Sunday, February 19, 2006

It's Fun to Travel - Final Part (I promise!)

Okay, I've drug this out enough. This last part is not even all that exciting. But here goes...

So we get a foot of snow overnight Saturday in Virginia. We are diligently checking the United flight schedule online. No change. Still scheduled to leave on-time at 8:30am. Either they don't update their site or they are unconcerned with the weather. At this point, after calculating how early we would have to get up to make an 8:30am flight (after snowy drive to airport, rental car return, checking bags, etc.), I was actually rooting for a delay. To no avail. At 5:30am on Sunday, things still showed "on-time".

So we packed up and went out to the rental car. Which was covered in a foot of snow! Doh! We forgot to allow time to scrape the car off. This took a while! As we headed out onto the roads to the airport, we noticed hardly another car in sight. As we got closer to the airport, there was a bit more traffic, but it was extremely light.

We got to the airport, expecting to see a delay. No delay! I was starting to get very impressed with Dulles Airport...that they could look a foot of snow in the face and say, "no problemo". We checked in and went to our gate. Once at our gate, there was a slight delay. Our plane was coming in from New York, who had gotten two feet of snow. This made sense, and it was only a twenty minute delay. No problemo. We had time to grab some greasy McDonald's breakfast.

After our plane arrived, there was a slight problem. They had shoveled snow up against the jetway and could not move it. And the airplane could not get close enough to dock with the jetway. They moved us down a gate.

Then another problem. I don't remember what it was this time...maybe the baggage dudes couldn't get the carts out to the plane. Something like that. They decided to move us to another terminal. At least we are still progressing towards getting on the plane. No problemo.

We grabed our carry-ons and strolled over to the other terminal. Here we were told that another gate change was needed. We moved several gates down and actually were able to get on the plane. We had to walk down stairs onto the tarmack and walk to the plane, but hey, no problemo! We had a plane and we were on it. It was about 9:30am at this point.

Then we waited darn near an hour for the de-icing crew to come and spray us down. We gladly waited, though, as this was a more safety-oriented delay. We took to the air around 11:00am, to some cheers and clapping from the passengers. We were on our way!

Unforunately, our baggage wasn't. Once we all got back to KC, the normally-bored-on-a-Sunday-morning baggage claim lady was met with an entire plane of passengers missing their checked baggage. We got in line, filled out the requisite form and were told that someone "would call us". We racked our brains thinking of what we needed for work the next day that was in our bags. We came up with 1)contact solution and 2)mascara. Both easily replaceable with a trip to the drugstore. No worries. But I felt sorry for the business folks that were arriving in KC for work meetings. Most the travelers that Sunday were wearing jeans and tennis shoes or boots, and had checked their suits and skirts. These were the folks that were most up in arms about the delay. I tried to put myself in their situation. I was painful. They were probably looking at a shopping trip in a foreign city on short notice. Ugh.

Our baggage finally showed up on our doorstep Monday night. It was nice to have it show up one day late, as we didn't feel the "push" to unpack and do laundry Sunday night. We couldn't! Not that I want to lose my baggage ever again, but it was a nice break.

So that's my trip report. I'm back into the daily grind now. I actually matched two numbers on the Powerball drawing yesterday. This nets me absolutely zero. But that's my excitement for today. Yawn.

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