Wednesday, March 5, 2008

St. Louis? I don't THINK SO!!!.....

I'm trying to be positive. But there is something about me and trips to St. Louis. As you might recall, my post from a few weeks ago entitled "For Real" took place on a return flight from St. Louis. On Tuesday, I was headed back there.

There were many signs that I did not need to get on that plane.

The night before, my eye got really red. I took out my contacts but it didn't help. So Tuesday morning I woke up with one very red eye that looked really ugly.

The weather was a major indicator that I should cancel. There were high winds in Knoxville and Atlanta, thunderstorms and possibility of tornados. St. Louis had ice and snow.

I also got a call that morning about a situation in Nashville that I really needed to handle immediately. I called my boss to tell her that I needed to change my flight and arrive on Wednesday morning but the cost was over $500 and we decided against it.

So I got on the plane. We took off on time. When we got close to Atlanta, we circled for almost an hour because of the weather. The lady next to me was wringing her hands and bouncing her knee. They diverted us to Chattanooga and the roller coaster began. The turbulence was horrible and we were tossed around, up, down, and sideways. The lady next to me was on the verge of tears, curled up in her seat and praying. The pilot finally landed us in Chattanooga and we sat on the runway for about 40 minutes.

I won't share details on how the bathroom smelled by the time we took off again for Atlanta but I will tell you that I was sitting right next to it. With the lady next to me anticipating another terrifying climb through the clouds, we took off for Atlanta and had a fairly uneventful flight and arrival.

Of course, my flight to St. Louis had been canceled as had many others. We cued up for the ticket counter to find out what exciting alternatives the Delta computer had selected for us. I laughed out loud when my choices were presented . . . my next flight would be the following evening at 6:30pm, arriving in St. Louis at 9:30pm and my return flight would be an hour later at 10:30pm!!! But, the agent explained, we will give you a hotel voucher. For Real??????

I headed for the direct phones to talk to a human about getting a flight back to Knoxville and a refund of my ticket. They quickly found me a flight back home at 8pm that night, about 4 hours from then. Okay, I could deal with that. I would wander, explore, snack, read, and surf the internet for the next few hours to kill the time.

8pm came and the plane was there but no flight crew. They were late arriving from another flight so it was 9:45 before we took off. We got into Knoxville at 10:45 and I headed for the baggage carousel. Please, please, please be there.

But it was not to be. My bag went to St. Louis. And now, almost 24 hours later. I still don't have it. It "might" be on the flight arriving at 9pm. It "missed" the 5pm flight to Knoxville. Hmmm, that happens a lot, huh?

I took today off. I am tired. 11 hours on planes and in airports and all I did was go from Knoxville to Atlanta and back. That's normally less than an hour flight or a 3 hour drive.

That old song by Freddy Fender comes to mind . . . Wasted Days and Wasted Nights! So next week is my trip to San Antonio. It has to be better. I am keeping a positive attitude but looking for signs!