When the gate agents showed up I checked on the status of the flight, telling them I had been bumped off of the 6:25am flight. 'Err, you mean the 6:30 flight, right?' was her response. 6:30?!?! That other !#%! #!%^$@ !#%!#% had !#%^!# !#%!#%!# ^!#%!#$ lied to me! I couldn't believe that !#% !#^!#^ !^%@# had lied to me! I was asked if I could describe the person at the counter who had told me the flight was at 6:25, which was a pretty pointless exercise. I wasn't exactly examining her for distinguishing details. Errrr, about so tall *waves hand at ambiguous sort of height* and brown hair. I was then told that the 10:30 flight was also overbooked and they weren't sure they could get me on it. Man was I pissed.
To make a long story shorter, they managed to squeeze me on at the last minute and I was off to denver. I had missed my earlier connection to Tucson and the next wouldn't leave for 3 hours or so after my flight arrived. The plane landed, I disembarked, and started looking for the next gate I needed to get to. It seems that the denver airport had just been expanded or otherwise improved and it was every inch a modern airport. Every inch except for the stretch where my flight was taking off from. This part of the terminal looked like a concrete bunker left over from WWII. There was no air conditioning, no ramp whozit, and it was the first time I've ever boarded an airplane from the ground. After waiting around for a few hours and checking in, one of the frontier airlines people called me over and had me grab my things. Apparently the plane was leaving, they had found room for me, and we had to hurry. We scurry over to the small jet, toss my baggage to the ground crew, and I get myself settled onboard. I breathed a sign of relief that I would make it to the conference on time and leaned back to relax. Just as I was giving some serious thought to going to sleep, I heard over the speaker, and 'Our flight to omaha this afternoon will...'. I popped up in terror and flagged down a flight attendent. 'NEBRASKA?!!' I asked with some incredulity. She nodded brightly and said, 'Yep, Omaha'. 'No! Tucson!', was my only reply, at which point I was let off the plane and recovered my baggage from its underside. It seems the frontier airlines person had never actually looked at my ticket and just assumed I wanted on the next flight. I had a horror filled moment of calling up my advisor and having to tell him I was stuck in nebraska and wouldn't be able to undertake my projectionist duties for the plenary speakers. Feh, what a mess that would have been.
The short of it is I finally got to tucson, though 7 hours or so after when I was supposed to have and a total of 12 hours or so at airports and in the air.
Having learned my lesson about getting their early, I arrived for my flight out of tucson with over 2 hours to spare. Of course it was fate that the flight was delayed by 40 minutes. I was assured that I would be able to make my connection in denver for chicago and so I sat down to finish my book. 40 minutes turned to a hour and I started to worry. I was told there would be no problems and soon the plane started to load. Around a dozen people made it through the gate before the line stalled, and then slowly and with increasing speed, reversed. Accompanied by a sinking feeling in my stomach, we were told that the delay had extended yet another hour. Apparently Godzilla was attacking Denver and making a right mess of things. Joining other poor connection schlubs in line, I finally got to the counter and was told that I could kiss my connection goodbye. I was told that I could either stay in tucson another day and they would book me on a flight to denver and then chicago in the morning or fly on to denever and stay there overnight and fly out to chicago in the morning. She went on to say that if I decided to go on to denver, I would be responsible for finding my own hotel and paying for it. I took this to mean if I stayed in tucson that they would put me up...Bzzz, wrong. Once that was made clear I decided to head on to denver. The Tucson airport is teeny tiny and the only resturant I found was something called 'The last bar and grill', a name that seems to be in poor choice.
It was a rocky flight to denver but as the flight touched down I was told that there was still a chance I could make my connection which had also been delayed for hours due to weather. After a frantic run through the terminal, I arrived in time to catch the flight. Weeeee. I settled myself in, put my carry-on in the overhead compartment when a girl approached me and said I was in her seat. It turns out they double booked the seat and after another 10 minutes or so of chaos and confusion, I got bumped to the back of the plane and everything worked out. It turns out that she had just returned from china and we chatted a bit about her trip there. The plane landed in chicago around 1am and I snagged a cab to my apartment. The cabby took the long way around which padded the bill quite a bit, and after making a cell call to my parents from the cab to tell them I had arrived safely, it was time for some relaxation and sleep at home. Wrong. Apparently when I put my cell back into my pocket in the cab it slipped out and so I was cellphoneless. Add to that my home phone chose that moment in time to break and I discovered that some packages delivered to me while I was gone had been stolen. Feh...
So it's a few days later now and the cab company still has not found my phone. I'm sure the cabby that ripped me off has hocked the thing by now. I bought myself a new home phone, and I've basically kissed my packages goodbye. There's no chance I'll get them back no reimbursed for them. Add to that the ton of work I have to get done at the lab and it's not hard to understand why I'm feeling a bit extra frustrated and bitter lately. I wish I could just feeze time and live in a limbo where nothing happens for a while.