The Trials of Travel


Remember how I was worried about the snow a couple of days ago? After a few hours of shoveling with Nick, we got ourselves all cleared out and the roads are now fine. Boston's airport was closed for a short time, but it reopened and all seemed normal. Remember when my biggest worry was saying goodbye to Lin before I got on the plane? Well, that WAS my biggest worry until I got a casual e-mail from United Airlines stating that due to a “late arriving flight crew on January 3, the January 4 flight to San Francisco will be delayed.” Hmmm .... how does that affect my continuing flight to Sydney, I wondered? A flight status check confirmed the San Fran flight would get in just about the time the Sydney flight was departing. No, no, no!

I tried making a change on-line. No dice. I resorted to calling United. After being on hold for what seemed like hours (because it was), I was hoping for some really good suck-up agent who would get me on an earlier flight to San Fran, maybe upgrade me, throw in some wine and even a United Red Carpet Club pass. Being the patient woman I am, I maintained my cool while I maintained two phones on-hold to two different United customer service numbers. A little known bit of United trivia … they synchronize the on-hold music (Rhapsody in Blue), so I was listening to it in stereo. I wasn't amused. I had lots to do before leaving and being on-hold was not one of them. Lin took over for potty breaks.

Ah, 1-1/2 hours later, a perky agent asked how she could help me. I explained my problem, she looked up the reservation and promptly put me on hold … then dropped the call. I started over. An hour later, a young man with an Indian accent attempted to help. He would arrange to put me on an American flight to San Francisco. Oops … sorry, American has no room. Could I delay my flight till Sunday … nope, make that Monday? You see, the problem is there is no room on San Fran flights from Boston till Monday. No, make that Tuesday. How about you keep the same delayed flight tonight and spend the night in San Francisco, recover all your baggage there, transport it to a hotel overnight and come back to the airport and hang around till tomorrow night at 10:30 pm when a United flight will whisk me off to Sydney, no problems. Sure … that sounds dandy. Book it, Danno.

I'm frustrated; I'm agitated; I'm aggravated. I'm trying to look at this as part of the adventure of travel, but I'm not being very successful. The good news? I'm 2,700 miles and 6.5 hours closer to David after this flight plus I'll have some time for … something. The bad news? Besides being delayed and hanging around for hours? I'm now traveling with a cauliflower ear due to holding the phone to my head for so long.

On the 12th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …

Twelve damned delays (this was NOT from my true love, believe me!)

Eleven more hours of travelin' (and then some)

Ten hearts a'leapin

Nine frantic fixes

Eight bulky boat parts

Seven quests for hardware

Six shiny shackles

Five I miss you's

Four galley updates

Three e-mailed errands

Two bigger duffels and a

Christmas morning greeting on Skype