So…I literally have PTSD from my recent hellacious business trip. It went a little something like this:
1. Four cancelled flights to San Antonio (requiring me to book and rebook repeatedly, suffering through multiple two hour wait times to get through to beyond incompetent and unhelpful Delta Air Lines).
2. Missed connection from JFK to San Antonio due to Delta’s maintenance issue (cancellations were mostly weather related).
3. Informed by Delta that they could not get me to San Antonio in time for a work event I was spearheading.
4. Total panic ensues.
5. Push back on Delta and demand they place me on another airline to Austin so I can at least get to Texas. I have to troubleshoot for myself.
6. Chariots of Fire run, for miles–my Apple Watch thought something was going down due to all of my activity–through JFK to board a sweaty bus to another terminal (airbus was out of service, of course).
7. Sprint to get through security a second time due to the terminal change. Of course I am detained by TSA. I forgot I bought a Vitamin Water after I got through security the first time.
8. Beg and plead, unabashedly, for TSA to clear me 15 minutes before the last flight to Austin takes off.
9. Hard no from TSA.
10. Finally get clearance and Usain Bolt it to the gate, full on panting. Make it on board American Airlines, pretty much hyperventilating.
11. Unbeknownst to me, Delta doesn’t arrange for my luggage to follow me, per protocol.
12. Arrive in Austin at almost 1:00 am. Delta and American Airlines have no idea where my baggage is. Leave empty-handed to rent a car.
13. Leave Austin after going counter to counter to find a decent car rental. Arrive in San Antonio at 3:00 am.
And that’s just the beginning. After four hours’ sleep, I had to run around San Antonio in a cab with no A/C, picking up everything required for my event. I even had to purchase clothing and shoes from a San Antonio Macy’s–not an easy feat, as I am not a rhinestone cowgirl.
Treated to a cold shower at my hotel, two days in a row.
I pull off the event, against all odds, including getting lost on the way there and walking a half mile hauling everything I needed to make it a success. In 100-degree heat. In heels.
Move hotel rooms in the hopes of a hot shower. No can do. Oh, and the place is under construction.
Have numerous conversations, phone calls, and face to face visits with both airlines in the hopes of pinpointing my bag. Both make promises they don’t keep.
Suffer through four days without any of my belongings. My suitcase was delivered at 2:34 am…after my trip was over. And the delivery dude woke our dog up out of a sound sleep, disturbing everyone.
The bag arrived completely damaged, with items missing, logging more air miles than I have in my lifetime.
More rescheduled flights ensued on the way home. Missed important events at my kids’ school. Felt tremendously guilty.
It was pure, unfiltered, indisputable hell.
Here’s what I learned:
We are all just a cancelled flight and missing bag away from complete chaos.
I can live out of a plastic shopping bag if need be, for days.
All of the time spent packing my suitcase meticulously was wasted. I will never do this again. I will never take it so seriously.
I can take cold showers.
Sleep. Who needs it?
I must be more strategic when I fly, and actually cram a change of clothes in my laptop bag.
My husband truly loves me. He was up until the wee hours trying to switch my hotel, find me a rental car, and keep me on the sane side, despite the distance between us.
I am not a quitter. Delta is, but I am not.
Beyond happy to be home.