Sunday, February 19, 2012

Adventures In Travel

Yesterday was a very long day and today may prove to be another.  I awoke at 3:30 yesterday with my mind racing.  I jumped out of bed and my body raced until 9:30 when we left for the airport. 

My plane left Tegucigalpa late and I knew I had a tight connection in Houston.  I arrived in Houston 20 minutes behind.  Thankfully, the customs line was short and I breezed through.  Rechecked my bags, rode the train, and got to my connecting gate with time to spare.  The Amarillo flight was one of few that was still on time.  We boarded on time and the cabin door was shut.  But we didn't leave.  The maintenance people were servicing the plane.  That only took a few minutes.  And we still didn't leave.  In those few minutes a fast moving fog had rolled into Amarillo leaving 1/4 mile visibility.  We deboarded.  All Amarillo flights were cancelled.  There were weather related problems all over the country causing delays and cancellations.  The customer service lines were not short and the customer service agents were few.  One thing I have learned is "it is what it is."  Not everyone has learned that.  There were some really angry people and some were not very kind to the customer service agents.  I waited in line for over two hours.  I visited with a man and his wife from Amarillo.  They work for Cal Farley's Boy Ranch. 

If one treats the customer service agent kindly, one can expect to receive the same treatment.  That certainly worked for me last night.  The man tried every way to help but all flights to Amarillo were already full until Tuesday.  Hotels are not comped when it is weather related.  The man gave me a coupon for a discount at a hotel and told me to call while he worked on my ticket.  Both of us were on the phone for over 15 minutes.  Getting to Amarillo on Tuesday was not, is not, an option for me.  I am flying to Oklahoma City this morning and driving to Amarillo.

You can't retrieve your luggage when flights are cancelled.  I was told my luggage would go where I go.  We will see in about three hours, won't we.

I waited over an hour for the shuttle to the hotel.  And, yes, it was a discounted rate, for which I am very grateful.  I was not the only person whose flight was cancelled or delayed staying at the Red Roof Inn.  Another line and another delay.  Most of the people in that line were laughing about the circumstances.  Many, like myself, had not eaten.  Some people were walking to the nearby restaurants to get a sandwich or something.  They also were quickly returning empty-handed because the restaurants were closed.  I had no intention of walking around Houston by myself at night for food or any other reason.  I was thinking vending machine.  By the time, I got to the room, I was thinking hot bath, only to find no bath tub, only a shower.  The internet at the hotel was down due to the weather.

Exhausted, I fell into bed and got six good hours of sleep.  Amazing, how just a little sleep gives you a whole new outlook.  But, I was really, really hungry.  I had a good fresh sweet roll and got back on the shuttle.  I now sit in the Houston airport.  I hope to be in Oklahoma City by 11:30 and on my way to Amarillo.

My mom is better.  I appreciate all those prayers.  Let's just keep praying.


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