Win some, lose some

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I probably have a couple of posts to write about my trip to NJ, to be honest. It was a mix of good things and not-so-good, and I had some very serious thoughts while there concerning moving back to that state sometime in the next year or two. I think I’ll get the negative-type of stuff out of the way first, so I can write about the happier stuff and enjoy doing that–tomorrow. 🙂

Since I’m exhausted right now, physically and mentally, it’s the perfect time to just spit out the complainy crap. So here goes nuthin’:

The flight:

I had a bunch of factors working against me on Thursday morning when it was time to get to the airport. I did leave a little later than I expected to, but nothing to worry me once I got on the road. But that was when I hit traffic from an accident–minor, of course! People love to rubberneck and act like idiots for the dumbest stuff–it shaved some precious time from my pre-flight window of time, and it started to make me worry. I got to the parking lot and jumped onto the shuttle to take me to the airport, and everything was going OK until The Most Annoying Woman got on the shuttle and began to ask a bunch of questions about the lot’s carwash/detailing service they now do (you can get your car washed and detailed while you’re away). Thanks to the in-depth questions and answers I overheard, I learned the service costs between $24.99 and $99.99, depending on the level of service you want. They do the detailing on a day you give them at the time of reserving the service, and it should be the day you are arriving back home so your car will be fresh and not all dusty. Et cetera, et cetera… She stood in the doorway of the shuttle asking all these questions, mind you, so the driver couldn’t just drive off. The stupid woman didn’t think to come in and sit down and ask while he drove or something?! Some people are just incredibly oblivious to the rest of the world, it’s amazing.

I was at the last of the terminals to be dropped off from the shuttle once we finally got moving. (The lady decided not to buy the wash/detail service after all, but “was definitely going to think about it” for her next trip. Oh, good. So glad we all got to witness that momentous decision.) I got in there and it took some time to get through the line up to the counter. If I wasn’t going to check my bag, I could have just checked in at a kiosk and gone my way, 1-2-3. But because I did want to check the bag, I had to wait for a counter agent. By then, I was panicking and sweating because I had only about 12-15 minutes or so before my flight was slated to take off!

I got up to the counter and it was about 10 minutes from takeoff. From experience, I knew I could make it to the gate, though, because it was the smallest of the terminals and not that many people seemed to be flying at that hour. However, the agent refused to print my boarding pass, saying I needed to allow 15 minutes to move through security, and by then it would be too late. I pleaded, but it was clear the woman wasn’t going to budge. I missed my flight.

I flew standby on the next flight, which was almost 4 hours later. I was pretty upset, I’m not gonna lie. The whole thing felt so unfair, because of the lack of control I had over the situations that led to me being so late. But I got over it by the time I got on the plane. I had the shittiest seat, too… a middle seat between two larger men. No kidding! I swear, the flight gods were not being kind to me that morning. To top it off, I had sharp abdominal pains that I now think were caused by gas. I guess you can get gassy on a plane with the altitude changes or something…? Either way, I had to use the bathroom twice during the flight, which didn’t make my seatmates happy, but whatever. I did what I had to do.

Skipping ahead to the end of my trip–

My dad drove me to Newark airport, and dropped me off at Terminal A. The signs as we drove in said that United and Continental both were in Terminal A, and I was flying United flight #66, operated by Continental Airlines.

I tried going to the United counter first, since that was the actual number of the flight. When I finally got up to the counter, I was told to go to the Continental counter. I did. And that line was amazingly slow. They had literally ONE AGENT working the counter for the economy class flyers, while THREE were helping the ones with the Elite Pass, whatever that is. It took about 45 minutes to finally get up to the counter. Seriously.

And then, the agent tells me I was supposed to be in Terminal C. Not A. Apparently, United and Continental are both located in two terminals. How the hell was I supposed to know that?! I checked my bag, and specifically asked the security-screener who was going to x-ray my bag if it would get to the correct terminal, and he assured me that it would, that there is a shuttle to bring the suitcases around, etc…

I had a bad feeling about that, though. I rode the train over to the other terminal, went through security, and just made it to my gate as they began boarding. Again, I was much later than I wanted to be, and again it was due to circumstances I couldn’t control. After all, my Dad got me there extra early (2 hours, 15 minutes) thanks to my bad experience with the flight out on Thursday. Crazy how awful things can run in an airport sometimes. I’ve been spoiled/lucky not to have issues until now.

And then, of course, the final insult: They lost my bag.

I found out it ended up in Cleveland, which is funny to me somehow. Fortunately, it was delivered to me this morning. Weirdly, though, everything inside was damp. I have a feeling the suitcase was left in the rain someplace. I was just happy to have it back, and have my running shoes safe along with my silly nightguard for my teeth-grinding issues.

I’m too tired to finish this right now, but the flight was enough of an annoyance to fill up one post. Interesting. Oh, well.

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3 responses »

  1. Wow. What a total nightmare! Kudos to you for writing this much after getting back. It’s taken me so long to get back into the groove of things after my trip!

  2. Wow, that is an exceptional bad travel experience both ways. I am so sorry. Problems while flying suck more than any other issues I believe. The airports and personnel certainly don’t help to make things go smoother either. They certainly charge enough, we should get good service.

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