My Airport Nightmare – A True Story
Traveling can be stressful enough, but add the cancellations and delays that bad weather brings and it can become a nightmare, check out my story.
My wife and I along with my brother, his girlfriend and two other close friends had just spent a week in Jamaica and arrived at the Montego Bay Airport for our first flight to Philadelphia.
When we went to check in for our 12:55p flight, we were told that it was delayed because the plane that was coming from Philly to take us back was grounded due to bad weather.
We were also told that because of our delayed flight out of Jamaica, we would miss our connection to Syracuse and would have to wait till Sunday morning for a 9:15am flight, plus somehow two members of our party were moved to a flight at 11:30am on Sunday morning.
We talked it over and all agreed we did not want to spend the night in the Philadelphia airport, so we decided to book a rental car that we could take to pick up our vehicle that was at the Syracuse airport and drive back to Binghamton.
When we finally took off from Jamaica and landed in Philadelphia, we found that our original flight had been delayed, so my wife got on the phone with the airlines and after a lengthy conversation was able to convince them to push us ahead of the people on ‘stand by’ and get us on our original flight.
The next obstacle was getting through customs, now anyone who has ever traveled outside the United States knows, this can be a rather lengthy process especially during the holidays.
However because of the storm in the northeast many flights were cancelled, and when we entered the ‘customs area’ it was empty, and we literally got through customs in about three minutes. (the same area that took us almost two hours last year)
Whenever you return to the United States you have to recheck your bags and go through TSA security again, and we had almost an hour to do that so things were looking good.
We got to the baggage claim area and stood in front of the assigned bag carousel for our flight.
We waited 15 minutes, 20 minutes, at about the 30 minute mark, a woman’s voice came over the PA, “We apologize for the delay, the baggage handlers are loading flights that have to leave the airport, they will get to your bags shortly’
We continued to wait, now going on 40 minutes the woman’s voice came on the PA again this time she said “There is a problem with the conveyor belt, they are working on it we apologize for the inconvenience”
The wait for our bags continued and now we were looking at missing our flight to Syracuse, the woman’s voice came over the PA again, this time she said “We are sending a manager to see why the bags have not been loaded yet on to the carousel, again we apologize for the inconvenience”
We were starting to detect some fabrication here, is it a faulty conveyor belt, a priority issue with another flight, or an inept airline staff?
The same announcement was made about 10 minutes later “We are sending a manager to see why the bags have not been loaded yet on to the carousel, again we apologize for the inconvenience”
One hour had already passed and still no bags, several people were missing their connecting flights and it looked like we missed ours as well.
When the conveyor sounded the startup alarm to the sarcastic cheer from the passengers, we had waited 1 hour and 15 minutes to get our luggage.
After we left baggage my wife was on the phone with the airlines again and the flight to Syracuse had been delayed, so we still had time to catch our plane
Now the race was on to hit the security check and get through the screening and on to the terminal to catch our flight, we actually broke open the border on the turnstile and asked people if we could get a head of them so that we could make our flight.
My wife left me with all the baggage and ran towards the terminal to see if they would hold the plane, while we finished up our bag and body inspection's with TSA.
Here I was racing towards the terminal like OJ in a Hertz commercial, two bags, two coats and a purse, I got to the terminal and our plane hadn't boarded yet because the Pilot of the plane was MIA. That's right no Pilot.
My brothers girlfriend came over visibly shaken because her boarding pass was for the wrong flight, and as I searched for my passport and boarding pass, I realized I didn't have them, so my wife and I made a mad dash back to the TSA check point to see if they had found it.
We flagged down one of those people on those carts and asked the girl if she could take us to the screening area, and she was able to take us almost all the way, as we were racing towards the TSA area we looked down on the floor and found my boarding pass, and then went to the information desk where they had my passport.
We raced back to the terminal were my brother had solved his girlfriends boarding pass issue and after about ten minutes, our pilot showed up, and with a huge round of applause from the passengers we boarded our plane to Syracuse.
I am sure there are more horrific airport stories, but this one is mine and it actually happened.