Thursday, November 19, 2015

The road to Atlanta is paved with . . . delays!

Well, I finally got into Warsaw, coming via South Bend airport. But my luggage went to Fort Wayne! I'll have to pick it up tomorrow on my way through to Atlanta.

For those of you just joining us, I am on my way to the annual AAR/SBL meeting in Atlanta. I'm going via Warsaw, IN, because I'm picking up a van full of Eisenbrauns books for the show. I started this morning (well, actually yesterday now) at 7:00 AM from Grand Marais, MN. I drove to Duluth through rain, and as I got near the Duluth airport, the fog got extremely thick. Not good, I thought. My flight might get delayed.

Well, it was delayed, but not because of fog in Duluth, but because of wind in Chicago. The plane I was supposed to board was still grounded at O'Hare! It finally arrived around 2:00 and it looked like we might get a fast track for me to catch my connecting flight to Fort Wayne. Nope. We sat on the tarmac for an hour before they sent us back to the terminal. Then it looked like we might not get out at all. Just about the time I was weighing my options—drive home and try again Thursday, drive to Indiana, or just stay in Duluth—they said that Chicago had cleared them to come on down. So, we loaded up the plane and headed south. This was about 5:00. We got into O'Hare around 6:30 and deplaned. I headed to the customer service counter, hoping to catch the last flight into Fort Wayne, but it was already much for that! Maybe I'd be spending the night in Chicago.

They asked if I had an alternate destination. I said, South Bend. It's about an hour from Warsaw, about the same as Fort Wayne. There was a flight leaving in 20 minutes and there was one seat left. I took it and headed to the gate. I got to the gate just in time for them to announce that there was a mechanical problem on the plane and they were switching planes. We should be leaving around 7:30. And then around 8:00. And then around 8:15. We finally left at about 9:00, which is actually 10:00 South Bend time. We landed in South Bend at 11:00.

Dan (the business manager at Eisenbrauns) had driven up to get me. As I was landing, I got a text message from the airline saying that my baggage had missed my flight and I needed to talk to a customer service rep. Fine, except there was no one there. They were unloading the cargo, running a short staff in the evening. He finally made it to the customer service counter around 11:45. Sure enough, my baggage was on another flight—it was waiting for me in Fort Wayne!

So, we headed toward Warsaw. We got in around 1:00, but Dan needed to show me how to run all the point-of-sale computers. And then we loaded it all into the truck and here I am, almost 2:00 AM and I'm hitting the road for Atlanta in the morning, with a detour through Fort Wayne, where hopefully my baggage awaits me! And then on to Atlanta!

Isn't travel fun? : )

No comments: