Due to severe storms in Chicago late Sunday, all flights in and out of that city were either canceled or delayed. I was scheduled to fly from Des Moines to Akron via Chicago – but the first leg was canceled.
Because so many others were similarly inconvenienced – and because the airlines have been cutting down on the number of flights to avoid the waste of planes flying half empty – they had difficulty finding seats for all the passengers. They wanted me to wait until Tuesday evening.
Tuesday?! That’s two extra days! I’d already imposed upon my friends’ hospitality for too long; I didn’t want to prolong it any further. So I booked a flight leaving early Monday morning for Pittsburgh instead of Akron, rightly assuming that hubby would rather drive the extra distance to pick me up than wait another day and a half.
For some reason this flight went via Newark, where I picked up another for my final destination. Yes, I had to backtrack, but that’s the way they do things sometimes. The second flight was delayed about 45 minutes, but no worries; I landed in Pittsburgh about 3:30 pm and soon found hubby’s smiling face at the baggage area (along with the rest of him). Woo hoo!
What I did not find at the baggage area was my baggage. Turns out it opted for an extended stay in Newark. (Only a suitcase could understand why that’s a place to be desired!) I was finally reunited with it this morning (Wednesday), and now all’s well in the world.
Well, not really. But I’m feeling a bit more settled now.
Unfortunately, things still aren’t quite back to normal, and won’t be until I get to an Apple Store. On Tuesday morning, when I turned on my computer the first time after arriving home, I discovered I’d somehow managed to break my laptop screen. The computer was in my possession the whole trip, so I can’t blame the airline for that one.
And speaking of blaming the airline: I do wish people would be more considerate of the unfortunate souls who have to deal with complaints. While I was there, another woman whose luggage was lost (from a different flight) made quite a scene.
I fully understand her frustration, but there’s no need to take it out on the person behind the desk, who was doing her best to help her. But when the employee’s answer wasn’t what the customer wanted to hear, the woman yelled, “Don’t you tell me no!” and, stabbing the air with her finger, added, “And don’t shake that finger at me!” when the employee made an unconscious, non-threatening gesture. The controversy went on for quite some time, involving the manager, and unsettling the rest of us who were unwilling spectators. The only one raising her voice or being rude was the angry customer.
She and I left the baggage claim area at the same time. She growled about how she was going to make a report about that woman’s (and “woman” isn’t the word she used) extreme rudeness and how she was going to make life miserable for her. I’m not usually one to butt in, but I’d heard about all I could without commenting. I said, “I thought she was very pleasant and polite, under the circumstances.” Then heard myself adding, “Which is more than I can say for you.”
Well, of course she took exception to that, but at least she continued on her way instead of pausing to physically assault me. She just said, “Don’t pass judgment on me, lady. You haven’t had the last 24 hours that I have.”
True, I hadn’t had the last 24 hours that she had; from what I heard as she vocalized her complaints, her whole experience was far worse than mine. But I’d just been making a claim for lost baggage, so she should have known everything hadn’t been going smoothly for me. How did she know I hadn’t had a worse 24 hours than she’d just had? Because I wasn’t ranting, like she was? As to her objection to my passing judgment, well… I won’t comment on that.
Despite the bump in the road at the end, though, I had a wonderful time in Iowa. Friends Susan and Glenda and their dear husbands extended their warm hospitality and made me feel very welcome. Susan and her hubby even acted as if they didn’t mind when I interrupted their plans with additional runs to the airport, one of which was at 5:30 am. I sold (or used as promotional give-aways) every book I brought with me. The writer’s retreat was as delightful as last year’s; and I have many happy memories from the trip.
But I’m glad to be home! Next stop: The Ohioana Book Festival in Columbus this Saturday (May 12). If you’re in the area, stop by and see me!