Well, I just survived my very first “stuck in an airport for a connecting flight because it’s snowing at home” experience. And I’ll bet you’re jealous!
For those of you who follow my tweet, you probably know what happened cos I was tweeting the whole way! For those of you who don’t, here’s the story.
Original Plan: leave Cleveland on Dec. 19th on a 7pm flight. Layover in BWI. Land in Albany at 11 pm.
What actually happened: Wish it were that easy to explain!
The afternoon of Dec. 18th, I get a call from my mother, frantic, explaining that I must do everything in my power to try to get to Albany earlier. We’re expecting a big snow storm (big= 12-15 inches) and she knows that if I stay on my flight I will never make it home.
I find a new flight, 6am from Cleveland, getting into Albany at 11 am (slight layover in BWI again) just before the storm is supposed to start. Tell everyone at work that I can work from home and from the airport. Great, right? Story over?
If only it were that simple!
7pm I get a call saying my 6am flight from Cleveland is cancelled. Not delayed, not postponed, but cancelled. A nice recording from Southwest tells me this, and says if I per chance want to reschedule my trip (hmm..let’s see, why would I want to do that?) to stay on the line. Of course I stay on the line, ask why the 6 am is cancelled (woman’s answer: “Bad weather in the Midwest.” Not Cleveland, but the Midwest. How the heck are they cancelling a flight for weather nearly 12 hours before it’s supposed to leave?) and reschedule myself on the next available flight out of Cleveland..11:15, layover in BWI, leave BWI at 2:35 and get into Albany at 3:45. Wonderful!
Again, if only it were that simple.
My flight leaves Cleveland slightly delayed. I have 2 hours to kill in BWI so am able to do some of the aforementioned promised billable work. (“Bill, baby, bill!”) 2 o’clock rolls around and the monitors read “Boarding” for my flight. This is promising! Just then a woman gets on the loudspeaker and says, “Attention, all passengers hoping to get to Albany…” My stomach sinks. “Hoping” to get to Albany? This can’t be good. “…your flight has been cancelled due to weather up north. There are 3 other flights out of BWI today and if you go to the desk over there….” Mass chaos ensues. People run toward the desk to get new flights, find out what’s happening, etc. Within moments all 150 people on my flight (plus about 50 more from an earlier noon flight that was cancelled) end up in line behind TWO airline employees. And of course, I’m not in the front of the line. What can I do?