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    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Travel Trouble. Thanks Delta!

    It doesn't happen that often, and usually only when I am forced to fly USAir, but this weekend was a fun time with Delta.

    Sunday night, I intended to leave Providence at 5:30 to return home to Atlanta.  Unfortunately, our flight was a very short one, since the landing gear on our plane (an ASA CRJ) refused to retract after takeoff.  So, we returned to Providence and proceeded to get the shaft from Delta/ASA.

    Since this was the last flight out to Atlanta, apparently, ASA thought they would pretend that we might actually depart on the same plane...for a while. At one point, they even suggested that the plane could return to Atlanta with a few passengers with the landing gear locked down.  In their plan, the flight would take 6 hours, be forced to fly at low altitude, and require a fuel stop.  Haha. Seriously, they said that.

    Finally, some saner heads prevailed, and they posited that the final arrival from Atlanta (which arrived at PVD some time around midnight), would turn around instead of overnighting.  In this scenario, the maintenance team was going to fly in from Atlanta on that flight and fix our plane to be the 6am departure, while the people from my flight would leave around 12:30 am, and get to Atlanta about 3am.  Whooooaaa.

    At that point, they started issuing hotel and food vouchers to those who were not willing to wait it out.  So, that's where I gave up and decided to just stay overnight.  That was the right decision for Delta/ASA and me, unfortunately, by the time I got my carry-on (plane checked) bag back and my vouchers and got to my hotel, there was no place open close by to eat, so, Dunkin Donuts for me!  Excellent.  I recommend the flatbread sandwiches.

    Anyway, booked onto today's 12:35pm flight, I left the hotel where I ran into a couple of ladies from my flight.  They said that Delta/ASA eventually decided to cancel the whole idea of going back to Atlanta, and took the checked bags off about 10pm, and they got their bags at 10:30.  Glad at 8:30 I bailed hearing that.  Also, a reason I don't check bags unless forced.

    Anyway, the travails of air travel will get you every time.  Fortunately, I am not a frequent enough flyer (maybe 15 times/year) that this really impacts me much.  But, let me say to Delta - I thought the flight vouchers we were getting were worth something, so I didn't look at it until the morning, and it was only $100.  What happened to airlines actually giving a free domestic roundtrip flight for these kinds of things?  At least the last time I got jerked like this by USAir, they did give a free domestic round trip and the hotel they put us up in was much nicer, but the La Quinta wasn't awful, just basic and the wi-fi was solid enough to work off.

    And, ASA did kind of make it up, when our 12:35pm flight was delayed 2 hours, they actually gave every passenger another $100 voucher, which they didn't have to do.  So, I made $200 out of it and got to stay in Providence for another day.

    All in all, a succesful trip.


    1 comment:

    SonarMan said...

    Like yourself, I have learned quite few tricks to speed my way along when I air travel.

    For instance, before I go through security, I sweep my entire body for anything metallic. I make sure I have my surgeon's note about the metal in my neck. I wear slip-on casual shoes. I also wear a Navy uniform cotton belt. The belt buckle comes off, and the brass tip is small enough to not trigger the detectors.

    Finaslly, everything goes into my daypack. I use a daypack because so my bag doesn't smack into the seats as I go along, or the other passengers. While it's large enough to hold my laptop, a change of skivvies (you never know if you're bag will come out the other end), and my shower kit, it's small enough to qualify as carry-on.

    I just haven't managed to get everything I need down to carry-on size. But I'm woprking on it.

    Next time you come up here, send me an email.