The wild ride begins

Sitting in SFO waiting for a plane, headed to Gatlinburg for the annual pilgrimage to red neck heaven and an orgy of masterpoints.

This could be a record breaking trip for travel issues.  First, I was scheduled to leave early tomorrow morning, meet Mike in Dallas and fly to Knoxville.  American Air cancelled that flight, and put me on one that landed much later, too late to play at all on Monday.  Mike, who left for Dallas last Thursday to see his kids, was put on an earlier flight that would work just fine.

So I called American, and asked for that earlier flight.  They said that my original flight from SFO would get me there too late, but I could take the 12:30 am red eye, wait 6 hours at the airport and everything would be fine.  Not fine with me, I noted, what else do you have?  Is there something Sunday afternoon/evening, and I’ll get a cheap hotel?

Well, yes, there is a 4:45 flight Sunday afternoon, but the rules say if you take that one you have to take the first flight the next day–at 7:00 am out of Dallas.  I didn’t like that idea a bit better, and they weren’t swayed by my point that this was THEIR fault in the first place, so I gave up that day.

The next day I tried another agent, at their Advantage desk for people with a lot of miles.  I told them I wanted the Sunday afternoon flight and the Monday at 11 with Mike.  No problem.  It helps to call the right people.

So today I get to the airport on time for the 4:45, and they tell me it’s delayed until 7:00.  Shucks, I said, sort of, and headed off to the Admirals Club, where I fortunately had a day pass they sent me, to pout for three hours.

But the very nice young lady at the counter told me that the 2:30 flight was also delayed, and she could get me a seat–it was leaving at5:00, only 15 minutes behind my original schedule.  Not only did that work for me, but it would be boarding so soon that I took my day pass back, to use another time.

I haven’t even gotten on the plane yet and this is the third scheduled flight I’ve had.  The plane I’m currently booked on should be leaving in 23 minutes, but it isn’t at the gate yet.  I’m booked into a cheap Sleep Inn tonight in Irving, which is some kind of -urb between Dallas and Ft Worth, and they promise a free shuttle and breakfast.

Gatlinburg is always an adventure, but usually not so much before  I even get there.  Stay tuned, this could be quite a ride.


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