Monday, October 25, 2010

The Perils of Flying Separately

The following was written while I sat in the San Francisco airport yesterday. Although I was hooked to the WiFi, I was unable to get it posted. So I'll post it today so you can sympathize with me.

Oct. 24, 2010 (Lloyd's birthday)

Usually I enjoy flying. Just 3 hours gets me out of the frozen north that is Edmonton in winter and into the balmy heat of Arizona.

Not so much today. For one thing, I'm alone. Lloyd's assistant booked his flight and I booked mine using Air Miles. I managed to sync my flights so that we left and arrived within half an hour of each other so we could travel to and from the airport together.

We didn't take the weather and connector flights into consideration though. Lloyd was an hour late arriving in Phoenix because of a delay in Calgary, but that was all right because I got stuck in foggy, rainy San Francisco.

San Francisco Airport - Oct. 24, 2010

We were held up sitting on the tarmac in Edmonton for an hour because of the foggy and congested conditions in San Francisco, then had to circle the SF airport for awhile before we could land, and by then my connector flight had left without me and a bunch of other people.

At the time of this writing, I'm on standby on a flight that leaves 7 hours from now. If I can't get on that one, I'm confirmed on one that leaves at 10:30 tomorrow morning!! Sleeping in an airport will be a new and exciting (?) experience for this 62-year old grandmother! We'll hope I get on standby. Hundreds of people are frantically trying to find their way out of SF - all planes arriving and departing are late because of the dense fog and rain.

I thought I'd make the best of a bad situation and walk around the terminal taking pictures of interesting sights, but after two pictures, my camera's battery died and my arthritic knees were yelling at me to sit down already.

Meantime, in Phoenix, Lloyd has decided to hang out at the airport until he hears whether or not I get on standby tonight. Our van is parked at the Phoenix airport but the keys to it are in my purse here with me! If I can't get out of SF until tomorrow, he'll take a cab home to Surprise and come back for me tomorrow after picking up our spare van keys there. We are not happy campers! Thank goodness we have cell phones and have been able to keep in touch via texting through all of this.

We have vowed NEVER to travel separately on vacations ever again...and we'll use direct flights!!


October 25.

All is well in Camelot! After a very stressful and extremely exhausting day I was incredibly relieved to hear my name called for standby - I even had a great aisle seat, just as I had originally booked. Finally at 10:30 last night we got to our Surprise home, after being in airports and planes since 5:30 that morning.

I was very impressed with the United Air customer service people. They were inundated all day with upset passengers but were very courteous and friendly with me and did their best to see that I got where I was going.

I hope travelling home on Hallowe'en is easier. At least I don't have to worry about being fogged in in San Francisco. What can go wrong with a Minneapolis layover??? We'll think positive and say "Absolutely nothing".


RH (aka Lucy) said...

Hmmmm.....Minneapolis. I'll take being stuck in San Francisco between the two. But not on an airplane on the tarmac. You missed the tornado a few weeks ago but we're supposed to have great weather now. Have fun while you're here.

Jane said...

Glad you finally made it! I, for one, do not enjoy airline travel anymore because of the hassles involved. Enjoy your time and wish Lloyd a happy belated birthday for me!


RH (aka Lucy) said...

Me again...while you're over at Heard Museum, check out the Encanto Palmcroft neighborhood of historic homes. They are all amazingly different and I would kill to live in any of them. Once a year they have tours through them. I haven't caught one yet. :(

Mickey said...

Oh just finished reading about your long day of travel yesterday after writing you a note.. That was even longer than ours last week and I was exhausted. Not fun especially when you are alone. So glad you didn't have to spend the night at the airport. Can't imagine how that would be. Take care and have fun now.
Enjoy that sun!

JQ said...

So glad you made it, Mummie. We all agreed we do not approve of you suffering.

Brenda's Arizona said...

I love the first photo (from 2004). I could sit and look out this window all day - and, you know, some travelers have had to!
Enjoy your time in AZ. I agree with RH(Lucy) - check out the old neighborhoods around the Heard. And... if you get a chance, check out the Riparian Park in Gilbert!

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my gosh - that was so stressful - I'm so glad you made it back. No more traveling alone.

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