Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Adventures in Traveling

I had planned the trip to GA back in the fall of 2007. It was going to be just the girls and I but when Sharon found the Skybus website and was able to get such cheap tickets, I couldn't deny my husband a chance to come see the girls & grandkids too. Then the youngest in Illinois started talking about coming out to see us, and so I looked on Skybus.com and found tickets for him for only $35.00. How could I pass that up? I bought his tickets for the same weekend. Then we found out the oldest was coming in the same weekend from MS. We were so excited. As you have probably guessed when you first saw the name of the airline, this airline was one of those that went out of business, the Saturday before we were to leave for GA. So now we were scrambling for some way to get out there. Tickets were purchased at a significant additional cost. We were to fly through Boston, Mass. then down to Charlotte, NC where Sharon was to pick us up. Here is where the adventure starts: My husband uses a wheelchair for long distance walking. The attendant was waiting at the ramp for us in Boston. I showed her the printed directions to go through baggage claim, to the 2nd curb, take the #11 shuttle bus to terminal B. All is well until we get to the baggage claim.
Me: Why are we stopping here?
Her: Don't you have luggage?
Me: Yes, but don't the airlines transfer luggage from one plane to the other when you have another flight?
Her: So you don't have luggage?
Me: Yes, but don't the airlines transfer luggage from one plane to the other when you have another flight?
Her: So you have luggage?
Me: (showing her the directions again) We need to go through baggage claim, to the 2nd curb, take the #11 shuttle bus to terminal B. (extremely frustrated by now)
Her: Oh, now I know what you want.
We proceed out the double doors to our left and see a bus pulling away from the curb. I thought, knowing how luck is going, that is going to be the shuttle we need. An 1/2 hr. later the shuttle returns (confirming my suspicions), I ask for the handicapp ramp for my husband. The ramp comes down but won't open. They fiddle with it for another 5-6 min. when they pull it back in. By this time, I am climbing in the shuttle regardless and Leo follows. We get to the other terminal at 6:20 pm, (our flight leaves at 6:25pm). There is no wheelchair waiting. We ask customer service for a wheelchair which takes another 5 minutes. Mind you, we still have to go through security checkpoint again, which of course is jam-packed. Even with wheelchairs being passed through ahead of the line, it still took what seemed forever. We hurried to the gate, and while the plane was still on the ground, the doors were closed and would not open again; we had missed our flight. The next flight out was 6:10 am the next morning. We were stuck in Boston. We called family and then spoke with customer service. I explained what happened, and requested they get us a room at their cost as there was no way my disabled husband could stay up in the airport all night. A gentleman came out later and gave us "vouchers" for 2 dinners (already had it), 2 breakfasts and a room at the Embassy Suites. We took the shuttle to Embassy Suites and checked in at the desk. By this time it is 10 or 11 o'clock at night. That is when we find out that we don't have a "voucher or comp" room (meaning the airport picks up the tab) but we get the $400+ room for only $159+. Ooooooohhhh, I was so mad!!!! What choice did we have? Return to the airport or pay for the hotel? I paid for the hotel and we went to our beautiful room in which we immediately went to bed; Leo to sleep, me to toss & turn (my white noise fan to drown out Leo's snores is in the luggage in Charlotte, NC.)

We had a wake up call at 4 am for our 6:10 am flight. Everything went smoothly until we started our return home. We are to fly through Las Vegas this time, with the same 1 1/4 hr window. I gave instructions to the wheelchair attendant that we need to go to terminal D for our next flight. We are about 100 ft along when he turns to me and asks me: "Do you have any luggage to pick up in baggage claim?" Oh, no!! Not again!!!!


Sharon said...

Ha, ha, ha! Too funny! I bet you straigtened him out right quick! Our flights are all non-stop in June so I don't expect to have the issues you had, yeah! The kids were so sad to see you gone and they really miss their U. Kenney. Emilia keeps asking when we are going to see him again.

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