Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another flying disaster! :-(

We're convinced that there is no way to fly anywhere these days without having some kind of problem. It all started for us when we checked in at Dulles airport and found out our 3:00 pm flight was canceled. We were placed on the next flight to Atlanta that was scheduled to leave at 4:58 pm. We were a little bummed, but thought leaving 2 hours later wasn't that big a deal. Well, the plane finally pulled out of the gate at 6 pm, and then we sat on the tarmac for 2 hours! We left Dulles at 8 pm and arrived in Atlanta at 9:40 pm--just 15 minutes after the plane (we were supposed to be on) left for Pensacola. We were stranded in Atlanta, and to make matters worse, we had no baggage. No one employed by Air Tran knew where our six pieces of luggage were, including Kara's car seat. We were given a voucher for a hotel room, just to find out that most of the rooms at the hotels accepting the voucher were booked. It was midnight, and we finally booked a room and waited for the free shuttle bus to arrive and take us to the hotel. It didn't show up, and so we accepted the offer from a shuttle bus driver to go to the Super 8 Motel, just 5 minutes from the airport. It was pretty 'dumpy' to say the least, and we were responsible for paying the bill ourselves. By the way, our sweet Kara never fell asleep from 8 pm (her bedtime) until about 12:30 am when we finally got her settled in her port-a-crib at the motel. She was actually very well-behaved (our little angel) considering that she was up way past her bedtime. We all had a very restless 5 1/2 hours of sleep before it was time to wake up and head back to the airport. No toothbrushes or changes of clothes, and no showers--we were looking great! Our 9:30 am flight to Pensacola was on time, and we made it here safely! Yea! The best news was that all of our bags magically made it to our destination too, and the Expedition we rented (for the previous day) was still available! We are so happy to be in Destin, and we plan to really enjoy the rest of our vacation! Sure hope the return flight is better....

**Tim wanted me to add that Air Tran booked all of our seats in aisle 21, the exit aisle! We brought that to the gate attendant's attention and asked if they could complimentary upgrade us to business class because of how terrible our trip had been thus far. The woman said she would talk to other passengers about moving around so that we could get out of the exit row. All of the sudden, she started to load business class and asked us if we were ready to board. We were told that we had three seats in business class, with only two of them together. The fourth person was switched to another seat in coach. I explained that it wouldn't work. We had two 13 yr olds that needed to stay together, and Tim and I needed to stay together to take care of the baby. The Air Tran employee told us that was the best she could do and to just deal with it. We boarded the plane, and as Tim was getting Kara and me settled, an older gentleman offered to let Tim take his seat in business class. We were so surprised and thankful for his generosity! That very nice man had paid extra for his seat in business class, and he gave it up for our family. We will definitely pay it forward!

2 comments:

Mike said...

For the record...we will never fly with you guys. ;)

Have you ever actually had airline travel that has worked?!?

Tim said...

We know it has nothing to do with Kara...but the horrible experiences started last July on the way to Oklahoma. Prior to that we had no idea how lucky we were....