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2014-04-01 11:46 PM

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Subject: I'm impressed! Travel woes
Not only did the airline lose my luggage (over 48 hrs now), I also missed a connecting flight to my regional airport and had to stay overnight in Chicago. 
Oh did I mention that these issues were not connected?  This was a two stop flight - the airline has no record of my bag arriving at the first stop. 
Better yet I was suppose to have a 4 hour layover for the flight that I missed - by less then 5 minutes.
 
Weather was not the issue a mechanical issue, then sitting on the tarmac for a hour with no explanation was.
 
I'm sure the bag will turn up, probably just took a detour to someplace.  Question - If it leaves to someplace I have never been, does that mean I've now been there by proxy??
 
Glad I have insurance on it too, thru the CC company.
 
I'm sure some of you have some better travel stories - Let's here them!
 
I know these things happen, and I feel bad for the people who have to deal with the customers who get irate.  I can understand why but getting ticked off at them isn't going to help a single thing.  I'm trying to find the humor in it.  Having those two things (albeit missing a flight is far more common, its happened to me several times) is like winning the lottery - a bad lottery .  It's why I don't check a bag.  But I was gone for 10 days and, well I don't pack light, that running gear takes up a lot of space!
 


Edited by Justin86 2014-04-01 11:47 PM


2014-04-02 7:40 AM
in reply to: Justin86

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

Things like that happen.

I traveled a lot in 2012 (15 flights, 5 international) with only one minor change of itinerary.  

2013 started off differently (I flew new year's day).  I checked a bag for my flight to SLC.  It didn't make the connection in Chicago.  Now the airline KNEW my bag didn't make the plane.  They could have come to me and told me that my bag would be delivered later, but they didn't, so I stood at the luggage carousel and waited.  My shuttle departed without me while I waited for customer service to tell me it would be on a later flight and they would deliver it.  So I had to wait another 2 hours for the next shuttle.  None of my first 4 flights in 2013 went according to plan.  

2014-04-02 7:46 AM
in reply to: McFuzz

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

missed flights and lost bags is normal.

what's not normal is your flight being re-routed due to weather and landed at an airport 200 miles away, all the passengers made to sleep in the concourse of a completely closed and empty airport save for one cleaning lady, and the crew locking themselves on the plane, until air traffic control came in a few hours later to clear us to fly home.

 

on september 11, 2006.

2014-04-02 8:27 AM
in reply to: 0

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Master
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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes
I have plenty of epic travel stories but will stick with the flight delay theme:

Once we boarded the plane (United) on time in Hong Kong, only to proceed to sit on the tarmac for nearly five hours while a series of unfortunate events unfolded--supposedly: 1. Minor problem with backup navigation system; no problem, we just need special clearance to fly anyway 2. Waiting for someone to give clearance 3. Dude shows up but doesn't give clearance because 4. Weather en route has deteriorated and now we need the backup navigation system 5. Repairing the navigation system 6. It is taking too long and now crew has been on duty longer than regulations 7. We are looking for a replacement crew 8. No crew is available so get off the plane. No food, no water offered the entire time. I was ill at the time and had to beg for water before I had an asthma attack from the dry air on the plane. They wouldn't even give me a bottle (you weren't allowed to take them on the plane in HK either), and said that if I got off the plane for medical reasons, I could not reboard and would not be compensated.

The flight was cancelled and only first and business class passengers were offered hotel rooms. We were rebooked on a flight the following morning, 24 hours after the original departure, told to spend night on floor of the airport lounge. Free food was offered but no pillows, blankets, toiletries, anything. I was with two colleagues and their two young kids. Repeated struggles to rebook on an earlier flight were fruitless until sometime that evening. I'd gone to the bathroom and left my passport with my colleagues. During that time the airline suddenly announced there were spots on a midnight flight on another airline and they were offering them to families with young kids. My colleague "accidentally" handed over my passport with her family's and got me rebooked. It then took about 3 hours of being shuttled around the airport to get our luggage transferred onto the other airline and re-do the boarding passes. We managed to get to the gate with about ten minutes to spare, at about 1 AM.

When I got to SFO, I'd missed the last flight home for the day. I complained about the situation to United there and was promptly put up in a very nice hotel; flew home the next morning. Since that day I really distrust United, but unfortunately it's by far the fastest, most direct route home. The situation in Hong Kong was the WORST customer service I've seen in any country, including China two decades ago--staff simply turning their backs to passengers and ignoring them.

On a lighter note, a "just weird" story. One time I flew home for Christmas from Beijing on United to Oregon via Vancouver, and my luggage didn't make it. When I did get it, I discovered from the tags that it had somehow taken a side trip to Amsterdam on KLM, and come back via New York!

Edited by Hot Runner 2014-04-02 8:30 AM
2014-04-02 9:16 AM
in reply to: Justin86

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

Originally posted by Justin86

Not only did the airline lose my luggage (over 48 hrs now), I also missed a connecting flight to my regional airport and had to stay overnight in Chicago. 
Oh did I mention that these issues were not connected?  This was a two stop flight - the airline has no record of my bag arriving at the first stop. 
Better yet I was suppose to have a 4 hour layover for the flight that I missed - by less then 5 minutes.
 
Weather was not the issue a mechanical issue, then sitting on the tarmac for a hour with no explanation was.
 
I'm sure the bag will turn up, probably just took a detour to someplace.  Question - If it leaves to someplace I have never been, does that mean I've now been there by proxy??
 
Glad I have insurance on it too, thru the CC company.
 
I'm sure some of you have some better travel stories - Let's here them!
 
I know these things happen, and I feel bad for the people who have to deal with the customers who get irate.  I can understand why but getting ticked off at them isn't going to help a single thing.  I'm trying to find the humor in it.  Having those two things (albeit missing a flight is far more common, its happened to me several times) is like winning the lottery - a bad lottery .  It's why I don't check a bag.  But I was gone for 10 days and, well I don't pack light, that running gear takes up a lot of space!
 

The airline will usually give you some frequent flyer miles.  I know that will make you feel much better.

2014-04-02 9:28 AM
in reply to: Justin86

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

I am consistently impressed when there is no issue on a flight, given the number of items that can go wrong.



2014-04-02 9:51 AM
in reply to: Justin86

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

I travel a lot for business, in fact I'm heading out to the airport in a few hours for the next :-)

My last trip to Malaysia had a return journey that took over 48hrs instead of the scheduled 22hrs.

Flying with KLM, I arrived at the first stop to find no customer service before security, which was handy as I needed a boarding pass to get through security, another airline contacted the KLM rep who told her to call Amsterdam for help, they suggested she hand write a boarding card for me :-)

so armed with a hand written boarding card I went to the security gate and smiled nicely at the guy who'd previously explained I could not get through without a boarding card.  the words, "no seriously, I didn't just go round the corner and write this myself" were used!

that was fun.

Once through, I was told to go to the KLM desk in the next terminal, so off I go to find the desk with a huge line waiting, I go to the business access line and there's no rep. to deal with either the long line in economy or the premier line....shocker.  after about 30 minutes the rep turns up, she's on her cell phone, talking English and clearly in the midst of a personal call, after another 10 minutes of looking at all of us and continuing her call, I had to ask her to start helping the huge line of customers, she was less than happy to help!

Manage to get the next flight from KL to Amsterdam with little time to spare, I had a transfer time of 2.5 hours, I made the flight in time for the doors to close!

Landed in Amsterdam, after a 4 hour layover, they had us all go to the gate, the gates there you have to go through security at each one individually, so we all go through, the crew boards, and we wait.  about 30 minutes after our scheduled departure time, they announce a delay. :-)  we're all asked to transfer gates as there's an issue with the plane, no problem, we all head to the new gate where there's already a plane load of people waiting for their flight to Nigeria, another 30 minutes and they're told to go to the gate we left, we're told to go through security again at the new gate they just left.  Then were told, flight cancelled, go see customer services.  the service team tell us, go back to our original gate as the flight was not cancelled or moved but just delayed slightly.  after another half hour or so the service rep actually changed the story and said "could you all come back in a couple of hours, we should know what's happening then"

Um sure!  I went straight to the lounge, as soon as I got to the business lounge they knew what was going on, both 747 jets, ours to Dulles and the flight to Nigeria had mechanical failures and were grounded, so I'm ok with not getting on either :-)

After a little relaxation and time to catch up on a couple of books I'd been meaning to read, my name was called out, they'd booked me on a flight to Minneapolis, then a connection back to DC. 

Arriving in Minneapolis.....as Sponge bob says....some time later......my bag, along with a few others who'd been enjoying the extra time in Amsterdam Airport, was nowhere to be seen.

After a short discussion with the CBP chaps about making sure I collected my bag and cleared it through customs before my connecting flight, and telling them in earnest, I'd love to if I knew where it was :-)  I was on to the next flight to DC.  which, to top off my by now 2 day journey, was delayed for an hour before boarding!!

I arrived home, 24 hours late, after already having to move my return journey back a few days, missing thanksgiving while I was at it!!

On the positive side, I was on twitter throughout and the KLM twitter guys were responding within minutes, I also got around $900 back for the cancelled flight.  The bag turned up a couple of days later.

 

 

 

 

2014-04-02 4:12 PM
in reply to: Justin86

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

The one that really comes to mind was a number of years ago, but it was a doozy. 

My family (dad, mum, brother and I) were all set to fly to Hawaii one year for Christmas with 26 other people who were all part of the same group as we were - mostly teachers and their families from the school my dad taught at.  I remember getting to the airport in record speed, and eventually getting through security only to be told at the gate that our tickets were "illegal".  Um... what?  

My dad got on the phone with the travel agency who then was in contact with the airline and then finally the people at the gate who resolutely told us over and over again that we couldn't get on the plane because our tickets were illegal.  My dad went off to find someone else to talk to and brought back some sort of supervisor who finally relented and told us that the original plane that was to make the flight broke down and all they had was a smaller plane to make the flight and so our entire group was going to be bumped off the trip.  I have no idea what happened next, but I'm guessing the supervisor caved at the thought of dealing with 26 angry people who were trying to get to Hawaii over Xmas and finally said that they would try to get us there the next day.  They also put us up in a hotel for the night, gave us dinner vouchers, and a $100 credit as well as a new flight schedule that was going to leave the next morning at 4am.

The new flight schedule went:  Vancouver, Seattle, Denver, L.A., Hawaii, Maui.  Such fun.  

If you guessed that our luggage was also lost, you'd be right!  Four days without luggage, which is the reason why I will always now travel with at least 1 change of clothes in my carry on. 

When we got back, everyone in the group stood in front of the airline counter for a picture of us all giving the international symbol of "you're number 1!"   

2014-04-02 11:07 PM
in reply to: Justin86

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Issaquah
Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes
Some of my more memorable business travel moments, both good and bad, were caused by delayed travel. Among the more memorable ones

-- Arriving in Kona from Tokyo in a wool sweater, wool pants and full length winter jacket (was Jan or so) after my flight from NRT to SFO was cancelled at the last minute and the only option offered to get home in a reasonable amount of time was to go through Kona and wait 8+ hrs for the connecting flight to SFO.

-- One scary, 2AM drive in snow, in a small way over crowded European rental car driving from Milan to Genoa Italy after being delayed in DC because of winter snow. We were the ONLY car on the freeway for that drive. Never happier to see Genoa, and get out of the mountains.

-- Spending an entire day in a crappy airport in Wuhan China because we missed a flight due to a coworker oversleeping and the next flight to anywhere we wanted to go was at like 5PM. This person overslept to the point, I was almost sure he had died. We called his room, had hotel security open the door when he wouldn't answer our knocks, and wasn't even responsive to people calling his name from <2 ft away. Wasn't until someone touched him that he woke up. This was my first trip out of the country (excluding drunken excursions to Mexico in college) ever.

-- One of the best nights I had traveling ever, was because of a delay. We were late leaving Paris for Lannion, a small town in the Brittany region of France. We arrived in Lannion well after most everything closed. We drove around aimlessly hoping to find something to eat and stopped when we saw a doorway down a street, lit up with xmas lights. Turned out the doorway was a bar which featured Spanish Tapas. The owner was working that night, and was an awesome person. He knew a bunch about the local history, his bar was full of local items like books from local authors (written in English, French and Gaelic if I remember correctly) to and was just a fun guy to be around. Easily one of the top 3 adventures I've had traveling.

2014-04-03 7:32 AM
in reply to: Justin86

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes
My wife and I were coming back home from Cozumel last year. Got to airport and the airlines entire computer system had crashed. They had no way of knowing who was supposed to be on flight, no way to print tickets, nothing. System wide crash so our plane coming from Dallas didn't even make it to Cozumel until 1730 for a 1330 flight. Same story in Dallas. 3 hours in line and had to sleep on a cot in the Dallas airport for the 2nd year in a row.
2014-04-03 7:49 AM
in reply to: TriathletePT

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

We were playing a fly in show in Lincoln Nebraska as the pit orchestra for a HIgh School theatre festival. As we left Lincoln at 6:30 am on Sunday morning, the plane would not work. At one point the pilot came on and told us he had to "reboot" the plane. Well, that plane never left the tarmac. The entire plane emptied and people were running to the ticket counter. We ended up in a tiny rental car with 5 musicians driving to Omaha to catch a flight. At one point the guitar player wants us to stop the car so he can get a picture of the corn fields. In the end, we barely made any of the flights there after and set down in Tampa after 11:00 pm.

I don't travel often, but somehow I have slept on 2 different airport floors, been rerouted through a variety of odd routes, and had Gomer Pyle working on a prop jet while we sat on the plane waiting to leave.

I stand by my earlier statement, I am amazed when it goes right.



2014-04-03 8:31 AM
in reply to: cdban66

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes
My wife lost her luggage once and never got it back. She's 6'2" and was taking 20 high school students on a trip to Spain. They all arrived but her luggage did not. Luckily her sister was one of the chaperones and she is 5'10" so they were able to share some clothes, but she had zero luck finding anything that would fit her over there, especially on the fly when they had a jam packed schedule and 20 kids to worry about. After talking to the airline forever it turns out someone grabbed her suit case by mistake but didn't notice until they got home, which was about 4 hours north of Madrid (Or Barcelona, don't remember). The woman was nice enough to call the airline but had no plans on going to the airport again any time soon and did not want to pay to mail the bags back to the airport and the airline had no interest in going to pick the bag up. Airline agreed to pay x amount per day for clothes that she purchased but they never made good on the receipts we sent in to them. She just went back to Spain last year and used a different airline.
2014-04-03 1:27 PM
in reply to: Justin86

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

A couple of months ago, I flew home from Cuba back to Vancouver on a direct flight. It was foggy in Vancouver, so we were told that we may have to circle the runway a few times to get clearance to land. However we didn't have enough fuel for that, so we needed to stop in Calgary to get more fuel. I never knew that the amount of fuel they added on takeoff was calculated so closely.

2014-04-03 2:27 PM
in reply to: Justin86

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

Here's my LONG story of my most epic travel delay trying to get to Africa:

December 18:

I left Fort Lauderdale in the afternoon, bound for JFK. All was well, until I got to JFK and was told that Amsterdam was closed to through passengers. My plane was going, but I wasn’t. Unless Amsterdam was your final destination, you were kicked off the flight! Commence tears and frantic phone calls! I had trip insurance, but with all of the planning and anticipation, I just wanted to GO! Delta could offer me a Tuesday flight out of JFK – even though I was supposed to fly on Saturday. My group was scheduled to meet on Monday and start trekking on Tuesday. My dad offered to let me come home, and they’d get me where ever I needed to go. KE Adventure said they’d set a trip cut-off for stranded travelers. Delta told me if I could get to DC, they’d fly me out on Monday.

So, I cashed in on my $18 food voucher, grabbed dinner, and booked an Amtrak train to DC… which I missed by about 5 minutes. So, there I was, waiting on the 3am train from Penn Station in NYC to Union station in DC instead of catching the 11pm train. I spent some time hanging out on the floor drinking a can of beer out of a paper bag making friends with a homeless man while we watched the drunks filter in.

December 19:

Ended up in DC. Grabbed a nap and a late brunch with friends. Megan and I headed to the airport to try to get on earlier flights. KE Adventure said that they latest they would take us would be Wednesday morning. So, with our deadline, we were set. The airport was a complete zoo, and we got nowhere. With my flights, assuming no further delays, I’d be there in time. Megan wouldn’t. We called it quits after a few hours, and I met some friends for dinner.

I was really, really happy for the hospitality offered by friends. I stayed at a good friend’s house. She made Bloody Marys  with homemade garlic-infused vodka- and I even got to shower!

December 20:

Back to IAD. I got there in time to find out that there was space on the Ethiopian Airlines flight. Megan was nowhere to be found! I tried to contact her, but she didn't answer her phone. She overslept and couldn't get to the airport in time. After negotiations with Delta, I decided to remain on my Delta/KLM flight rather than try to get a refund and purchase a new ticket. So, I lived at the airport until the KLM desk opened.

While in line waiting for the desk to open, they informed everyone that the flight was cancelled… before telling everyone they were talking about the Air France flight. Thanks for the scare! Anyway, my flight was oversold by THIRTY people. Thanks to my decision to live at the airport for the day, I was first in line. I was so nervous! When the counter finally opened, I was given BOTH boarding passes! IAD-AMS and AMS-JRO. I was GOING!

I made it in time to do the Kilimanjaro trek with the second half of the group. We missed an acclimatization day, but we all summited anyway

2014-04-03 2:39 PM
in reply to: Justin86

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Master
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Sunny Southern Cal
Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

Worst thing that comes to mind besides the typical misrouted luggage and delays was having a phone stolen by TSA shortly after they came into existence.

2014-04-03 2:41 PM
in reply to: jeng

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Master
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Sunny Southern Cal
Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

Originally posted by jeng

A couple of months ago, I flew home from Cuba back to Vancouver on a direct flight. It was foggy in Vancouver, so we were told that we may have to circle the runway a few times to get clearance to land. However we didn't have enough fuel for that, so we needed to stop in Calgary to get more fuel. I never knew that the amount of fuel they added on takeoff was calculated so closely.

Had that happen on the way to France.  Ended up at an airport in England for several hours while we added some fuel.  I think it can be an issue if there's a chance that the plane may end up in a long hold near the destination airport, esp. after a flight that's close to the plane's range.



2014-04-03 6:49 PM
in reply to: 0

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Master
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Eugene, Oregon
Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes
And on to trains......

I was on an overnight train from Kunming to Guiyang in southwest China. In the next compartment (hard sleeper) was a very pregnant young woman. She was apparently traveling home to Guiyang, where she was planning to give birth. Late that night she went into labor while the train was in the middle of NOWHERE. Some of the places the train travels thru on this route are high in the mountains and inaccessible by road, no cities of any size. A doctor is found on the train and he proceeds to help her, but she's convinced she's barely seven months along. We stop at every single stop en route and try to persuade local clinics to take the woman but they keep refusing because they don't have an incubator. Finally, with the train hours late the next morning, it's announced we'll let her off in Anshun, a small city about four hours down the tracks. People keep telling the woman not to push (??) but now she's in the final stages of labor and screaming hysterically that baby's going to die. About two hours out of Anshun, we hear mom scream, and then, a few minutes later, the baby. Then the doctor's comment, "That's pretty big for seven months, nice healthy girl!" From the baby's cries, she's clearly pretty close to full term and no problem with her lungs. A cap is passed around for donations to mom and baby--the most public spirit I've ever seen among strangers in China. And of course, a few muttered comments, "The first one can take any amount of time...."We let mom and baby off at Anshun--the family had been notified and was waiting. We ended up about six hours late into Guiyang, but whatever....

Later I found out that China has a very high rate of reported "premature" births, but their mean birthweight is average for Asia, and most of the so-called "premies" are full-term weight. Why? Because mothers never report a conception date before the wedding!

Edited by Hot Runner 2014-04-03 6:55 PM
2014-04-03 9:08 PM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

Originally posted by Hot Runner And on to trains...... I was on an overnight train from Kunming to Guiyang in southwest China. In the next compartment (hard sleeper) was a very pregnant young woman. She was apparently traveling home to Guiyang, where she was planning to give birth. Late that night she went into labor while the train was in the middle of NOWHERE. Some of the places the train travels thru on this route are high in the mountains and inaccessible by road, no cities of any size. A doctor is found on the train and he proceeds to help her, but she's convinced she's barely seven months along. We stop at every single stop en route and try to persuade local clinics to take the woman but they keep refusing because they don't have an incubator. Finally, with the train hours late the next morning, it's announced we'll let her off in Anshun, a small city about four hours down the tracks. People keep telling the woman not to push (??) but now she's in the final stages of labor and screaming hysterically that baby's going to die. About two hours out of Anshun, we hear mom scream, and then, a few minutes later, the baby. Then the doctor's comment, "That's pretty big for seven months, nice healthy girl!" From the baby's cries, she's clearly pretty close to full term and no problem with her lungs. A cap is passed around for donations to mom and baby--the most public spirit I've ever seen among strangers in China. And of course, a few muttered comments, "The first one can take any amount of time...."We let mom and baby off at Anshun--the family had been notified and was waiting. We ended up about six hours late into Guiyang, but whatever.... Later I found out that China has a very high rate of reported "premature" births, but their mean birthweight is average for Asia, and most of the so-called "premies" are full-term weight. Why? Because mothers never report a conception date before the wedding!

I think it's time for you to publish your memoirs. Your stories are quite amazing,

2014-04-03 10:11 PM
in reply to: peby

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes

Wow you all have some great stores!  Makes mine seem pale in comparison.  I must be lucky I fly a fair amount (at least 1x a month) and this was my worst experience. 

Still no bag.. Sigh.. Lucky I had a lot of summer clothes in there.  With the fresh snow tonight I wont be needing those! 

2014-04-04 9:53 AM
in reply to: Justin86

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Subject: RE: I'm impressed! Travel woes
coming back from deployment Christmas 2009 - arrive in BWI at 2pm-ish after the flight from Kuwait - supposed to be heading back to Norfolk (so about 6 hours away driving time-ish)...but because of who the military contracts with we have to fly to Philly first for a connecting flight to Norfolk...at this time, I'm honestly debating just renting a car and driving, but I was told I wasn't allowed to for safety reasons...

so we are supposed to be in BWI for like 2hours, catch a connecting to Philly, hang out in Philly for like 5 hours before catching our flight back to Norfolk. Talking to the women at the airline desk, we find out that hey, Philly has an earlier flight to Norfolk, so we would only have to be there for an hour vice 5...and not being idiots, we jump on it...

Board our flight to philly and sit on the Tarmac...and sit....and sit....finally take off nearly 45 minutes late. Get to Philly and we have like 15 minutes to get to our connecting flight - we hightail it - there were like 5 of us, in our Army gear running through the airport...get to our gate, to find they had closed it 2 minutes prior and couldn't open it back up (which I get for safety reasons)...even though our flight had called to let them know that there were people on the way...so we proceed to hang out in Philly

Finally, board our original flight to Norfolk, sitting there waiting for the flight to depart...the steward gets on the annoucement and is like, we're going to hold the doors for 10 minutes because we have military folk who are coming...and it was like, nice to see you do for some and not others...flight to Norfolk uneventful, until they lost my bag...it didn't make the earlier flight or the later one...but did show up the next day...thankfully, in the box of stuff at the place I was renting a room, I had at least stashed a pair of clothes until I could do laundry the next day
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