Because if I had known that air travel and I were mortal enemies I might have done things differently. Like, maybe, taken the bus. Or a train. Or ridden camelback across half of the country without stopping at any point to rest or pee. Because each of those things sounds a lot more fun than what actually happened.
You see, last Thursday we were having horrible storms. And by “we” I mean pretty much the entire north-eastern part of the country, from Chicago to Maryland. And horrible storms mean horrible delays. Our flight, for example, was supposed to take off at 11:45am, but did not actually take off until 2:30pm. Which wouldn’t have been a problem had my husband, Quinten, and I not been travelling with our three-year-old daughter, Iris. Who, I should point out, had a tantrum at 11:00am because we told her that we didn’t think that a busy airport terminal full of angry passengers whose flights were also delayed was an appropriate place to play hide-and-seek. I would be remiss if I did not point out that said tantrum happened exactly 45 minutes before our original flight was supposed to take off.
This did not bode well for the rest of the day.
A day wherein we missed our connecting flight out of Chicago-Midway by several hours and ended up on a flight from Chicago to Louisville, KY before we finally arrived in St. Louis two tantrums, three crappy-airport-food meals, seven purchases of new toys from airport gift shops, two trips to tiny airplane bathrooms that aren't built to hold more than one anorexic dwarf with a toddler who needed to pee, and three crying jags later, at 9pm, only to discover that, somewhere in the tangle of bookings and rebookings that had taken place that day, Southwest Airlines had lost our luggage.
We could have driven from North Carolina to St. Louis and arrived earlier. I am not exaggerating.
Remember when I was complaining about my experience on United Airlines back in April? Yeah? Welllllllllll…as much as I hate to admit it, I might have to rethink what I said.
See, yesterday, I was trying to remember the last time I travelled by plane and had nothing to complain about. And I can’t do it. I cannot remember the last time I traveled by air and didn’t have something go wrong…. delays, rudeness, luggage complications, car trouble at the airport, airsickness, missed connections, or Iris being the holy terror of the skies.
Back when I was pregnant with Iris, I was living in Cincinnati, Ohio. Once, while Quinten was in Atlanta for an extended work program, I decided to visit him and flew out of the Dayton Airport because the ticket was half the cost of flying out of Cincinnati. Stupid move. My Delta Airlines flight was delayed for four hours because one of the plane’s tires went flat. Who has that problem? Whose plane gets a flat tire? Mine! My plane does, that’s who. And the best part? The ironic part? They had to bring a repair crew up from Cincinnati to fix it. I got into Atlanta at 1:45am instead of 9:00pm. I bet the Cincy-to-Atlanta flight got there on time.
Three different airlines. Three separate occasions. Three awful experiences.
I might have to apologize to United Airlines for my earlier tirade. Because, at this point, I am forced to admit that it may not be them….it may just be me.