August 03, 2003

Why I'm Not At My Children's Birthday Party

I'm writing these words from an Internet Cafe at Detroit Metro airport. It's almost 1 PM, Eastern Daylight Time, and I'm supposed to be home. Actually, I was supposed to be home about twelve hours ago. Thus begins the saga.

Friday night we had thunderstorms. Serious thunderstorms. Detroit Metro was closed, and I heard one of the TSA security people say that eight flights were cancelled. There are two completely separate terminals, and I wouldn't be surprised if the total was higher than that. Fast forward to Saturday afternoon, when I arrived at the airport in preparation for a 5 PM flight. There were still masses of people in the check-in lines for American Airlines and other carriers; the America West line was mercifully (ha!) empty. As I was travelling America West, I got through easily.

At 4:30, they were supposed to start boarding. They didn't.

At 5:10, they announced that there would be a delay.

At 5:30, they told us that the plane's lavatories were out, and that there would be a lengthy delay; our connecting flights would be rebooked automatically.

At 6:00, they told us they'd have more news at 6:30.

Between 7:30 and 8:00 (!) they finally told us that the flight was cancelled. As I had checked baggage I was out of luck; I had to hang around.

At 8:00 or a little after, they announced that they'd be finding us hotels for the night. I got in line.

Around 10:30 or 10:45 (!) I finally got to the head of line, rebooked my flight, and got a hotel voucher. I went downstairs, got my suitcase, and called the hotel for a shuttle.

At 11:30PM I stepped into my room at the airport Quality Inn. Thank the Good Lord! It was, surprisingly, a nicer room than I'd spent the past week in. I ordered a pizza (I'd not really eaten since lunchtime), called Jane, ate the pizza, read for a few minutes, went to sleep. I got the best night's sleep I'd had all week.

And now I'm waiting for a 5:30 PM flight on North West airlines from Detroit to Los Angeles, arriving at 7:12 PM (PDT) at LAX, instead of at Burbank, where I'd originally been scheduled to arrive.

James and Anne will be celebrating their 4th and 2nd birthdays with their friends this afternoon. I will not be there.

Damn it.

Posted by Will Duquette at August 3, 2003 10:05 AM

Ian said:

Wow, I must have passed my bad weekend karma on to you. Sorry. :(