Sinkoff’s Travel Disaster
When the bright spot of a trip to Norfolk, Virginia for a funeral is the actual funeral, you know it had to be a bad journey.
When your flight gets delayed, then cancelled and you end up at your destination almost 24 hours later than you were supposed to, it just gives all new meaning to the term, feel free.
It all started on Monday. I was leaving Norfolk, Va after going to my Aunt’s funeral (I’m going to miss you Aunt Cely!). I had a connection @ DC’s Dulles airport first. I left Norfolk @ 7:35pm and got to DC at around 8:50pm.
Upon arriving in our Nation’s Capital, I then looked to see what gate my Albany flight was leaving from. To my surprise, it was now leaving @ 1:13am Eastern. That’s when it was scheduled to leave – I might add. I learned weather was the reason for the delay. FEEL FREE #1.
At that point I panicked – when would I get home? Would I even make it home? Would my flight be delayed? Would I make it back to host “Sound-off with Sinkoff” on Tuesday? By that point it was after 9pm and I hadn’t eaten dinner yet. I had over 4 hours to kill and I needed to eat. But what happened? All of the restaurants and stores in my wing of the airport CLOSED @ 9pm! It’s Washington DC and stuff is closed! Really? FEEL FREE #2. Even in our tiny Albany Airport, the stores even stay open past 9pm.
Since Dulles Airport is as big as Schenectady County, I knew an eating establishment had to be open in this airport somewhere. But guess what? The express train to the other gates also stopped running at 9pm. FEEL FREE #3.
I had to then take an underground train to the main terminal to try and find somewhere to eat. This new train (part of Dulles’ new $3 billion expansion project) looked like the death chamber in Resident Evil (see below right). I got a ride to the terminal and found a Subway that was still opened.
I went back to my terminal (Terminal C) via the Resident Evil death chamber car and soon after found out my 1:13am flight was now cancelled. FEEL FREE #4.
I quickly got in the customer service line and booked a flight @ 12:35pm on Tuesday (there were only 2 open seats and I was able to get one). The airline which I won’t name but it starts with a U and ends with a D and is the opposite of “divided” told me they couldn’t pay for a hotel but would give me a reduced rate at the Sheraton. I said okay but I needed my bag first. They gave me a hotel voucher, told me where to catch the hotel shuttle and sent me on my way. But first, I had to get my suitcase (with all my stuff in it). I went to the “I lost my baggage, please help area” to hunt down my bag.
A side note, when you think you’re having a bad day, just listen to the stories about other people’s lost luggage. There was a woman in line that wasn’t getting her bag returned until the next day but her apartment and car keys were in her lost suitcase. Another couple missed their flight to Hawaii for their honeymoon! Their bags were lost and their vacation was ruined. FEEL FREE #5.
But I digress.
They were going to track down my bag but I had to wait until they found it. It was going to be at least a half an hour before they could retrieve return it. They said, “Just wait by the carousel, it will be there soon.” I waited for 45 minutes (see left) and finally got my bag. I had to wait – who knows where it would have ended up – perhaps with in Hawaii with the other couple’s bags?
So then I had to wait some more for the Sheraton shuttle bus. Another 45 minutes of waiting outside in a sleet storm. FEEL FREE #6.
Every other hotel shuttle bus in the world showed up before mine (including Motel 6 – I didn’t know Motel 6 even had a shuttle).
I finally got the shuttle and arrived @ the hotel (around 12:30am). I checked in under the reduced rate ($69.99) and asked how much this hotel would have cost without a discount – I had to know I was getting something from this horrible trip). The woman behind the counter said my room would have been $209.99 if I would have booked it that night. Nice.
My room was awesome and I was definitely living large and in charge (see right). That was one bright spot to the day, right?
After a good night sleep, it was off to the airport via the shuttle. My flight to Albany was “scheduled” for 12:35pm with arrival in the Capital Region around 1:50pm. As we were about to board, they came on the loudspeaker and said, “The flight to Albany has been moved from Gate 28 to Gate 20″. FEEL FREE #7. “In addition, it’s now been delayed to 1:35pm.” FEEL FREE #8.
That meant I was going to miss the beginning of “Sound-off with Sinkoff” today. That’s not good. FEEL FREE #9.
We finally took off (at around 1:50pm) and landed at Albany International Airport at 2:52pm. A side note here: why is it called Albany International Airport? There isn’t one International flight that leaves from here? Upon further review – there’s actually one flight each day to Toronto. FEEL FREE #10.
After 22 hours of travel, 2 cancelled flights and a hotel overnight stay in Washington DC, I finally got off the plane, grabbed my luggage and headed to the station to do a radio show.
I’ve never been so happy to see 10 degree weather in my life! FEEL FREE!