Thursday, April 17, 2014

The best laid plans...

Have you ever had one of those days where things just get more bizarre by the minute? That happened to me yesterday — what should've been a fairly normal, straightforward travel day turned into a parade of craziness.

4:45 AM: Alarm goes off. I stagger to the shower and proceed to get ready for my trip to Baltimore.
5:28 AM: Creep downstairs (so as not to wake my sleeping family) and grab my suitcase.
5:30 AM: Walk outside to see SNOW on the ground.
5:31 AM: Curse Mother Nature, repeatedly. Did she not get the memo that winter is over?
6:10 AM: Arrive at Logan Airport, after a white-knuckled drive through snow/sleet.
6:15 AM: Stand in the longest security line I've ever seen at Southwest. Start mentally calculating whether I will be able to grab breakfast before my 7 AM departure.
6:25 AM: See my coworker through the glass, sitting calmly in the gate area. I smile and wave, and consider asking him to go buy me some breakfast. (I refrain.)
6:31 AM: Get through security, after being patted down, and bolt to get some breakfast. Run to gate.
6:40 AM: Flight is delayed.
6:50 AM: Boarding! Yippee. We will only be a few minutes delayed.
7:15 AM: Flight should be airborne, but instead, we are sitting at the gate, because a light is out. Maintenance is called. Everyone starts talking and/or checking email.
7:55 AM: Twenty people in shorts and tee shirts get off the plane, because they are not going to make their connection to Cancun.
8:15 AM: I decide to go sit in the cockpit, after the pilot comes on the PA system to announce that we are welcome to visit. I become friends with the pilot and first officer. The pilot eagerly shows me a picture of his Pride and Joy...which turns out to be a photo of Pride furniture polish, and Joy dish soap. 
8:30 AM: Maintenance actually arrives. (Of note: On a normal travel morning, this would mark our arrival time in Baltimore.)
8:35 AM: My coworker debates whether to get off the plane and cancel his trip altogether.
8:40 AM: Receive automated phone call from Southwest that our flight is now scheduled to leave at 9 o'clock. Coworker decides to stick it out.
9:00 AM: Plane fills with smoke. The entire plane is evacuated.
9:20 AM: I call my manager, and note that we might not be making it to Baltimore.
9:27 AM: My coworker officially decides to cancel his trip, and cheerfully wishes me good luck as he leaves the airport.
9:30 AM: Strange man in the gate area asks me if I am a model, or a dancer. (That would be no, and no.)
9:45 AM: Airline employee announces that every other Southwest flight to BWI is sold out, and there are no additional planes that they can use for our trip. Employee continues on to say that we cannot get back on the plane, but that they will retrieve our belongings if we tell them where we were sitting.
9:46 AM: I am first in line to get my bags.
10:00 AM: Call my husband, my manager, and my coworkers, to let them know that I am not going to be traveling after all. 
10:20 AM: Leave the airport, go home to get my laptop, and drive to the office.
11:40 AM: FINALLY arrive at the office.
11:50 AM: Team decides to go out to lunch. Hooray!
12:15 PM: Check my phone and learn that our scheduled flight was (shockingly) canceled.
1:45 PM: Back at my desk.
2:00 PM: Attempt to get through the nine zillion emails in my inbox.
3:47 PM: Hit the wall, since I have been up for what feels like approximately 100 hours. There is no work being accomplished today.


Whoever said business travel was glamorous either lived 50 years ago, or was not actually a business traveler.

What's the nuttiest travel situation you've ever encountered? This is for sure one of my top 5 trips.