Recently a friend of mine (and fellow ATS member) was scheduled for some continuing education in their field of learning along with a few co-workers.
A trip from Oklahoma to Illinois via transfer in Atlanta was scheduled. The story of their journey was so tragically hilarious that I had to share it
with everyone. Monitor spew alert is hereby issued.
I hope your sitting down, make sure your not drinking anything, you might spew.
I know I could not have walked it faster, but...at times it felt I could.
So we get to the airport in Bloomington and flight is delayed 2 hours.
This makes all of us miss our connecting flights.
So we call them in Bloomington and tell them we got s*****d,
they tell us to call the airlines and arrange for hotels.
The airlines say they will not pay for hotel rooms, but will offer us
a $5 voucher towards one.
So we call (the training company) back and tell them we need a hotel
and the airline won't pay for it.
They say they won't do anything til we are actually in Atlanta and
actually have no other options.
Once in Atlanta and reality sets in they tell us to call a hotel and reserve a
room on one of OUR credit cards.
We all laugh loudly together and get a beer in the airport and
make up some new cuss words.
After several phone call and some edgy words we get one of the
(training company) people to call a hotel and put it on their corporate card
in a MERE 2 hours.
So we go to the shuttle bays where all the hotels pick up people to shuttle
them to the hotels.
It is a friggin madhouse.
Due to the delays, THOUSANDS of people missed their flights, and
all the hotels near the airport are full and we end up waiting a
half hour in the wind and rain under a overhang.
I was smart and did not put my jacket in my luggage.
The poor girl that was with us was freezing so I told her to
take all her looser tops out of her luggage and put them all
on in layers and that helped her a lot, and she wore socks on her hands.
She looked really pissed and she said she looks like a homeless person.
I managed not to bust out laughing some how.
Eventually we end up at the hotel, and ... someone has collapsed in the lobby
and the police will not let us enter our hotel.
So again, we wait in the wind and rain outside the hotel for the half dozen or so cops,
1 EMT, and 3 fire dept that are there for one previously collapsed man.
None of them were even walking fast; not one did anything that looked
like a brief jog of urgency, yet we were not allowed into the lobby.
After a GLORIOUS half hour in the rain and wind again we are allowed to enter
the hotel as the formerly collapsed man is walking under his own power.
We try to check into the hotel and AGAIN they demand one of our credit cards
saying that the card they were given by (training company) over the phone is EXPIRED.
We all laugh a little and say "but hell no".
We call the (training company) people back and let them know what happened,
and we move up the food chain, this time they give the hotel people
a card that WORKS !
We notice the time, and how exhausted we are and realize getting
through security in the morning will take hours at the busiest airport
in the US: Atlanta airport; 280,000 people go through it per day.
Soooooo we decide to rebook for a later flight tomorrow so we can get some
much needed sleep.
In the middle of re booking the flights they let me know they scheduled
me to fly BACK to Bloomington which I had just left....
Only me. None of the other 4 people. I said that is just brilliant
as I had just left there a few hours ago.
The person on the phone apologizes and gets me on the right flight.
We wake up, woof some food the next morning, take the shuttle to the
airport in the morning and, only because we ran and jumped on the shuttle as
it was rolling to a stop, did we get out on that shuttle.
We get to security and they had expanded it, and had plenty of people to work
it and we breezed through it in 20 minutes.
We get to the terminal we all sit down, we got time for the bathroom and
a drink and as we sit down the monitor changes to .... DELAYED.
We all look at each other and say you got to be F'ing kidding me.
We go get some food, come back and get on the plane after a fair bit of waiting.
We get out of the jet way and are taxing away from the terminals and stop,
and the pilot comes over the intercom and apologizes before even saying
what he is apologizing for.
Then he lets us know the FAA is critically under staffed and there has been
further delays and all flights out are Instrument rated ones, and it is so
foggy you can't see the top of the Control Tower 100 ft. away.
Stacked up nose to tail on the run way was 25 planes taking off every 3 minutes.
So for 1 hr 15 minutes we would scoot one plane length and stop, over and over.
We get up off the ground and are finally flying to OKC !!! Yippee !!!
The crowning jewel though had just arrived: a thunderstorm over Alabama
makes several people on the plane sick from all the turbulence.
A few people starting puking in air sickness bags, then more people start puking.
Amazingly I did not lose my lunch, but easily 20% of the plane did.
The plane reeks of vomit for awhile, but the pilot manages to flush it out pretty
quickly which is why I probably managed to maintain.
We get to OKC!........... and our luggage is not on the conveyor.
So we have to go to the ticket counter, and there is a huge line.
ALL of them missing their luggage.
It moved pretty fast, but I did not get out of the airport until after 3 pm.
So grand total was an 18 hour day, some sleep and then another 7 hrs
to finally make it to OKC and back home.
In 25 hours I could have driven 1,500 miles @ 60 mph, this was just 660 miles.
We had the average speed of a horse.
We just used billions of dollars of technology to equal the Amish, LOL.