My Wednesday started at 5:00 AM in Lake City, FL. Woke up, got ready. My brother drove me, with his kids, along to the airport in Orlando.
Three Hours Away...
We arrived at Orlando International Airport around 9:00 AM and I checked my bags at curbside. The guy overlooked my overweight baggage and I tipped him a 5 for saving me like 80. I panicked when I couldn't find my drivers license and luckily I had packed my passport in my carry-on bag.
I proceeded through security and then to the gate. United flight 1552 departing for Dulles in Washington DC with a connecting flight to La Guardia at 2:35.
Delay #1 came. The plane is having mechanical difficulties and has not left DC.
Delay #2. No new information; the ticket agents are rather unhelpful.
Another United flight to Dulles comes in and leaves. Something is wrong there, don't you think?
2:30 PM comes around and the flight has finally been cancelled. The ticket agent says that names will be called for re-routing purposes. My name is called first. I feel like the luckiest man in the airport.
Ticket Agent: You are going to La Guardia?
Ticket Agent: (looking at the computer, and mostly to herself): No, we can't get you on a 2:50, here is one at 3:15. (Calls American) Do you have a seat on flight 1620? Yes? OK.
She gives me my new ticket-esque paper and sends me off to the American terminal. I ask about my bags. She says that I will have to make a claim with the American office at LGA when I arrive. No worries.
At the American Terminal I wait until the Ticket Agent arrives. They do and I approach to get my new boarding pass. The Ticket Agent asks why my flight was canceled and I reply: something about mechanical problems. To which she says: This flight may be delayed to.
"Well, as long as it shows up I will be happy."
Well, the plane was already there and time for boarding comes around and the flight is delayed to 5:30 PM. Apparantly bad weather in the Ohio Valley region has re-routed flights to the southeast.
Delay #2: 6:00pm
Delay #3: 6:30pm
Delay #4: 7:30pm
Delay #5: 8:15pm
We board at 8:15.
Delay #6: 9:00pm
Delay #7: 10:00pm
We begin to taxi at 10:15pm and take off. Arrival at LGA at 1:00am.
Baggage Claim at LGA is a sea of lost and delayed bags. I check Uniteds lot first. My bags are not there. I look around my American flights baggage carousol. Nothing. Then I go the the American office. The lady asks me to check the United sea again. So, I do, this time much more thoroughly. Nothing. I go back and proceed with my claim.
Leave: Taxi time. Long line. I am tired. Long, long line. At least an hour wait line. I am approached my one of the commando drivers. $49.00 to ride with some guys to Midtown and then to Bay Ridge. No. I get in line. I am approached again by the same guy. I cave.
I am staying with someone and keeping them awake every minute waiting up for me, so I take it.
4 gay men and an driver of western asian origin. The other 3 go to midtown and I get a nice driving tour of the city. Narrarated by me, in my head. Down 7th to Chinatown, across Canal to the Manhattan Bridge and in Brooklyn I am. The driver gets on the BQE and off to Bay Ridge we go.
I got to Rob's Apartment at 2:40AM. He went to bed, I took a shower and then retired myself.
Bags are not here yet. But I am. And I have an interview tomorrow...in jeans and a tshirt. God Bless NYC.