Posted by: lylescott89 | August 25, 2011

Nightmare at O’hare

Hey kids,

Recently I took a trip to Cleveland, OH(motto: We’re not Detroit), but I did not fly there directly.  I flew to Indianapolis on a Sunday to meet some great friends (Bill, Melissa and Willy) first and then Bill, Willy and I were going to all drive to Cleveland (Invented by Moses Cleveland) together on Wednesday. Unfortunately for all of us Melissa had to work.  Melissa is fun and is quite possibly the world’s greatest cook.  A little more on that later.

Allow to me to fill you in on the nightmare that was my flight to Indianapolis.  It started out too well I guess.  I was picked up in the morning by David, one of the top 10 greatest guys in the world.  David would do anything for a friend and he is a great conversationalist.  Unfortunately his beautiful wife, Ann, was unable to join us.  Anyway, I arrived at the airport and there was hardly anyone around.  I had already checked in on line so all I had to do was get my bag tagged and then get through security.  Both were done very simply.  Then I had some delicious breakfast and waited for my flight.  I boarded without incident and waited to see who would be next to me.  While I was hoping for a hot blond, I got a brunette whale.  So it was a little uncomfortable, but I zoned out and did some reading so it was okay.

We landed in Chicago, I turned my phone back on and I noticed I had two voice mails.  The first one was a recording from United Airlines and it said

“Your flight from Tampa to Chicago has been canceled.  You have been rebooked on flight #378 to Washington, DC and then flight 68 to Indianapolis.”

Now, the fact that I was looking out the window and looking at downtown Chicago in the distance really confused me.  How could my flight to Chicago have been canceled if I was on it?  The time of the VM was approximately 20 minutes after we left Tampa.  So I listened to the second VM, also from UA:

“Your flight from Chicago to Indianapolis has been canceled.  You have been rebooked on flight 260 and will arrive in Indianapolis at 10:38 PM.”

Now, that flight did not leave for another eight hours and I knew Melissa would have a spectacular meal prepared for me and I did not want to miss it, so I went to find out if there were any earlier flights.  There were two so I went to a bank of UA phones and asked the agent what I needed to do and she said (in an Indian accent) to go to a desk agent.  After the guy in line in front of me stopped screaming and throwing things I then asked a UA desk agent what I needed to do.  She said I needed to go to customer service in terminal B.  So I went over to B (which took about 15-20 minutes) and saw what appeared to be at least 150 people in the customer service line and two agents to help them all.  I am not kidding about that in the least.  I went to find another phone that would connect me to an agent.  I found one and it was broken.  I found another and was told that I did not need to go to customer service.  All I had to do was go to any desk agent and they could do it.  So I went to the first agent I could find and stood there.  She ignored me.  I said excuse me and she said “I’m busy, go away”.  (And no, I am not making that up)  I was kind of floored and I said “excuse me?”  She reiterated that she was busy and told me to leave.  I made a snide remark and left. I’m pretty sure I stuck my tongue out at her as well.

I went down to the next agent and told him what was going on.  He told me that the agent on the phone lied to me and that gate agents could not help.  I had to go to customer service.  I was not going to do that, so I went back to the phone.  I got another agent with an Indian accent and he said he could get me on the 4:30 flight instead of the 8:45.  He rebooked me without incident and said to go to any gate agent to get my boarding pass printed.  I said that my other boarding passes were electronic and asked if he could email it to me.  He said sure.  I asked about my luggage and he said there were still three hours before my flight so that would not be an issue.

I waited and waited for that email and it never showed up.  (To this day it still has not.)   So, I went to yet another gate agent and he printed up my boarding pass for me.  Finally, I could relax so I went and had some lunch and then went to the President’s Club as they had given me a free pass for that.  It was nice and quiet in there, but the snacks sucked and it was filled with old men that looked like they should be smoking cigars at a race track betting on the horses.

I checked the departures board and it said my flight would load at 4:07 PM, so at that time I walked over there.  And then I waited and waited and waited.  Finally they started boarding at 4:45 PM.  Remember that whale from the last flight?  Well she was petite compared to the woman that was now sitting next to me.  We pulled away from the gate and made our way to the runway.  The pilot came on and said “we are number 15 in line for takeoff”.  Great, just great.  Then as we got close to our spot in line the winds shifted so the pilot came on again and said we had to go to a different runway.  We got to that runaway (and passed the gate where we started) and got back in line.  The pilot said we were finally next in line and then it started pouring rain.  The pilot came back on and said we could not take off and we had to get off the runway and wait.  I had been on that plane for an hour and was about ready to scream.

Then a good thing happened.  The slightly smaller friend of the giant whale sitting next to me came over and asked if I would change seats so they could be together.  I immediately said yes and ended up in an exit row sitting next to a small Asian guy that spoke no English.  It was now 6:00.

About 10 minutes later we got back in line to take off and finally got in the air at 6:10.  All the passengers cheered.  We landed 34 minutes later in Indy.  Then the pilot came on and said that the only gate that our plane could use was still occupied and we would have to wait.  After sitting on the friggin’ tarmac for 38 minutes we finally got to the gate and got off the wretched plane.  I was tired, sweaty and hungry.  The small Asian guy had fallen asleep and was still sleeping as we all disembarked.

I went to go check on my bag and instead of waiting there to make sure it had arrived I immediately went to the lost baggage place and asked if they could check if it was on my flight.  It was not.  My bag was still in Chicago waiting for its flight and he told me that O’Hare was shut down due to weather, which had gotten worse again after we left.  Bill gave him the address of where I was going to be and he said they would deliver it after it arrived.  I stayed up until about midnight waiting for it and still it had not arrived, so all I had were the clothes I was wearing and an extra shirt.  I did have my medications, which was good.  Luckily my friends had extra toothbrushes and such so I was able to take care of that.  Although I do not know when, the bag finally arrived as it was waiting outside the front door in the morning.  Melissa brought it in when she let the doggie out.

But, I was well rewarded for my horrid day with dinner.  Melissa had made some homemade pizzas as an appetizer followed by pasta with Italian sausage and her homemade sauce.  The pizza dough was unbelievably flavorful and of course so was the pasta sauce and everything else she made.  I also met one of Willy’s friends, Nick, and he was a really nice kid.  We’ll talk more about him later.

The rest of the week and the flight home were all completely awesome, but you’ll have to check back to read about that.



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