Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Long Long Day

Our trip out west started at 3am when we all awakened to dress and finish packing last minute toiletries and head to the airport in Columbus which is about one and half hours away.  Our flight was to leave at 8am and we arrived at the airport around 6am to be told at the check in desk to be sure to use the bathroom as 2 out of the 3 bathrooms were not in operation.  To make a long story short the flight ended up getting cancelled at 9am for this very reason.  The Captain did not feel one bathroom was enough for 150 people on a four hour flight.  What got me is they knew this since 6am and maintenance was not called till 8am!  So then of course 150 people had to be helped find alternative flights.  Fortunately I was 2nd in line and and we were booked on an American flight to Dallas at 4pm with a connection to Reno.  Unfortunately this made for a long long day at the Columbus Airport.
When we headed to the gate around 2pm we found that flight delayed which would result in us missing our connection to Reno.  So back to US Air where after about an hour they finalized arrangements to place us on a Delta flight to Los Angeles and an Alaskan Airlines flight to Reno at 10pm.  Then we were sent to the Delta counter to get tickets where they told us we would probably not make that connection either because the Delta flight was delayed. 

After listening to Delta and US Air argue whose responsibility we were and US Air trying to get us to stay the night in Columbus we opted to take the Delta flight in hopes of making the connnection and at least making it to California.  So we finally departed around 6:30pm that evening heading to LAX airport.

We arrived early one hour before our next flight so thought we were in good shape.  Our first clue should have been just missing the last shuttle across the airport to the Alaskan gate so instead we had to go back out security and run for 20 minutes to the next terminal to get our tickets issued.  We arrived and they said we were too late to check in (30 minutes before departure) and they refused to issue us tickets.  After talking to 2 supervisors we headed back to US Air who put us on an United flight to Reno which would get us there at 11:30pm which was great as the rental car company closed at twelve.  So off we went to United to get tickets and head to the gate.  Arriving at the gate we found out that flight was delayed and not getting in till 1:30am.  We couldn't believe it.  Dan called the rental car company and fortunately they said they would stay open till we arrived as we still had a two hour road trip to get to our final destination.

Finally we made it arriving to Reno at 1:30am (4:30am Dayton time) and headed to the US Air office to claim our bags which  had been sent on by a US Air supervisor at Columbus with the foresight to see they never would have made it with all the changes in airlines. 

We found our baggage and could see it through the glass window but the door was locked.  Nobody including the airport manager had a key to US Air's office.  After all that we made the decision to stay in Reno for fear we might not get our baggage for a couple of days since we would be two hours away.

Ryan said,  "I feel so defeated."  We had been so determined and tried so hard to get to our friend's lake house and now would be a day late.  Oh well the most important thing was we arrived safely but this was one airplane trip I don't think any of us will ever forget.  Off to the hotel airport to get some sleep after being up for 27 hours.

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