August 1st, 2004

books

traveling travesty

This last long weekend I was in Dallas for the RWA annual national conference. And if I say, boy, what a rotten trip, it will be as big an understatement as saying that those last couple episodes of food poisoning were mildly annoying.

The flight out....

I got to the airport to find out that my 2:12pm flight now appeared to be delayed until 5:30pm. That's right, it was actually still in Dallas. I attempted to get on standby for the next flight in the schedule, a 4:15. Standing in line I was treated to one of those lovely human beings who cannot conceive of their own lack of importance in the universe. He was apparently en route to a Arizona via Dallas and was going to, of course, miss his connection. You would think from his blustering that this was some sort of personal affront. And then he was all but physically abusive to the poor woman in the airport uniform who wandered by the line. She was nothing but polite and professional, if somewhat firm. "I'm sorry sir. We're doing the best we can to reroute everyone. Everyone is in the same situation. We're working to take care of it." This was obviously not what he wanted to hear, nor how he wanted to be treated. After she all but fled, he took out his cellphone and proceeded to call everyone he knew and tell them how rude and obnoxious the staff of the airport was being. I wanted to kick him. Hard. Especially after I figured out he was just flying there to receive some dumb academic award. Okay, maybe it wasn't a dumb award - for all I know it was the coolest award in his field, but he was such a jerk I just didn't care. The lovely punchline to this story? I didn't get on the earlier flight and the obnoxious man did. Sometimes, life just isn't fair. So, instead, I ended up on my original flight, which took off at around 5:40 or so and landed in Dallas a little over 3 hours later. By the time I got the shuttle to the airport, and checked in, and got to my room it was 10:30 Dallas-time (which was 11:30 for me). Since I'd originally left my house just around noon, it had taken me almost 12 hours to travel door to door. I was exhausted. Beyond miserable. And to top it all off I had missed the Kiss of Death party AKA Death by Chocolate - usually one of the best of the convention and famous for its lovely desserts. I ordered crappy overpriced room service (though we'd been switched from an afternoon flight to an evening flight, the airline could only still be bothered to give us a bag of pretzels and Bradley Airport isn't known for the availability and diversity of food). My day had completely sucked.

Can you imagine how I felt when I was packing this morning and flicked through tv stations while having a cup of tea only to run across a story on CNN that said that apparently every flight in every city of the airline I was using was delayed up to 2 hours due to a computer glitch earlier that morning which had grounded everything?

And that's all I wrote on the plane before my laptop battery finked out. But I am home again, at least. I'm sure other people can come up with worse travel stories than mine. I think, however, tomorrow is going to need to be necessarily a low stress day.
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