I had the worst travel luck this trip. First, there was a huge winter storm and AirCanada lost my bags and returned one three days and the other TEN days later.
Then, oh baby, came the true adventure. Northern New England got a whopper of a snowstorm, of course, right when I needed to fly out on Sunday. This is what our drive to Boston looked like:
I was worried I was going to miss my flight, but my Dad is an awesome driver and we got there with time to eat a bagel. Then I got to the gate and it was announced the flight was delayed half an hour. No biggie. Then we got on the plane and sat there for an hour. Unpleasant, but at least I got to chat with a man who worked for the special forces of the US Army in Latin America and participated in a black ops operation to take down the Shining Path in Peru. No joke. He said that they even changed the fillings in his teeth to European fillings in case anyone came across him they wouldn’t be able to link him to the US Army. Wow. Thanks for sharing. He also told me to watch out for US Intelligence officers in Chile. They will probably want me to be a spy.
Aaaaaanyway, we arrived in Dallas and I settled in for my now 5 hour layover. I ate some food, walked around a lot, and generally fell in love with the Dallas airport. It has nice shops, restaurants and computer charging stations (unlike the Toronto airport). I bought the next Twilight book (don’t judge me, I’m to ADD to read something of substance in the airport) and settled in to read until boarding. Then it was announced that the flight wouldn’t be leaving until 12:30 pm. Boo. So I went to McDonalds and bought a strawberry milkshake, the dinner of Champions. I then decided to wander around a bit, and saw a HUGE line of people. Hmm, I thought, curious. Then I noticed the sign that said: Santiago 9:45 AM. WHAT? So I got in line, complained with the older folks heading to a cruise and got a hotel and some meal vouchers. The old folks followed me down to where we waited for a bus, and then another bus because the first driver did not like my Transantiago antics of trying to squeeze on by the door.
So then we got to the Sheraton and waited for a half an hour in line because of course there were only two people checking us in, and there were probably 300 of us. I chatted with a woman who was born in Chile but then left when she was a baby. She was bringing her husband and kids down to visit for the first time. I chatted with a woman who was on a mother-daughter trip through Chile and up to Buenos Aires.
Then I eventually got my key and entered probably one of the nicest hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in. Two queen sized beds, flat screen TV, huge bathroom. I felt bad that I was only there for about 7 hours to enjoy it.
Fast forward to the next morning and we’re at the Dallas airport again, waiting patiently to board. They announce that they are STILL working on the airplane, and that a decision will be made at 10:15. Then they say 10:40, then 11:00, then finally at 11:30ish they announce that a new plane will be brought in and we’ll leave at 1:00. So I went to use the bathroom and buy some food when I hear “Now boarding all first class passengers on flight 945 to Santiago.” WHAT? So I hurried back to the gate. Turns out they decided to leave earlier.
Once we finally took off around 12:15, it was smooth sailing. It’s weird to be on a 9 hour flight mostly during the day. Because of the whole ordeal and the fact that 75% of the passengers were over 65 and going on the same cruise, the flight was very social. Despite everything, most people were cheerful. And the attitude was catching.
So despite the fact that it took me 42 hours to get back here, I’m not mad at American Airlines. They treated us as well as they could have. Okay, maybe a free round trip ticket anywhere in the world would have been nice, but oh well.
Anyway, I hope whatever I did to the travel gods to make them angry has been atoned for, because I don’t think I could handle another 42 hour adventure any time soon.