Thursday, April 06, 2006

my worst travel experience in a long time!

I guess it probably makes the top 3 of bad travel experiences I've had.

I already went in to the details of swing dance night and I mentioned I had to leave the next day to go to Denver. I was heading out there for the week for a big convention for work. My flight was supposed to leave DFW around 12:15 and I was supposed to get in to Denver about 2:15, Denver time. well this trip was just bad from the start! Weather was bad in Dallas with miserable rain and cold in the morning but we were still supposed to be able to take off on time. We boarded, headed out to the runway, and found we had to wait a while for our turn to take off. While out there, we had a medical emergency and had to go back to the gate to let the person off the plane for medical attention.

Of course that meant we lost our place in line and had to start all over again. Then we found while on our second waiting that Denver weather was pretty bad and we may have to fly in a different route. While waiting, the flight attendants gave out glasses of water to everyone who wanted one since it had already been about two hours since we were supposed to take off. Then, we had a SECOND medical emergency and had to head back to the gate to let the person off the plane. I've never been on a plane where there was a medical emergency before and it figures my first time we'd have two of them!

So we head back to the gate, release the sick passenger, had the water supplies replenished since we finished it all up, and had to refuel since we got word we were flying by a different route to Denver. About this time, storms got REALLY bad in Dallas with microbursts and everything so all flights were grounded till the storms let up.

Finally after all this we got to take off. I forget what time it was now, but It was either 5:30 or 6:30, several hours after we were supposed to have landed in Denver! When the flight finally took off, the entire body of passengers started cheering and clapping, myself included.

So you think that's it? That it got better after that? NOPE!

We finally got to Denver about 830 or so I think it was and I go to collect my luggage. guess what, one of my bags is missing! So I go to file a claim and am told to wait a little longer since their records show it did make it off the plane so it was there somewhere. they set to wait 10 more minutes. I waited 15 and still no bag. Fortunately, it was just my tote bag, so I at least had my clothing. I go and they let me file the claim this time.

Then I'm off to catch a shuttle since I didn't get a rental. And what do I find But the shuttle is sold out and has been for two or three hours! So I asked for an alternative and what do they tell me? "Oh just go outside and wait, some other shuttles will show up at some point." WTF?!? Fortunately I get out there and there is a guy with a shuttle and he has ONE seat left, so I snag it and the 45 minute drive to the hotel starts. Finally got to the hotel about 9:00 Denver time, called home to let Mom and Dad know I finally made it. (I had called them from the plane in Dallas to tell them what was going on.)

I unpacked what I could and by this point am SOOO hungry since all I had had to eat since 10:30 in the morning was a granola bar they gave me on the plane. So I called room service and finally got to eat dinner about 11:00 at night. I was so exhausted and worn out and stressed over all this that Monday morning I went over to the convention long enough to register, then came back to the hotel to take a nap for a few hours. Went back to the conference around noon or so on Monday. The real bulk of it wasn't to start till Tuesday anyhow, which I didn't realize when I made my flight arrangements initially.

And this rounds out the top three worst travel experiences of my life. ;-) The other two? ~~ Arriving in Rome Italy at the beginning of a 10 day trip to find my suitcase wasn't there. I had to wear the same clothes for three days until my luggage caught up with is!
~~ Flying to Chicago for a three hour meeting which turned into an 18 hour day due to bad weather, cancelled flights and then some which caused some of the folks to never even make the meeting.

Now I'm almost caught up on activities to talk about in here. I only owe a rundown of Phantom of the Opera last weekend. :-)



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