Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The hell which is Delta and the Atlanta airport

So yep, I made the mistake of traveling on Thursday, the 10th, when all that stuff came down about the 11 planes headed to the US from London. Did I do this on purpose? No. but yes, that is my luck. Unfortuneately, I flew, or attempted to fly Delta.

In regards to my flight time, I call a Delta rep (HA HA HA) and say, "in your expert opinion, given that my flight is later tonight, would it be in my best interest to be at the airport 3 hours early"?. His response (by the way, I LOVE outsourced help), "well you could do that". THAT was an EXPERT opinion. Well, no shit, Sherlock, I COULD do that but would you recommend it? Of course I didn't ask that aloud, my hell, it would have shut his brain down for a good 10 minutes.

So, I get to the airport, 3 hours early, it's 4 p.m., I breeze through security, shoes off, ready to go, get my shoes back on and get to the gate, it's 4:30. My flight leaves at 7:30 and I'm okay with that, I start to read Eat, Pray, Love. Good book by the way.

We get bumped from 7:30 to 8:25, the gate agent who looks and sounds like the little black woman from Police Academy is saying something that is barely understandable into the microphone about why the flight is canceled. Someone yells, "speak up, please". Her response to this is to stop talking and hang the "mic" up. I thought, NOW is not the TIME for your fear of crowds to kick IN, dammit. We get bumped to 9:35. First we get told, by a different person that it's because of the weather and yes it was raining and YES the Atlanta airport loses thier shit when it rains, good thing it doesn't SNOW.

We get bumped to 10:25, by now people are getting that "red rum" look in their eyes, because NO ONE that works for Delta is communicating with us, not ONE PERSON. The rain has now stopped. We get bumped to 11:35. By this point I've been in the airport for 7 hours and 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes counts!

At 11:50 the CANCEL the flight, here's the reason. "The FAA sets forth regualtions that states that pilots can't fly beyond 8 hours a day and now we can't find a crew to fly the plane." I'm ready to fly that bitch myself. I find this hard to believe as a Delta flight to Tennessee leaves right behind us and I'm only going to OHIO.

People were pissed and that's an understatement. By this time, any viable option that people had to catch other flights has long passed, the airport is shutting down. Don't bother to go to baggage claim, there's 2000, yes 2000 people down there and security isn't letting anyone back up. ALL the hotels in Atlanta near the airport were booked solid, but on behalf of Delta, let us offer you this see-through, flimsy, couldn't wipe your butt with it, blanket, because, folks, Welcome to CHEZ HARTSFIELD. (that's the name of the Atlanta airport).

Oh right, I had been up since 5 a.m. so by this time, I've been awake for 17 hours and have been in the airport for 7 of those hours.

I stand in 3 different lines trying to get the first fight out that I can and only when I get a 10:12 on Friday morning do I attempt to find a nice, quiet corner to close my eyes. I find this corner on the floor of the "D" terminal that they are remodeling, but I'm in the ghetto section, because as you are walking to the gate I was leaving from, they had only gotten half-way with the remodeling and it's like walking from Park Avenue into the GHETTO complete with nasty ass carpet that you PRAY is stained by soda, coffee, etc. This is at 3 a.m. I've now been awake for 20 hours to go to OHIO to surprise my friend for her birthday. I lay down on my "blanket" and...

I just get my eyes closed and this piercing alarm goes off. They decided to test the alarms in the airport at 3:15 a.m. From that point on I was awake.

At 10:12 a.m. Friday morning I board my flight to OHIO. I've been awake for 29 hours and at the airport for who frikken CARES, I've been awake for 29 hours. We leave, I sleep for 1 hour on the plane, so now I've been awake for 28 hours. I get off the plane, they've LOST my luggage, I have a concert to go to that night for my friend. I have to buy new clothing. Everything, from the panties to the shoes AND toiletries because I checked all that in. Hell no, I'm not throwing that stuff away via carry-on.

I do not get a nap before the concert. It starts at 8 p.m. I stay awake for 42 hours, car ride to show, show, car ride home.

I collapse into bed.

-42 hours to get to Ohio (250.00 bucks)
-spending the night in the ghetto part of the Atlanta airport to surprise a friend of 6 years for her birthday and then having to replace lost luggage (200.00)
-actually having a good time at the American Idol Concert (because it's HER birthday, you hate that show) (60.oo bucks)
-friend being pissy because she doesn't like surprises (PRICELESS)

I hope this never ever ever happens to any of you.


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