After four days of travel, Joan and I are back at home. And thus this vignette.
Our stay in Australia was wonderful. We had a blast. Merely seeing and holding the new little girls Indigo and Zora was worth all the time and trouble getting there and returning.
I have previously reported “on getting there.” I should add this: Qantas knows how to deal with irate and exhausted passengers and does everything possible to help the customer who has been delayed by Qantas. Not true for the airline that begins with “A” and should end with “sshole.”
After leaving Australia on time on Thursday US time and arriving on time Friday US time at DFW 16 hours or so later, we learned that our connecting flight had been nixed because of “bad” weather. That meant a stay overnight in Dallas. Apparently “A” cancelled flights right and left with little or no notice. (“American Airlines, which uses Dallas-Fort Worth airport as its main hub, had cancelled 600 flights, system-wide, on Saturday, after cancelling 700 on Friday, said airline spokesman Matt Miller. One American flight from the airport to Oklahoma City that typically takes less than an hour ended up being a nine-hour journey for some passengers.” Here.)
We were given a voucher for a hotel. Of course, the hotel refused to honor the voucher claiming that it was not a reservation and the hotel was all booked. We then wandered around paying $150 in cab fees trying to find another hotel. No luck. Back to airport. Guess we will sleep in the airport.
Not so fast, you bald-headed bastard from Nebraska. WE care about your security.
We won’t allow you to check your bags because more than 24 hours showed on the clock before your connecting flight left. Because we couldn’t check our bags, we couldn’t get a boarding pass that allowed us to enter the airport.
Joseph Heller once wrote a really good book about planes and idiocy. See Catch-22. If you haven’t read it, read it.
It was cold. Joan and I had left with heavy sweaters but nothing sufficient to deal with the Dallas temperature. Since we were freezing, we took a shuttle to the rental car place. We rented a car, drove it up one ramp to the top where the cars were returned and “slept” for 5 hours with heater running full blast.
At 5:30 AM Saturday morning, we arrived back at the airport to find that only one person was trying to rebook hundreds of cancelled flights. To our amazement, they took our bags and gave us a boarding pass for that evening. We were flying to Grand Island, Nebraska, about 90 miles west of Lincoln because that made the most sense (at the time) to connect with Qantas and clear customs and immigration.
We were both exhausted. While we waited, I salvaged two cots from other “walking dead” who had no use for them. Fitfully, we fell asleep.
In the afternoon, and I got itchy because I learned the Grand Island flight that left early afternoon had been cancelled. The evening flight was apparently still scheduled to fly–but I thought I should make sure. I finally found two competent “A” airlines employees who reported that not only was our evening flight cancelled, but we had been bumped all the way back until Tuesday evening. When I asked why full price tickets had been cancelled, and we had been bumped, both agents shrugged. They had no idea.
Rather than go postal, I sat on the cots with Joan and suggested that we drive to Lincoln in a rental car. For $900 bucks, that we did. We drove to Norman, Oklahoma Saturday evening US time and then on to Lincoln on Sunday arriving home at 6:00 PM.
By the way, our car we drove to Grand Island is presumably still there. Where is our baggage? That is known only by the Gods, and I presume only the snarky ones have that inside information.
Blogging will be slow. I will return the rental car today. Figure out when Joan should drive me to Grand Island to pick up our car and hopefully the luggage.
While I was gone, my “kiddie porn” case scheduled for trial today settled. I just can’t catch a break.