Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Taking Flight

We got lucky yesterday, but what a mess the travel system was. With the winter storm shutting down Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, there were massive cancellations of flights in Fort Lauderdale. The lines waiting for tickets stretched well past the hundred mark, and the lines at the service windows were even longer.

We were getting to Rochester via Charlotte, so we had no problems. In fact, our flight to Charlotte may have been one of the few that was on time yesterday. When we got past the security checkpoints, there was hardly a seat available. With two hours to go before boarding, there was but one solution - we headed to the bar. The Bloody Marys were spicy enough to require a Samuel Adams after - as we say in Oz, the proverbial cleansing ale.

We decided to have lunch. we both chose the salt and vinegar chips. For dessert, LK stuck with the salt and vinegar, but I went with plain. A quick trip to the loo before boarding turned into a long trip as the men's room was jammed like a stadium at halftime. But as we lifted off the ground, I felt especially lucky that we were among those who were getting to their destination on one of the worst travel days in US history.

And I don't mean lucky in that we were getting to Rochester. Hey, the penalty for not getting there would have been another day or two in the warm weather of Florida.

No, I mean lucky because the week before I had called the travel company to try to change our tickets so we wouldn't have that long, long wait before the flight. They were able to do it but they said there would be $150 "re-ticketing" fee for each ticket. I translated that into approximately 60 drinks on the ship and told them , no thanks, we'll sit in the waiting area.

If you haven't guessed, the ticket we would have changed to involved going to either Washington or Philadelphia to transfer. In other words, I would have spent $300 more to get tickets that would have been for cancelled flights.

And when I think of how much I would have heard from LK as we dragged our bags around the airport and tried to find a hotel with rooms left - not to mention how many times I would have been reminded of it over the next several years - I believe you can understand why I felt lucky to be flying out of Fort Lauderdale yesterday.

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