Saturday, June 26, 2010

Murphy Tried to Keep Me in Atlanta

I flew into Atlanta Tuesday night to attend meetings in Alpharetta the next several days. The last time I was here was for Dragon*Con last September.

After I landed, I went hunting for the car rental bus. No bus no more. I was surprised with ATL's new rail system to get to the car rental area. Very neat.

After three days of meetings and getting to know team members for a new project, we were all ready to finish up as early as possible on Friday. The Alpharetta office always talks about the bad downtown traffic that was between them and the airport.

Pics found in the Ladies Rest Room of Bucca diPeppo. I was told that the Gents had pics of little boys going.

Surprisingly, I got to the airport in an hour. I was wondering how long I was going to spent in Atlanta as the traffic signs were up about a slow down due to an event in downtown Atlanta. It was slow, but it kept moving.

I took advantage of the check-in kiosks at the car rental rail station while waiting for the next train that shows up every 90 seconds to 2 minutes. The kiosk gave me the option of taking the 4:15pm flight, but I decided to stick with my 5:30. When I got to the terminal, I was sad to see my 5:30 was delayed an hour. As I didn't want to spend more time at the airport, I decided to change to the 4:15.

When I got to the gate terminal, I checked the monitor again. Delta cancelled the 4:15 flight *argh* The line was long at customer service, but I got on it anyway. While waiting, I called my travel department to find out if I was still booked on my original flight. She said "Yes, and you're checked it". I got off the line, checked the monitors to find the gate for the 5:30 which is now taking off on time and headed to the gate.

As I was walking to the gate, I see these nifty machines around the terminal. If you miss your flight, scan your boarding pass and it will print a new boarding pass with your new flight. I decided to scan my cancelled boarding pass to see what it would give me. I hope it was the 5:30pm flight. Nope, it told me I was confirmed for a 8:15pm. I hunted for the boarding pass I printed at the car rental rail station and scanned that. Yep, Delta ensured I was only on one flight, and sadly, it was the 8:15pm. I even checked the website on my phone. When I changed to the 4:15, it cancelled my 5:30 seat. So much for the info from my travel department.

Now I need to spend time around the terminals until 8:15. I read the newspaper, did some sudoku, bought two pairs of earrings, had dinner and even finished watching The Book of Eli. There was Wifi but you need to pay for it. I miss Phoenix and Jacksonville airports. I could have used my phone as a modem, but I forgot to put the necessary software on my pc. Note to self, remember to put software on pcs.

With no status on Delta, I was awarded the furthest passenger seat from the cockpit. As I sometimes do when I board and I have the window seat, I start snoozing after I settled in and am bored with watching people board. I did hear this lady talking to her car service to inform them that we will arrive early and the flight attendant letting passengers know that one of the toilets was not flushing. I awoke a bit later to learn we're still on the ground. So much for arriving early. The mechanics are trying to fix the toilet. The captain comes on 15 minutes later to tell us to deplane -- take all belongings with you, we would like to fix the plane with no passengers on, hopefully the flight will not be cancelled. It is 9:15pm. To appease the passengers, Delta gave out $6.00 meal vouchers.

I'm hoping they fixed the plane or at least find us a different plane. I really want to get home tonight. I do know, if they can't fix the plane, they will need to provide accommodations as it's a mechanical difficulty and not Mother Nature. At 9:45pm, the Red Coat gave us good news that we got new equipment, and after cleaning and restocking, we will be boarding again. Yippee!!!

I don't know when we took off, but I did finally get home at 1:45am Saturday. 12 hours traveling. I bet all my teammates who lived further than me got home before I did.

Murphy tried, but failed. I'll see you, Atlanta, again in July, maybe. If not, definitely in September for Dragon*Con.

For anyone who travels with their dog, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has a dog park.

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