Sunday, July 6, 2008

I'm home; my luggage is still on holiday

My boss walked into my office on Thursday afternoon and said, "Are you running away from home?" It was a logical assumption considering the giant green suitcase by my desk (J has renamed the day-glo color"Random Bag Check Green.") Yep, I packed up Wednesday, left work at 5:30 on Thursday and headed to the airport for a depressingly short trip back home. Since then, my RBC Green suitcase and I have parted ways.

This is not going to be another slam like the one on Delta recently. Delta still sucks, but Northwest Air (or, NWA as the kids say) turned out to be my favorite of my four recent airline trips, despite the fact that my suitcase is still travelling the globe. (If you're keeping score that would be #1: NWA, #2: United, #3: American Airlines, and #1,024: Delta.)

Because nothing can ever go smoothly for me, here's how this trip worked out:
I booked the cheapest flight I could find which included 2 layovers on the return trip. Moline to Detroit, Detroit to Newark, Newark to DC. I made it to Detroit without incident, but the Newark flight was delayed an hour. Fearing a reprise of the Delta situation, I asked a representative for help and was told, "Your connecting flight leaves at 5:05 and we're due in at 4:35. 30 minutes is a legal connection time." I expected to spend the night in Newark tonight. Luckily, the flight was delayed again and the arrival time was 5:07, 2 minutes after my next flight leaves. I don't know the rules, but surely -2 minutes would be an "illegal" connection time. She conveniently disappeared, so I called the 1-800 number.

The lady at the 800# was very nice, and after I spent a few minutes on hold, she had me booked on a flight directly to DC, boarding in the next 20 minutes. That was awesome! Because of the layovers I wasn't due in until 6:30, this got me home 3 hours early. Of course, my suitcase didn't get the memo and was sent on its way to miss the connecting flight.

When my Detroit-to-DC flight landed and there was no suitcase, I was told that it was headed to Newark but they'd send it on the next flight to DC, then they'll deliver it to my apartment. Then she gave me some paperwork that had coupons for $25 off my next flight, 1,000 bonus miles, and $10 off from an airport vendor. (you had me at $25 off!)

As it turns out, my connecting flight is now delayed and isn't due in until 8:46 pm. Thanks to good timing and NWA's customer service, I made it home at 3:35. If I hadn't made the phone call, I would have my luggage but would still be in the air right now. Plus, I'd have to carry it home on the Metro instead of having it delivered. So, let's recap - I'm home 3 hours early, my luggage will be delivered, I'll save some $$ on my next flight, and I made it home before it started to rain an hour ago. Not a bad deal for having to wait a few hours for my dirty clothes.

It was a weird experience altogether. In Detroit I walked by a woman whose carry-on was meowing. (Can you really carry on a kitten or is TSA screening really inadequate?) On the flight from Detroit, there was about 5-10 minutes that were so turbulent, my Pepsi can almost jumped off the tray and into my neighbor's lap. If I hadn't been wearing a seatbelt, it would've been me in his lap. It was a crazy bumpy ride. I've never had an experience like that before. Well, I take that back, I had a similar experience in my brother's boat when it was windy outside and the waves were tossing us around. It would've been kind of fun had I not been sitting directly in front of a screaming infant. (Common courtesy, people - if you bring an infant on a plane, you have to bring enough pairs of earplugs for every other passenger on the flight!)

So why have I written all about the flight instead of my trip home? My flight is much less depressing. I still had some things to take care of at my apartment, so I shelled out $385 for a flight home so I could see my friends and clean up so I can get my $500 deposit back. I spent most of the weekend cleaning instead of hanging out w/friends. I arrived Thursday night just before midnight and had scheduled carpet cleaners at 8:30 Friday morning. Stayed up all night cleaning & vacuuming, slept all day, woke up late in the afternoon and cleaned the kitchen and bathroom all night. If I had stayed in DC, I could've been watching fireworks over the Capitol. I chose poorly.

It wasn't all bad. I had breakfast w/Keisha, Tom & the kids; my dad showed up and took Jenna and I to Amana & Williamsburg; I got to see Angie and J and Pops; and even though I didn't get to meet Anthony's new lady-friend, I did get to have ice cream with him. Plus, I spent $20 on products that would cost me $50 out here, changed my watch battery for $5.00 and found two pairs of work pants at Kohl's for $10.00. That helped curb some of the anxiety of the high cost of living out here. I just wish I could've spent more time w/all the people I miss. It felt wrong to be ignoring them to try to get my security deposit back. Lame. I will definitely have to make up for lost time in September - wherever the Brewfest ends up being held, my friends and I will be there!!

Update: As of 8:00 EST, the flight status on the Newark to DC flight is "Departed Gate 2 hours 19 minutes late, taxiing to runway (Departed Gate - takeoff delayed due to taxiing time)" Wow, I'm home in my jammies and my luggage is driving aimlessly around a runway. New ETA: 9:12 pm. Did I mention I made it back by 3:35?

1 comment:

Jenna said...

Sorry for the bad traveling experience, but I did have fun! Looking forward to Brewfest!