downstairs to wait. We are sitting by the smoking room, they were the only two seats available in the entire terminal. We sit, I read, Jaren looks at the screen and the time has changed. Our flight has been delayed, again, till 5:30.

Blah! It's 4:00 right now. Better call Linds and tell her it's off another hour.

So I do. She's okay with it because it gives her more time to shop at the mall there. But there were so many people in that room that it was really starting to smell. And I don't do well with smoke, so we decide to go for a walk. We get up, and walk for a while just around the airport to different terminals. It's 4:50 now and we decide to sit at these chairs just by the stairs that lead down to our terminal. We are sitting infront of a flight schedule screen and are watching. We get up about 10-15 minutes later, so just after 5 to go down to board our plane or see if it's delayed again. We go down the stairs and look at the flight board. Our flight is GONE.

From the 45 seconds it took us to leave the chairs and get downstairs and look at the other flight screen they have taken the flight OFF. So I feel my stomach clench and we run to the gate.

NO ONE is there. Half the room is empty when an hour before it was PACKED. No worker at the gate. But there is one at the gate next to it.

Mind you, I am FREAKING OUT. Seriously panicking. I don't care that there is a line. I ask her, "WHERE IS THAT FLIGHT????" "WHERE IS IT?!" "It was supposed to leave at 5:30!!!!!"

She tells me that she doesn't know, but if I went to the service desk they could tell me. I think I remember mumbling something not so nice to the lady (I mean... she didn't deserve it, but who else was I going to yell at?!)

We run, again, to the service desk. There's a line of about 15-20 people waiting. I could care less. I walk up to the edge, ask the people who were being helped if I can ask this lady a question, they say yes (because I'm sure I looked wild and ferocious). So, I turn on the lady, "Where is flight 4720?!" "It was supposed to leave at 5:30 - no one is there! Is the plane out there? Can they hold it? Can i just run out there and flag it down?"

I really did ask these questions.

She typed in the flight number and said, "No, they flew out at 5:06"

"WHAT?!!!" Panicking, panicking... freaking out. what?! calm down... no... i can't, we missed our flight, WE MISSED OUR FLIGHT!!!!!!!!!!

She makes a phone call and I hear this, "We have another one. No. Look, something went wrong here. No, hey, I'm not pointing fingers but we have a problem."

She tells me that she will help me as soon as she takes care of the people that she was currently helping. I say ok and stand there. Sure, everyone in line looked like, if the air port allowed guns they would pull them out and bust a cap in our heads. I did not care. Not one bit. I was so worked up.

Then, the family that was also being helped next to the ladies that let us in tells us that they are also trying to get to Pasco. They have been in Salt Lake, for two days. And the only flight they can get on is on Christmas day.

Two days. Christmas. Two days. Christmas. No.... no... no no no no NO! We can't leave until CRHISTMAS?!

So, I can't help it. With like, 30 people shooting daggers into us, I start crying. I'm sure everyone thinks I'm being dramatic. but NO. I CANNOT miss this Christmas! Esepecailly the Christmas Eve party at my Grandma's that happens every year. My Grandma is very very sick and I HAVE to be there! So.. I cry and try to stop. But I can't. I think I set off some water works because the girl that was being helped right next to me starts crying and is saying, "My babies, my babies, I need to see my babies!" When 30 seconds ago she was fine. The helper lady splits up the mom and daughter to get the daughter to Arizona tonight. The mom will come on Christmas, she just wants to get her daughter to her babies.

Then the helper lady says, "Okay, I can help you now." So we start to step up to the counter and the guy that was next in line walks up infront of us and the helper lady says, "No, sir, they were waiting." He is MAD. Looks so mad and annoyed and backs up and glares at us. I didn't look.. I didn't look at the line, I knew they all wanted to throw us out to get run over by a plane. Did I care that I cutted? NO. We just got hosed by Delta. I don't care.

She brings up flights. Christmas night is when we can get into Pasco... no.... There's nothing going to Spokane. She asks if we want to split up. One of us could get to Pasco tonight and one of us would have to wait till Christmas. I look at Jaren and there's no way. No way we could be split up. So we say no. I wish that we could just share a seat. I mean the flight is just an hour and 50 minutes, it wouldn't be too bad. Stupid saftey regulations.

Then Jaren asks about Seattle. Seattle was closed the day before but has been taking flights all day now. She says there are two seats to seattle tonight, we would get in at 8:45. I grab my phone, call my mom, tell her that someone needs to get to seattle (3 hours away) to get us. She calls my dad, arrangments are made, and we are on that flight. Unfortunatly the only seats available are first class. Oh man, that's too bad. I guess i'll take those complimentary tickets. That was the only thing I was excited about.

1st class... never been in first class before.... hmmm....... they have big seats. that will be nice.

We take the tickets, go to the gate and sit there and wait for 2 1/2 hours. Neither of us gets more than 20 feet from that gate. We have learned our lesson.

About an hour before our flight was supposed to take off Jaren got nervous and wanted to make sure that the tickets we had were not standby, that they, were in fact, real tickets for real seats - just for us.

He goes to the desk and asks the lady. This is their conversation
Jaren: I just wanted to make sure these are not standby tickets.
Lady: (looks at the tickets) Nope, these are real tickets.
(loos at them a little further)
Lady: wait, your not supposed to have these
Jaren: (with a huge knot in his stomache and blood boiling) Be that as it may, we HAVE them and we are going to Seattle tonight.
Lady: (still looking at the tickets) Sky west was not supposed to do this. They do not have authority to do this. (getting worked up)
Jaren: They did because you guys screwed us
Lady: Hey, a lot of people today here are getting screwed.
Jaren: No, not like this. They had the time our flight was going to leave, then left without announcing it or changing the time on the board. So we missed it.
Lady: (softening up) Oh.... okay. Here you go (hands him the tickets)
Jaren: Thank you.
And then walks away

That was a close call! I know I would have died. DIED if we couldn't have gotten on that flight. I mean, our bags were alrady on their way to Pasco. Lindsey picked them up, thank heavens.

So we get on the plane - it's delayed 30 minutes. It's okay. Were on it, I don't care. Everyone get's on - there are NO open seats. We had to get someone to move to another seat so Jaren and I could sit by each other. She was nice and didn't mind.

Then a couple comes on and says, "these guys are in our seats" Pointing to the first row in first class. The stuardess (sp?) looks at their tickets (which were just little reciepts) and at the peoples tickets who were already sitting there. They have big tickets and the seats, go to them cause they have the more real tickets? I think the reciept people just had standby reciepts. So the girl says, "there are NO seats on this plane???" Looking sad and mad. The stuardess says, no. The girl says, "we have been here since 5 this morning!" and then leaves.

Me? I am so so so sosososososososo grateful to be sitting in those seats. That we still got to where we wanted to be in the same day. We are SO LUCKY.

We fly into Seattle - the view is beautiful. I wish I had my camera, I would take picutres, it was so clear, breath taking. I hoped that I would fly into Seattle sometime again at night and sit on the right side of the plane.

My dad picked us up. We got home at 2 in the morning. I'm exhausted it's 3a.m. my time and I slept horribly the night before. Vicki and Stephanie and Nathan and my mom and dad are all up and gathered around us talking to us and are glad we are there. I still don't care that I cutted in line. Do I feel bad? A little.. but really, we got hosed.

I got 5 hours of sleep last night and I don't care. I'm home. I'm with my family. I get to go to the family party tonight. Jaren and I are together. I am happy and grateful and full of thanks and still feel so so lucky and blessed to have gotten on that flight.

Jaren has an upset stomache from all of the events yesterday - I have a huge headache and I just don't care. I'm home!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day today and tomorrow. Remember why we really celebrate Christmas. Christ is the reason that we can all return home someday. I'm full of thanks and happy feelings.

Merry Christmas!
and if it was any of you or your relatives i cut off in line, sorry. the lady told me to stay :)


Jay @halftime lessons said...

Sorry to hear about your trip, safely, and Merry Christmas!!


The Boob Nazi said...

Wait, I'm still confused, how did you miss your flight?

Life as Ashley said...

Oh the drama! Glad you finally made it, and glad you had such a great travel partner with you. Could you have imagined doing all that on your own?

When I was reading the first part of the story where you get off the plane and take off ahead of Jaren (and where you prep him before hand that he's going to need to sprint and cutoff people), all I could picture is you drawing your "plan of attack" for getting us good seats in the movie theater. :) You must have been the runner in this case too, right?

Love you! Merry Christmas!

Abra said...

Awwww, I was crying after I read this.
Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

The Boyce's said...

Wow, that does not sound like a fun day of travel, but I'm glad you made it home and you're with the fam! I wish we could be there, but we're enjoying ourselves here! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Jillene said...

WHAT AN ORDEAL!! I am glad that you are there and are both safe!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

b. said...

Merry Christmas, Whit!

Michelle said...

I wish I was in WA. I hear they have quite a bit of snow there this year. Have a very Merry Christmas.

Tatton & Kirsten said...

girl! I know that knot-tying feeling in your stomach! That happened to me and Tate when we were flying to the east coast! We missed the flight that >ahem< took off early...sickest feeling in the world...glad you got home safe!!!

Kristina P. said...

Wow, you weren't joking when you said it was crazy! We had a very uneventful day at the airport, and we didn't die. Yay!

Merry Christmas, Whitney!

hello, my name is amber. said...

LOL! you weren't kidding when you said that was long! :) i read the whole thing and now i need a zanax! holy freak. glad you made it safely, and i hope you have a great christmas!

Wendyburd1 said...

Whoa, that sounds like a nightmare of a time in airplane Hell!! I am so glad you made it home in time, I can't believe they took off without saying anything! Delta not only should have gotten you home, you should write a complaint and get vouchers for all the trouble! Seriously, it works, when my Dad gets angry!

Teresa said...

I was getting a stomach ache just from reading your story! This story is just like a bad nightmare I had once. I'm glad you made it to your family in one piece! Merry Christmas.

Kayleigh said...

Holy crap. You poor soul. I've never been in an airport during a holiday, and I hope that I never have to be. It sounds like an absolute blood bath.

the letter Bee said...

Oh wow. I hope you had a good Christmas after that ordeal.

Kate, Mike and Ellie said...

What a nightmare!! ahh! My sister and her autistic son flew from Tampa, FL to Atlanta and found out that their flight had been cancelled going to Grand Rapids because of blizzard conditions. Thank goodness they got a flight BACK to Tampa and flew out to Grand Rapids two days later [Christmas day] so they could be with my family!

I have decided that I will not travel during Christmas anymore [or until global warming has taken care of all the snow]!

Mary said...

Glad you were able to get where you needed to be!! I have never braved the airlines during scares me...and I guess it should!