Sometimes plans go awry. And that is alright. There was not a lot of joy in Atlanta last night—at least at the airport. Freakish weather for this time of year put Atlanta in a weird spot. The airport was on Ground Hold or something. I don’t really remember what they called it but all I know is that my Dayton to Atlanta flight was held up. To the tune of missing my connection to Jacksonville. So it goes. Fortunately for me I am married to Mr. Diamond who realized that the rendezvous with him in Atlanta was not going to happen so he put me on the next flight out. Problem was everyone else wanted to be put on that flight out, too, because of the late flights and all the general untidiness that the storm had left.
Arrive A6. Departing flight E32. The farthest possible distance to be traveled in the Atlanta airport—or almost. I made it. Whew. Flight delayed. Again. Kept getting updates on my phone. Delay. I was hoping it would work to my advantage. Screen said I was number 4 on the standby list. Now let me tell you that being number 4 out of 63 on the standby list made me feel pretty special and the Sky Club lady made me feel that it was a sure thing that I would get on that flight. Name hit the cleared list. YES! Proceeded to board. Rejected my boarding pass. Said I was not cleared. My name (or the little there was of it CHI/B) was indeed on the monitor as cleared. But no go. Hanging my head and apologizing all the way to the passengers WITH seats I found my way back to the group of folks watching the cleared board. My name was still there on the cleared board. Problem was it also appeared on the standby list. ……
15 minutes later the plane was loaded and they started taking standbys. Bam. Door shut. I was next on the list. Sigh. Trundle off to the rebooking line amidst many calls to the hubby who HAD made the flight to JAX and was waiting for me. The line had at least 200 people in it. Double sigh. Struck up a conversation with a young guy who was also on that flight and didn’t make it. He spied a mobile Red Coat ( Delta specialist with a mobile reticketing kiosk). I saved his place, he went to check it out and then signaled me to come over. 10 minutes later I was rebooked on the Friday morning flight, had a room at the Westin and was on my way via shuttle to the hotel. Thanks to Charlotte, the Red Coat! I still would have been there had it not been for her.
Short ride to the Westin, settled in by 1:30 am and up at 4:40 to get the shuttle back to the airport. Security easy peasy. Time for brekkie and on to JAX without incident where my loving husband was awaiting my arrival! Yippee! All in all not as planned but I had it a lot better than most people. For example the young mother traveling alone with an infant in a massive backpack and a toddler throwing a temper tantrum on the floor. Made me grateful, let me tell you!
Traveling at any time of the year is stressful but I think at the holidays it is worse. Inexperienced travelers, families, and lots of crabby people. Chris texted me his thoughts about holiday travel as he boarded one of his three flights yesterday—“100 geriatrics, 50 strollers, 3 seeing eye dogs, and a freaking partridge”.
I tried to keep the joy. And I pretty much did. Bottom line—-I made it and the whole family will be together by tomorrow. The condo is great—ocean right outside lulling me sleep—-I am blessed. I got to walk on the beach and going to eat some great food tonight. Merry Christmas one and all!