Saturday, December 20, 2008

Flying fiasco: Part 2

Flying Fiasco: Part 2


JFK is one airport I have never had a layover at, oddly enough. I’ve been to Dallas many, many times, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, and New Jersey, but never JFK. I was kind of excited before I left. At 1:30am, not too much is appealing but sleeping in a bed. I had found my gate and was about to try to sleep when I realized I had a voicemail from my mom: my connecting flight was…cancelled.

Kinks in my flight plans like this often throw kinks in my mood and stress level, particularly at 1:30am. I trudged over to the ticket counter, along with about 20 other people and waited…and waited…and waited. The girl in front of me had been stuck in JFK for 2 days. And up goes my stress level. I just wanted to get home. I was so close, so very close to home. My mom had suggested that if I couldn’t get a flight out until later Saturday afternoon or evening, I take a taxi to the train station. Hmmm an option, but one I wasn’t entirely willing to entertain at that moment. I was frustrated, exhausted, irritated, and tired. I just want to go home. The lady that helped me was very nice. The next flight would be at 9:30 BUT, of course there was a but, I had to go to the other airport: La Guardia. Ok, so let me get this straight. My flight leaves much later than my cancelled one, I have to get to another airport, and I can’t leave to get there until 6am. Oh and P.S. I still have to go pick up my body bag of a suitcase. Greeeeat. So, I booked the flight, called my mom, told her I was not taking the train (she agreed), and went to pick up my bag.

The baggage claim is not actually in the airport but outside and down an elevator. I had forgotten how frigid wet, cold air is. Utah-dry, cold air-is bad, but COLD air is painful. I got my bag, luckily right before they were collecting the unclaimed bags. It was 2:30am. I couldn’t go back into the airport so I settled in a chair and tried to sleep. It was awful: loud, cold drafts, and horribly uncomfortable. I dozed, hardly. It was terrible. Finally at 6am I decided to get up and go figure out how I was getting to La Guardia. Bus or taxi? Well I first opted for the bus (cheaper). I stood outside shaking, borderline convulsing because I was so cold. A man came over to charge me for the bus but I never carry cash with me so I had to go to the ATM. The way to the ATM was at the other terminal, down a long, scary, and tiny walkway right next to all the traffic. As I was walking (with my carry-on and “body bag”) a guy in a shuttle bus pulled over to make sure I was ok and to suggest the bus or the taxi. Ok, that’s it. I’m taking a taxi. So I walked back (my muscles were very weak at this point having not slept or eaten in a while), hoping the bus guy who told me where the ATM was wouldn’t see me because I didn’t even bother to find the ATM. So, I stood outside contemplating trying to find an ATM or just bite the bullet and take a taxi. I didn’t bother asking anyone else. People at that airport just were not very pleasant. So I walked over to the taxis. The guy was so pleasant and ushered me into a taxi right away!

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