Thursday, August 11, 2005

Travel Delays (Part II)

Well, that was interesting!

The flight actually left about 14:20. The person behind the check-in desk when I got to the front of the queue was apparently tired of giving the same answer repeatedly. "Go to O'Hare, you'll either make your connection or British Airways will book you the next flight from Chicago to your destination. There is nothing we can do for you on this end." With checked luggage, they cannot change your routing on an international flight.

Makes sense, I guess.

So, we left. As we were taxing, I overheard the flight staff make comment that there were very few BA planes behind us in the Queue for takeoff. It was true. I didn't see any. The reason for this was made plain shortly after take-off. The pilot mentioned to us (while giving his little talk about the number of miles per hour we'd be flying at the altitude, etc.) that the reason for our delayed departure from Heathrow was a labor dispute at the catering company that British Airways uses out of Heathrow. We were, apparently the last flight to leave Heathrow with meals on-board.

We had a relatively smooth flight and it was a good day for flying. I read my second book that I had brought with me and watched a movie. When we landed at Chicago, I had half an hour to clear customs, claim my luggage and make my original connection. It wasn't going to happen!

The flight staff told all of us with connections to see the gate agent at the top of the jet way. She was there, trying to placate an irate passenger who was ahead of me when I approached. It did not bode well that I was there on her board with my name misspelled and a big yellow highlight marking over the date 11-August. And I was right. There were no additional flights yesterday.

It took me over an hour and a half just to get my luggage, so my day ended here, in Chicago, Illinois last night. They made me surrender my baggage (as it was checked baggage) before going to the hotel that the put me up in last night. So, although I had a chance to shower, sleep in a bed, and have a fresh start this morning, I had to travel back to the airport this morning what I left the Lion Gate wearing yesterday.

So, hear I sit. I am tired (I didn’t sleep well, the hotel was right under an active runway), I am ready for this trip to be over, I want to see Saga. I just want to be home!

I guess I will pack-up, head to the Starbucks, get a coffee and read my book while waiting for the plane.

I hope your day is going well!

Don Bergquist - 11-August-2oo5 - O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois

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