Traveling Across the Country

This afternoon I checked-in and printed my boarding passes for my flights. I noticed my flight from State College was delayed and would arrive in Philly thirty minutes after my flight to Seattle departed. Not good. The next flight to Seattle from Philly was well into the following day, which would have made for a very long layover.

So I called US Air. At first I got transferred from one automated response to another. Eventually I talked to a customer service representative named Donna, and she rerouted me with Delta, which had me going through Detroit. This happened rather last minute. I had to rush out the door to catch the flight in State College.

When I checked in at the airport I got some bad news.

Delta Rep: You were booked as a standby passenger. You are passenger 51 on a 50 seat aircraft. The flight has been oversold.

Me: Ok, so what’s next?

Delta Rep: I’m gonna get you on that plane.

Me: Awesome! But not in the baggage compartment, right?

Delta Rep: I’m gonna get you on that plane, AND I’m gonna get you a seat.

And he did. The flight was delayed, so by the time we left things were getting close for the connection in Detroit. When we arrived the ground crew was AWOL, so we sat on the ground waiting to unload until they were found. The guy sitting beside me told the flight attendant that he would be happy to jump out of the plane and direct it in. He was not kidding.

By the time we disembarked all the passengers scattered, running to their respective gates. I had to go completely across the airport (and through the tunnel, which was very cool). As I approached the gate time was short. Since my departure was rushed from State College I had neglected to eat lunch or dinner; I ate a monster cookie instead.The cookie would have to suffice, there was no time to stop.

On the flight to Seattle I sat near a few people who had been doing some drinking before boarding. Not sloppy drunk, but just drunk enough to think everything was funny. It made for an entertaining trip.

In Seattle I had a tense exchange with a rental car company representative. The company required extra insurance coverage that had not been mentioned when I booked the car. It made me angry. I don’t mind paying a fair price for something, but when a transaction I thought I completed is suddenly requiring another payment it doesn’t sit well. As I stood there mulling words, trying to decide what to say, I thought of the rental car scene from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. And I almost laughed. I elected not to go with the Steve Martin approach.

Now I’m in Seattle. It’s been a long day.

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