Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Longest Day

A trip from Jacksonville to Northern Virginia should take about 4-5 hours door to door including time spent at the airport going through security and waiting to board the flight. So why did my trip Tuesday take 10 hours? Let’s take a look.

7:30 AM: Wake up with a dog sleeping next to me.

7:50 AM: Check flight status and see that my 11:00 AM flight is delayed an hour and a half. Look through other flight options and click “select” showing another flight going from Jacksonville to Atlanta and then Atlanta to Washington National.

8:00 AM: Realize that clicking select actually changed my flight. Then realize that I cannot change back to my original flight. Good news: Based on the delay on my original flight, the new flight gets in about 30 minutes earlier. Bad news: Need to leave for the airport immediately even though I’m not close to being ready.

9:05 AM: Arrive at Jacksonville Airport

9:35 AM: Arrive at gate only to see that the flight to Atlanta is delayed meaning that I would likely miss my connection. Change back to original flight. Delta staff member tells me that it’s always better to go direct and avoid Atlanta. I should know about avoiding Atlanta.

10:10 AM Discover that Delta moved the gate of my flight. Then, I see that my flight is delayed another half hour.

10:15 AM: According to a travel guy on CNN, he predicts that airfare will either go up or down in 2012. Extremely bold prediction!

10:15 AM - 12:45 PM: Am extremely happy that I have an iPad and that Jacksonville has free wireless. Spend too much time on Twitter and playing Angry Birds. I also ate lunch at Chili’s. They have yummy fries.

1:15 PM: Finally leave Jacksonville 2+ hours after the originally scheduled flight time.

3:00ish: Circle Richmond due to heavy traffic around National.

3:20 PM: Go over Georgetown University and see the Kennedy Center, Watergate, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial & Jefferson Memorial, but we’re way too high to land. Apparently, there is a plane on the runway. Circle National.

3:30 PM: Told that we can’t land at National due to weather. Heading to Philadelphia to see Jaromir Jagr. (They didn’t actually say this.)

4:00 PM: Land in Philadelphia. Not allowed to leave aircraft, but have a jolly good time waiting in line for the one restroom on the back of the plane. They ran out of paper towels, so I had to use Kleenex to wipe my hands.

5:30 PM: Depart Philadelphia

5:40 PM: Delta announces that they thank their SkyMiles passengers for flying Delta. Sure, I realize that you have to say that we can use approved electronic devices, but was it really necessary to include the SkyMiles passengers announcement again?

6:10 PM: Arrive at National airport.

7:00 PM: Finally arrive home to a purring and meowing cat extremely happy to see me.

7:10 PM: Clogged toilet

In case you’re curious, according to Google Maps, the trip would have take 11 hours & 44 minutes if I drove. I also read 200 pages of Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King Jr. and the International Hunt For His Assassin. Great book. Oh, Ziggy has been sitting on my lap the entire time I typed this post.


lacochran's evil twin said...

Ah, the clogged toilet. A perfect ending to a long day. Nothing quite says "home" like that. :)

Gilahi said...

The problem is that you chose to fly Delta. After a multi-hour delay on one trip and an unexpected overnight stay in Atlanta due to another Delta delay on a different trip, we've made the decision to never fly that airline again. The delays themselves might not have been quite as bad if the employees hadn't been downright surly and nasty about it. They don't seem to be able to maintain a flight schedule and their employees are jerks. We've had much better service and on-time success with the "discount" airlines like AirTran.

Sean said...

Lacochran - The clogged toilet hadn't happen in a while (the last time could be a TMI Thursday post), so I'm happy that it took place at home with no one around except the cat.

Gilahi - I've had my worst flying experience with AirTran. Maybe the key is to never fly an airline that is headquartered in Atlanta! The bigger issue, though, is there are limited options flying directly from Washington to Jacksonville, so it's hard to avoid Delta.