We finally made it to Louisville, after a rather stressful 24 hours of travel. Generally speaking, I like to travel, but yesterday was enough to make me want to stay home for a long time. It started with an early-morning phone call letting me know that my flight from Orange County to Chicago was cancelled. Jodie and I had carefully orchestrated our flights to meet in Chicago so that we could fly into Louisville together. But the airline rebooked me flying through Dallas, and getting into Louisville several hours after Jodie. I spent the morning making frantic phone calls, and finally convinced an agent to let me fly into Chicago from LAX. I finally got off the phone at 9:30 and needed to be at LA by 11:00. My babysitter was set to come at 10:30, and LAX is an hour from my home with NO TRAFFIC. Also, I was still in my pj’s and not finished packing, since I thought I would have a leisurely morning flying out of Orange County. Luckily, my sitter was able to come early and save the day, and she drove Jafta and I to the airport without a minute to spare. This pretty much set the tone for the entire day.
We arrived in Chicago to news that our next flight was cancelled, and for the next hour I was basically hopping from agent to agent at American Airlines trying unsuccessfully to get someone to help me. The first agent told me that all flights to Louisville were booked for three days out. Then I was told to use the rebooking phone. They told me the Lousiville flight was still on. Then I went to an agent counter and was told I had to go back to the phone, that they could not rebook in person. Back to the phone, again told I could hang in Chicago until Friday and that it was weather-related so it wasn’t their fault. (Yet somehow other flights were leaving. FOR LOUSIVILLE). Finally I spoke with an agent who was willing to check on other airlines, but when I asked, she acted like I asked her if she would pop a pimple on my back. Then I asked about hotel accommodations, and she said I had to go back to an agent. It was like customer service pinball. The first agent I talked to said we should sleep in the airport (in plain view of my child). I found another agent who huffily gave me a coupon for a hotel discount, but she said she was doubtful they had openings.
Meanwhile, Jafta, who stayed up until 2am and then woke up at 6am because he was so freaking excited to see his cousin, began to lose his ever-loving mind just a bit. He was not at all happy hearing people repeatedly refuse to help me, and might have been a little freaked out at how confrontive I had to get in order to get someone to help me beyond explaining the best sleeping spots in the airport.
Finally, we found Jodie. Somehow, Jodie had been able to get an agent to book her a new ticket AND give her a free night in a hotel. So, listen, American Airlines. If you are going to treat people like crap, at least be consistent about it. Otherwise it makes your agents look like even bigger subjective and lazy jerks.
Anyways, the boys were reunited and suddenly Jafta was happy again. We hopped on a bus full of other lucky people who were either sad enough or pushy enough to get one of the coveted “distressed passenger” hotel vouchers. I would say distress was an understatement at this point, knowing that we had to hop back on that bus at 4:30am in order to make our early flight.
We set our alarms (to 2:30am Pacific time) and caught a tiny bit of sleep before finally flying to Louisville, and then we checked into our hotel and showered and then booked it to the conference. We are all dragging, but we are happy to be here.