Sunday, November 30, 2008

What a long, strange trip (it still is)

Me and the fan damily spent this past week in Bastrop, Texas at the Soldier's Angels home for wayward families and chihuahuas.

We had a great trip to Texas, with both kids behaving themselves pretty well, and they enjoyed the flights and the company on the flights. My eight-year-old clone even taught sudoku to a septuagenarian who kept him engaged throughout the flight from Pittsburgh to Houston.

After turkeys and hams and sweet taters and wine was consumed, we packed up the rent-a-wreck and drove four hours on Friday to visit with the Mrs.' Aunt Cindy and her family, (a true Texas Darlin if there ever was one,) and after a night with Cindy, A.J. (her husband) and Ann Lauren (Cindy's Chicago-transplanted Texas darlin) we drove back to Bastrop on Saturday.

We lounged around the Soldier's Angels home for wayward families and chihuahuas on Saturday evening, and rested up for Sunday's flights home.

The day started quite well... on time to the airport, turn in the car, find out our flight is delayed for an hour, (thanks, Air Traffic Control!) but we'll still have time to make our connection in Atlanta, then home. So we ate and I bought a new book (airports book prices=robbery) and Carren bought some last minute gifts.

The plane left at it's new appointed time, and all was right in the world.


The air traffic control was still busy screwing with Chuck and co. We say on the taxiway an additional fifteen minutes because ATC was still unable to do the same thing they do every day.

Now we had five minutes to get to our gate, assuming everything went well.

Assuming. Heh.

We arrived in time to watch our connection take off. Atlanta was a veritable madhouse. Everyone was getting screwed by the FAA today. Not only was the next flight out overbooked, the delta agent informed me that the family and I were assigned a new flight--tomorrow, and that would basically be on a preferred-stand-by. I asked for a lodging chit, (I was being nice and gracious to the lazy twat behind the counter, who'd spent 20 minutes fetching tape, then an envelope, then stacking receipts neatly, then placing said receipts in the envelope, then taping the envelope in place, while the line for connections grew longer and longer...) But I remained polite and calm, as you catch more flies with honey. She told me delta would give me a room at their "negotiated rate" which I would have to pay, because the problem wasn't caused by delta, but by ATC.


The room rate was $59 on the chit. Okay, not bad for a room at the embassy suites. Of course, the Embassy told me the rate wasn't $59, but it was normally $169, and the negotiated rate was $159.

Thanks delta, a $10 savings!

I begged, pleaded, and gave the big sad brown eyes to the clerk, and she let the room go for $80.

Yay me, and thank you, embassy suites.

So we called our bosses, and won't be going to work tomorrow, the kids'll miss another day of school, I'll miss the first day of Buck season (grrrrr...)

All because the ATC seems to take its cues from the TSA when it comes to efficiency. (Oh by the way, this is twice that my son has carried scissors in his carry-on.)

I'll be home by 4 Pm tomorrow, according to schedule, but, like I always tell my students, "Any plan based on aircraft is a bad plan." Never have truer words been spoken.


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