Saturday, January 22, 2011
Trip from Hell
It's been a while since I've blogged, but we moved from Colorado to Oregon over Christmas break and believe me there hasn't been a dull moment since. This is the story about our "Trip from Hell".
The shortest version is this: We arrived at the Colorado Springs airport with my mom, my three kids, 6 pieces of luggage, two car seats and me, only to find out that our flight had been cancelled....I mean cancelled! Apparently there was some mechanical problem and we had to either fly out the next day or take a bus to Denver (hour and a half drive) and make our connection there. My husband and the dog had already left town in the car, so we really had nowhere to stay. It looked like bussing it to Denver was our only option.
We arrived in Denver with just over an hour to get to our gate, which as we know now, is NOT enough time. We were told they would be expecting us and help to expedite us, but that was a joke. So after fighting with the curb checker and waiting 45 minutes in line to get through security, it really got good.
We began to run to get to the tram, and then ran some more to get to our gate, which was the very last B gate. It seemed like we might not make it. I told mom to run with the kids, and I would run ahead and go tell someone to wait for us. I stopped at two different United Airline gates on the way, gasping for breath, and trying to tell them I needed help. One gate person looked at me and then ignored me. The next woman said she would call ahead, but they wouldn't hold the plane for me. I think as I left I said something like "@itch" under my breath. I just kept running and sweating, carrying the kids back packs and my own stuff. I think we must have went something like 2 miles to get from the security gate to our departure gate.
I saw the plane sitting there, but the door was closed. I ran up to the lady at the gate and asked if we could get on the plane. She looked up from her computer and said "the door is closed ma'am." So I said "well can you open it? I have my mom and three kids running here". She didn't answer me or even look up at me.
At this point I lost it, I just threw all my bags on the ground and sat down and cried. Now this might seem like an over reaction, however I had been in the middle of moving for over a week, we had been staying at (TLF) Temporary lodge Facility, and a crappy one at that, for a week. Six of us and the dog in a small hotel type room. There hadn't been much sleep during that week and now this!!! How unfair life can be!
So my 8 year old finally caught up with me and saw me crying and said, "umm mom, are we going to get on another flight?"
All I could muster was "I don't know son". I really felt exhausted, stressed and sweaty from running to get to a plane that wouldn't let us on!
So then we had to wait in a line to get re-routed to another flight. People all stare at you like you've done something wrong, maybe just overslept and missed your flight.....ummmm HELLOOOOO the airlines screwed up again, I wanted to scream!
After fighting with the lady for several minutes to get us out sooner than 10pm that night (it was noon at this point), she finally moved us to another airline (Frontier) at 6pm. So what to do with 3 kids in the airport for 6 hours?? We'd already been trying to fly for the past 4 hours, and had been on a bus for 1.5 hours...hmmm. Oh yes the one saving grace, the USO club. Since my husband is in the Army, and the great people at the USO volunteer their time, there is a wonderful place in all major airports called the USO that we can go to even when my husband is not traveling with us, as long as you have a military ID card.
So we spent 4 hours there. They have a kids area, video games, free sandwich's, and much much more. Not to say I wouldn't have rather been on a plane home, but it helped us out for sure. We saw people come and go but we apparently stayed for an entire shift. The kids didn't have naps, and this was all starting to really wear on them, so we decided to go wander the airport for the next 2 hours before wheels up.
We walked, ate some more food, I met a wonderful young soldier on his first enlistment in the Army and we chatted for a long time. He was so happy to be a soldier, he said "I can't believe I get paid to do this job". Ella played with her dolls right next to him and sang many of her "original" songs. After a few kid meltdowns, I apologized but assured him it was great birth control for him. He said "I'm in no hurry to have kids ma'am", so I thought, "my work here is done". Hehehe!
We finally boarded the flight and with some crying, fussing, and exhaustion made it home to Portland. Ah home we thought, now things will be alright. Right? Wrong!
We went to the United desk to locate our luggage that should have arrived hours prior, only to find that our bags were in Eugene (2 hours away). I looked like a deer in the headlights...........my mom put her hand on her hip and said "This is ridiculous, this is the worst flight I have ever been on........etc. etc. etc". Finally I looked at my children right outside the door rolling around on the nasty airport floor, the baby flinging his blankie up in the air, and I said, "mom, I don't have time for this", Then I asked the man "what do we need to do now". I had to go two blocks to the other side of baggage claim to file a claim with Frontier. They were not the ones who lost our luggage, but the ones responsible for it anyway because they flew us home. Exasperated, I decided to soldier up and tell mom to go get the kids in the car (my dad was waiting outside), and I would file the claim.
In the midst of landing my poor husband with horrible timing, called to see where we were. I think I might have said some things I shouldn't have, like "if you ever ask me to move again, I will leave you", and "I hate you right now", and a few other things until I recognized that just because he drove 12 hours and got to Idaho before we landed in Portland 12 hours after we started, for what should have been a 2.5 hour trip, I shouldn't take it out on him. I believe that's when I told him I would call him later. Sorry hubs!
Needless to say, Frontier was wonderful, they took the information and gave me some travel toothbrushes and said they would deliver the luggage the next day. So with one more diaper in my purse, no clothes or PJ's for the kids, we put my mom's T-Shirts on them, put them to bed. I did the only thing I could do. Pour myself a glass of wine and sit on the couch and laugh! This was only the beginning, the movers hadn't shown up with our stuff yet....................