Saturday, April 18, 2009

a bonus vacation day

That's how I have to look at it. I am in a lovely Hilton Garden Inn in Aurora, CO or some such place - about 20 min from the Denver Airport. You might think it is Christmas from this picture, but alas, it is almost May. Yes, we missed our flight to Newark by about 5 minutes due to several things. 1) a control-freak stewardess (or whatever they call them these days) who would not let us off the plane till she was in the mood. 2) A gate change that nobody told us about: we came in at gate 46 and the flight was supposed to go out of gate 57 (according to the above-named individual) but was, instead, at gate 15 -- the other end of the terminal and too late to make, even if you were a marathon runner. 3) United Airlines did not hold the connecting flight, even though they knew there was one coming in late from GJ with passengers aboard that needed to make it. Every other flight out was delayed but this one went on the minute. God forbid they should take the passengers into consideration. I have two words for United and they are not "happy birthday." I will not bore you with the 2 hour line of frustrated passengers at the counter that purported to be United customer service. Very long story short, I got the last seat on a flight out of Denver for New York/La Guardia tomorrow at 4:21 - getting in at 10:00 - a full 24 hours later than I was supposed to land...and a 2 hour, $90 ride home. United cuts flights on the weekends: people going to Miami have to go to Los Angeles to get a connection, etc. etc. The good news is that the last seat on the plane I am on is in first class. And a family of 3 heading for EWR has to wait till Monday to get a flight so I was lucky on that count. The other good news is that the room at this hotel is beautiful, costs only $54, and has free wireless. They have this special 800 number hotline phone at the customer service area that gets you a deal on a hotel room when you are stuck because of the airline stuff. I don't normally take pix of hotel rooms, but you can tell I am desperate not to have an image-less blog post tonight. I headed for the bar but it was too high so I went out across the parking lot to a really excellent place whose name escapes me. I sat down at the bar (I like to eat at the bar when I am by myself) and was lucky enough to have two cute guys next to me whose flights were also delayed. They were friendly and it made for a pleasant couple of hours. Now, after 2 martinis, a great buffalo burger, a good coffee and a not-so-good key lime pie (what was I thinking??) I feel immensely better. Also, the desk has spare tubes of toothpaste so I can be human tomorrow. I am not due to the airport till 2:pm, so I can sleep late (if I choose) which will be the first time all week. Sometimes I think things just happen for a reason: I needed the rest. MOnday is my crit meeting at Judy's in Princeton but luckily, Rachel Cochran has offered to drive. If I had a brain I would stay home, but that would be too easy. Tune in tomorrow for the next episode.

11 comments:

Dale Anne said...

By the sounds of it, the airlines don't pay for the hotels anymore....???
ENJOY your extra day away - REST!

Terry said...

Hope you get a free ticket or an extra bag of pretzels at the least. I'm with Dale Ann--the airlines aren't comping the room??

Eva said...

They should comp so much more. How dare they? But the sense of humor that shows up in your report will help to make the best out of it. Have a good time!

Joanie San Chirico said...

Sorry to hear about your travel woes, and Crit Group is here, not Judy's! Good think Rachel is driving! ;-)

Susan said...

I hope you have a safe and speedy trip home.

Carole said...

Oh, my. At least the hotel was good, and dinner. I'm not surprised United didn't comp anything - you know how I feel about flying and about United in particular. Safe rest of the trip home.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Rayna, whenever you get there! I hope your trip in first class was worth it! Can't wait for the next episode...
Benedicte

Vivien said...

What a wonderful travelogue, Rayna, despite the United woes (I've had my share myself!) Hope you arrived home safely. Can't wait to see the pics of the finished artwork of your students; the fabric is lovely!

Diane said...

So glad you had cute guys and martinis to ease the pain! *grin*

Jeanette said...

There is nothing worse than getting stuck in an airport because of delays, missed connections and officious airport staff when all you want is to just be home as quickly as possible. It sounds like you made the very best of the ordeal. I am left with 4 pieces from your class and so excited to go at them--thank you so much!

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