Sunday, December 27, 2009

Escape from New York

Right now I am winging my way from the cold and snow of upstate New York heading to beautiful, sunny Honolulu.

Oh wait, that's what I was supposed to be doing. Instead I am still here in Pittsford (Peg, Sandy - please note I did NOT say "stuck" here in Pittsford) because there was a big snow storm in Chicago. That was where we were due to transfer to the Honolulu flight, but that isn't going to happen today.

And because this is the busiest week of flying, the airline can't even guarantee they will find seats for us tomorrow. They have nicely confirmed that we can get there two days late.

I woke up at 5 this morning to get ready for the early flight. First thing I did was check flight status, and that's when I saw the bad news. Then I checked my new itinerary and that's where bad news turned into a horror show.

Because our Rochester flight was now going to arrive at noon, a couple of hours after the Honolulu flight had departed, they rescheduled us. Oh, not to mid-afternoon, but to a flight to Denver at 6am tomorrow morning. The bad news? We would have to spend Sunday in an airport hotel. The good news? Because it was a 6am flight we would have to leave around 4am, what with the extra security measures in place.

You know travel is getting sucky when leaving a hotel at 4am would be the good news.

Once we got to Denver, we were scheduled to enjoy six or seven fun-packed hours sitting in the waiting area. Even I can't pace my Mile High Marys well enough to endure that much time. We would finally arrive late at night in Honolulu on Monday.

So I called United at 5:40am to seek alternative flights. This is no exaggeration - I finally hung up at about 7:40 with waitlists for tomorrow and confirmation for Tuesday.

The woman who was assisting me tried everything under the sun to find seats for us, but couldn't do it. She even called two competitive airlines to see if they had seats. I cannot fault her efforts, but I do wonder why I can now go on the Internet and see four different routes for tomorrow that would get us to Honolulu. After a 2-hour phone call, I will give it a break and wait for this afternoon to see if someone else can't get us on those flights tomorrow.

Besides, there's good and bad with staying here a little longer.

The good? Well, it's at least one more day with Peg and Sandy and Dave. (Mind you, I am not sure they all consider it a positive, but I do.) On a lesser note, I get to watch all the Sunday afternoon football games I would have missed while on the plane.

The negatives? Well, we're missing a day or two of beautiful Honolulu and laughs with our great friend Shirley, who is already there waiting for us. And we are a little concerned that Shirl may feel the need to drink our portions of the booze in the room, just to make the bottles look balanced.

Oh, and one more negative. LK just looked around and said that there was nothing for her to do since she had done everything yesterday in preparation for leaving this morning. "Looks like I may as well go shopping," she said.

I wonder if the airline would consider those costs the sort they compensate for.

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