Why, oh why is travel so challenging?

I must be a sadist at heart – or else why would I book another trip just a week after flying back from Korea? I mean – isn’t 25 hours of travel enough? It took me 3 days to recover from jet lag. Who needs more of this stuff? Well – apparently – I do.

Months ago my 2 sisters and I had agreed that it had been way too long since we’d had a decent conversation with each other. get-together with kids and husbands around were fun – but opportunities to actually talk – non-existent. So despite the conjunction with my trip back from Korea – we’d planned an “I’m not yet 65” birthday sisters weekend – in Lake Lure, N.C. This meant I’d fly to Columbia, S.C. on Wednesday, see my sister’s newly redesigned kitchen, then we’d drive the 2 hours to Lake Lure. Sounds great.

Bonus – when I go to check in on-line – I’m offered a $49 upgrade to business class! Winner. Amazing. Sure – I’ll take it.

So it’s Wednesday night – and here I am – at the Montreal airport – booked on a United flight thru Washington, D.C. I eat a lousy dinner at the airport – something billed as meat lasagna – but tasting more like cheap tomato sauce with meat waved in its directions and I join the suspiciously large crowd around gate C82.

Hmm – the sign doesn’t say Washington, D.C. yet – is says Cleveland.

But like most well laid plans, the weather angels decided it was a no go. Cancelled flights here, there and everywhere – just because of some rain and severe thunderstorms lasting 6 hours in a 250 mile swatch running across most of the midwest. Honestly. Is plane travel so retarded that they can’t land in a little rain? Maybe it was the cross winds. Whatever – no plane, no go. So sorry.

Options – I fly to Dulles, spend the night on my own dime (if I can find a hotel room – with canceled flights all over – likelihood not good), and fly on in the morning from there. Or – I go home, spend the night in my own bed – and just start over again on Thursday.

I opt for my own bed. Bad news – the guy who rebooked me doesn’t do it right – I lose my paid for status as ‘business class’ –

So now it’s Thursday. And with better weather, planes are at least taking off on time. I’ll manage to get where I want to go some time today.

Being a optomist at heart – I’m willing to forgive United the boo-boo – particularly because when I get to Chicago (mid-point of flight – nothing from Montreal goes direct to anywhere I want to go) – I discover what really bad looks like.

Chicago is a mess. No seriously – a mess. On Wednesday flights got canceled and delayed – and when they re-route, reschedule you because of weather – they have a lovely little pre-printed brochure that effectively says no food, no lodging, no refunds! I ran into a wonderful family of 4 that had finished a fab holiday in Spain, including a cruise, and were just trying to get home. They’d arrived in Chicago at 7:30 pm on Wednesday – I ran into them at around 10:00 am on Thursday – and it didn’t look good. They’d been re-booked onto a flight that got canceled early this morning – been standby (and clearly not made it) on two more flights – and were now officially giving up. They got an absolute booking for a flight on Friday – and were on their way to a hotel to sleep.

There are literally people everywhere – some just sitting and looking sad – some actually asleep. The stand-by lists to just about everywhere are filled – and I’m guessing that they can’t just bring in a larger plane – or 2 – or 3.

This is truly sad. On the positive side, a gentleman just got up to give his seat in this overcrowded waiting area to an older couple. Nice.

And just to make sure I’m awake – another guy just announced that there are severe thunderstorms forecast in my destination city.

If nothing goes wrong – it’s not much of an Adventure, is it?

Signing off – and hoping the plane flies…. The Soup Lady

3 thoughts on “Why, oh why is travel so challenging?

  1. Hmmm… Have you heard about the landmark case where now airlines need to pay damages to anyone stranded longer than, like, 48 hours. Might be only in Europe though. Hahahha, I can see from this why the airlines were so terrified about setting that kind of precedent!

    • And the other day Cathy says she read about people on a airplane that pulled away from the gate – and sate for 4 hours – no AC, no water, no getting up to go to the bathroom. They sang songs – “I believe I can Fly” and “We gotta get out of this place”. Apparently there’s a youtube on this! Check it out.

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