Monday, August 25, 2008

Tropical Storm Julio ended my vacation.

I woke up yesterday at 5:15am, got cleaned up, drove the corvair van south to pickup Brad. We drove over to Dale and Joan, waited for Alex, Dale's son, then packed up Joan's car and went to Mike D's house. With everyone in the car, Joan dropped us at San Francicso Airport at about 6:45am.

Walk in, check in, check luggage, get tickets, clear security, and find Ted and Dan at a bar. Dan is already 3 bloody marys into the vacation. Did I mention it is 7am?

Brad, Alex and I had biscuits with egg and sausage, then went to get the plane to Los Angeles. Booked as a non-stop flight, we stopped in LA. There was news of possible delay because of the storm. we had an hour, we went to a bar and had? drinks and nachos.

Re-board the plane, and fly south to beautiful Hotel Oasis in Loreto, Baja, California for four days of fishing for dorado, relaxing, male bonding, etc.....

about 10 mins before landing, the pilot makes a gentle 180, and announces we are headed BACK to LA, as the airport is closed.

SAY WHAT?

Tropical storm, airport closed.

could they have told us this while we were still in LA?

fly BACK to Los Angeles. deplane. begin mayhem.

there was a line of about 15 people at the customer service counter, but they suggested we go 'downstairs' for faster help. on the way downstairs, we realize we may not be able to get back to the luggage carousel, so we stop and get our luggage. which for a fishing trip, is an ice chest.

go to customer service downstairs counter, where there is a line of about 25 people. We stand on line. We wait. we make phone calls and text messages. Ted and dan were upstairs, they rebooked, Dan to SF, Ted to Oakland. Then went to a bar. We stood in line. and waited. FINALLY, we got to Alaska Air customer Service. A nice young man named Marlin helped us. Fishing - Marlin - irony? we want 4 people back to San Jose or San Francisco. We do not even worry about refund, rebook, etc, will have Mike's travel agent handle that.

Marlin keeps walking away to go to the secret back room. Other agents are re-ticketing right and left, Marlin goes away and comes back. We are trying to be nice, cause really? he maybe the only way to get home tonight. Loreto will not re-open till Tuesday, and we will not stay in LA for 2 days, to fly to Loreto for 1 day of fish. Just send us home on the FAIL-plane.....

He books ME on a flight to San Jose, it is American in Terminal 4, we are in Terminal 2. OH, and it boards in 45 minutes, RUN RUN RUN.

So I do. I run, I run across LAX, in sandals, pulling an ice chest.

When I get to Terminal 4, all the American lines? are very long, and Self-check-in, Take your computer print out and.... I do not have a computer print out, I have nothing. I go to the American customer service counter. Where there are two very nice young ladies, one named Amesha O, and the other did not have a nametag. They were GREAT. Yes we can help you, just wait for this lady, then you are up. GREAT. They help the lady in front of me, I am standing up, and a rush of people come in. 3 gals, 4 guys, a bunch of luggage, then a limo driver, then about 9 photographers. One of the girls is very short, walks past everyone, up to the counter, and begins getting serviced and photographed.

Pudgy white guy in sandals with ice chest and a flight in 40 minutes? pushed aside.

Finally the entourage leaves, Amesha apologizes and gets me ticketed.
"uh, pardon me for being old and un-hip, who was that?"
"Paula Abdul"
"Oh, ok, lets get me ticketed"

She thought it was hilarious that I just did not care. She sent me to drop my cooler/luggage off with TSA, on my way back, I stopped to thank them, but saw Mike, Brad and Alex were in another line. I grabbed them and hustled them over to Amesha, and her pal saiad "you are on different flight, come now!" and walked me past lines, past security and right up to the scanner. YAY! finally, Excellent service, thank you!

but. I was not on American. I was on American EAGLE. The main reason I fly United.... American Eagle, a short-hop commuter, ugh. In gate 44-I, across the airport, shuttle only, blah blah. I sit on the shuttle bus, as my boarding time passes. I offer the driver $10 if he will go, Nope.

We finally go, 10 mins past boarding, arrive at gate 5 mins later. RUN RUN through building, to find out? flight delayed. wait.

30 mins later, get on plane, sit, buckle in, and they announce the bracket that holds the flashlight is broken, they are trying to get ok from tower to leave anyhow.

HUH?

then they announce the plane has a flat tire, and needs the tire changed. Which takes a crew of 5, and we have to de-board.

i've seen on tee-vee, them nascar guys can swap a full set in less than 31 seconds. it takes American Eagle an hour and 31 seconds.

We re-board, and now it is 5:28pm.

I am TXT messaging with Sara and Brad, find out Brand, Alex and Mike are on a plane to SFO. and leave before me.

I finally get TO San Jose, get a cab to Dale's house where my van is, and wait, as Brad and team arrive from SFO.

I need to take Brad home, and might as well give Mike a ride. We drop mike of, it is dark again. Brad and I stop at Slice of New York for a slice of pizza, and drive him to the pals house who has his keys and was gonna take care of his cat.

Pickup keys, drop off brad, get home at about 9:30\


No fish. Vacation FAIL. I will try to work out the vacation tool at work, and get Tue, Wed, Thur back for later.....

vacation Epic Fail.

Oh well

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