Friday, December 21, 2007

Stateside Scafuffling

Well, I'm off! Sort of. If you are a seasoned traveler, I suppose situations like mine today are, if not commonplace , not particularly notable either. So feel free to skim if it starts feeling... tedious. It sure did to me!

I started out by of course forgetting two things; neither of which is essential, but both of which somehow bothered me. One was the upload USB cord for my camera (so if I have pictures to post for this trip "real-time" they will either be from Deanna's camera, or it will mean I found and either stole or borrowed one for myself). The other was the charger for my phone - which also shouldn't be a big deal since I can't use it in Germany, but I do find myself hoarding precious battery time "just in case".

After my friend Linda dropped me off at the airport, I waited about a half hour in line to learn that my Northwest flight to Detroit had been canceled. Their best option was to fly me via Delta out of Green Bay later, then to Cincinnati, and then to Frankfort. I called Linda back, she came and got me, and had meanwhile found that Barbara was heading to GB and was happy to take me, so after a few traffic delays and several Abbot & Costello moments trying to find Barbara, we headed north. Once I reached the GB ticket counter, they informed me that the flight was delayed enough that I would miss my connection to Frankfort, so they re-routed me to fly to Detroit again, and this time to take Lufthansa to Germany. TONS of flights were being canceled or delayed, so I was delighted when we took off; the weather was supposed to be clearer in Detroit. We reached Detroit in plenty of time for me to approach the Lufthansa ticket counter and request my boarding pass (Delta had told me this would be necessary). Here's when it started getting ugly: I didn't have a FIM... an actual ticket. They sent me to Northwest. Who said it was really a Delta problem and sent me outside the security site to the check-in counter at Delta. No one was there but another distraught passenger. We talked to some luggage guys and they suggested finding someone at the Delta counter down by the baggage. We did find someone there... who told us that she couldn't help us but that if Security would let us back in through the gate there would be someone at the Gate B20 Delta counter till midnight (it was probably 9:30 by this point, and my flight leaves at 9:55). There wasn't a long security line, HOWEVER! they couldn't let me in with my ticket not being a boarding pass. After calling in the supervisor and explaining again the situation, he let me back in. At this point I started running. Lufthansa was back in concourse A so this was going to be tricky. B20 was at the far end of a whole different concourse, and the counter was.... empty. I did see some Northwest folks behind another ticket counter, and I put my situation to them. They doubted it would do me any good, but issued me a FIM so that I could try to make my flight. I'm estimating it was a good 3/4 mile between there and the Lufthansa gate, but I ran most of the way, laptop bag, purse, and flapping jacket in tow! I arrived breathless, sweaty, and thirsty... the staff were still there for the flight, but they had already finished boarding and wouldn't let me back on the flight. I stood there, trembling, and just about cried. I returned to Northwest customer service, waited in another half hour line and was SOOO thankful to get someone who took responsibility for the problem and really tried to help. She ended up calling her supervisor over because there simply weren't any flights to re-book me to, unless I was willing to delay another day. (NOoooo!). So they booked me on a $5500 World Business Class flight and told me I'd have to now become the Northwest Airlines poster child! So here I sit in a half-way decent Quality Inn, with a flight that leaves tomorrow at 5 pm and gets into Frankfort Sunday morning at 7. Oh, and without my checked luggage, which means I got to take an adventurous walk to a tiny gas station that (hooray!) had souvenir t-shirts in size XL (read: Angela gets to wear JAMMIES!). Thankfully, I had an extra pair of socks in my bag that Paula had given me for Christmas to wear on the plane. They're so cheering that I took a picture and (if I get a cord!) will try to post here!

Since I'm here for most of the day tomorrow, I'm debating if I should be good (read: finish up Econ homework), or adventurous. Looks like there is an art museum, a Henry Ford museum, and a zoo which might be interesting to check out. I know nothing about mass transit options in Detroit - or really anything else, for that matter. What do you think?


  1. oh ang! I'm so sorry this happened to you... i can't stand all the craziness with travelling lately... have an incredible time anyway! :) XO Katie

  2. Dear Angie - Wow, feel so bad for you & what a nightmare to go through. Hopefully, today will go better for you & I anxiously await you next posting. Thinking of you, my dear. Good Luck & prayers, Aunt Lynnette

  3. That's just crazy! I'm glad you kept your cool and people helped you out! I would have gone nuts!