We finally made it back home yesterday afternoon, 30 hours after starting our trip in Miami. This disaster of a travel day was the result of a variety of problems that just happened to occur at the perfectly bad time. Major issue number one- a very large storm passing through the Miami region about and hour before our flight. The storm resulted in the need to have all incoming flight either divert to other airstrips, or go into a rotating flight pattern to wait out the torrents of rain. This would have been just fine, except that by the time this period had passed, the President, his family and Air Force One happened to be scheduled to land. Apparently it is standard procedure not only to shut down all ground traffic for such an arrival, but to clear the regional airspace as well. The result was simply a massive backup of planes waiting to depart and land. Long and short, we missed our flight.
I have heard horror stories from Atlanta. Holding the dubious title of the busiest airport in the world, it comes as no surprise that so many people have had problems getting in and out of the place without delay. We had already missed our flight, and in this case it had nothing to do with the folks in the Atlanta airport. In fact, it really couldn’t be blamed on anything but bad weather and perhaps a presidential entourage. The problems came from the fact that we had intended to fly back into a small airport north of New York City. Finding ourselves at the Delta customer service counter, it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t going to happen.
The service agent laughed when she opened our updated itinerary on her computer. “Four connections”, she said. It appeared that we would be making stops at every airport in the midwest. I laughed, and then said a firm hell no. After much ado, some haggling over compensation for what was sure to be a vision-quest of a trip home, and a drawn out attempt at trying to arrange for a limo service, we left the counter with $400 in Delta travel vouchers and next day tickets to LaGuardia Airport, 2 hours away from where we had left our car.
I have more pictures and stories to come, which I will probably write up tomorrow. Until then, make sure you always book with Delta, lest your trip be free of adventure.