Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Airport Hustle Shuffle

Have you ever had a chaotic day at the airport?  In all my travels, I have never had any problems.  Never a delayed flight, never a lost bag, never a worry. 

But last Thursday, all that changed....

Flight Plan #1: SLC to BOI to SEA to BLI

I had never flown the Boise before, but as I was a little late in booking my ticket, it was the cheapest option. Plus, I’m always up for an adventure and Boise seemed like a fun place to go.

As it is, I still have never flown into Boise as my flight was delayed enough that had I waited I would have missed my connection to SEA. Seeing that I wasn’t going to make it, I called the customer service line to make new arrangements.

And, as it was Memorial Day weekend, the best they could do for me was a flight for the next day. Incredibly discouraged, I left terminal and went to find my bag.

Flight Plan #2: SLC to SEA to BLI for the next day

At the baggage claim office, I was met with an extremely grumpy old man.

“Your bag is already on the plane. I can’t help you.”

“But the plane is still here. Can’t you get it off?”

“Nope. It’s on the plane. It’s going to Bellingham. You’ll have to make a claim there.”

I left his office and called my boyfriend, who seemed even more upset than I was at the delay and baggage situation. We discussed possibilities (and people to pick up my bag) and then I headed to the ticket desk.

The ticket agent was awesome. Tossing around a bunch of different scenarios (“Anything to Vancouver? How about Kelowna?”) we finally found something that might work.

Flight Plans #3 and #4: Standby SLC to SEA to YVR; or SLC to YVR for the next day

It was decided: Vancouver was my new final destination. If I made that afternoon’s standby flight to Seattle, then I would make it to Vancouver by 7:30 that night. If I didn’t make the standby, I was scheduled for a direct flight the next day. Now, what about the bag?

Back at the baggage office, I was relieved to find a different person behind the desk. And this guy was cool. Not only could he retrieve my bag (because the Boise plane was still there), I had it back in my hands within 10 minutes.

I ran my bag back to be sent off to Vancouver, took 30 minutes to get through security for the second time that day, and ran to my terminal in the furthest reaches of the airport. Once at the gate I checked in and waited.

Unfortunately, two unlucky souls missed their flight to Seattle. Fortunately, I was one of the lucky souls to take their seat on the flight to Seattle. It was amazing! I was so excited to make the flight that I completely forgot that no one had given me a boarding pass for my flight to Vancouver…

In Seattle, I asked my arrival gate agent about my Vancouver flight. He told me the gate and flight number, and sent me to talk to Horizon. At the Horizon desk, I told them I was supposed to go to Vancouver but didn’t have a boarding pass. Their response?

“You aren’t going to Vancouver.”

Flight Plan #5: SEA to BLI

These people have got to be kidding me!  No ticket to Vancouver?  Keith is supposed to pick me up in Vancouver.  I swear there must have been a conspiracy between all airlines to make my day as long and frustrating as possible.

“What?” I exclaimed in surprise. “I was told that I was going to Vancouver.”

“No, you are not going to Vancouver. You are going to Bellingham,” they said.

“But my bag is checked to Vancouver.”

With a phone call and the click of a few keystrokes, my bag and I were placed on a flight to Bellingham. And miraculously, an hour and a half later we both turned up at the same airport at the same time. In fact, I arrived at my original destination at the original time and on the original flight I was were originally scheduled on. 

How's that for craziness?

In the end, the day's weariness waned as soon as I got a kiss from my boyfriend.  Keith picked me up in Bellingham, we drove across the border, and had a wonderful evening together eating Japanese take out and coconut cookie dough ice cream while watching half a movie.

Stay tuned--more Canadian adventures to come!


Bryce And Laura said...

Where did the other half of the movie go?.... did you miss it while you were playing hockey and scored the hickey in the previous post you wrote?

Bryce And Laura said...

Is the coconut cookie dough ice cream - coconut cookie dough or cookie dough with coconut in it?

Erin said...

I love to travel, but hate the airport part. On a recent trip to Florida, I had the lovely opportunity to spend an entire night and part of a morning in the freezing cold Houston airport. I pretty stared into space while the hubby slept peacefully slung between two chairs. I'm glad that everything worked out ok.

Katie said...

It sounds like you had quite the adventure! Next time you go to Canada, I think you should reroute through Lubbock.