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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Travel Debacles Reach an Extreme

It's becoming more and more glaringly apparent that I'm a poor traveler.  I've gone to the wrong airport, forgotten when my flight is, booked for the wrong days, gone somewhere and forgotten which airport I've flown out of... the list just goes on.

This past trip, albeit to Des Moines, wasn't any better.  What I don't understand is why when you're booking a layover trip they only give you 20 mins between landing and when the next flight boards.  On my way to Detroit, where my layover was, everywhere is super easy, no issues except sitting next to a squirmy little girl who wouldn't shut up the whole time and a plane infested with coughing and sniffling people.  However, we were in line to take off for 45 mins which made us delayed.  I only had 12 minutes between original landing time and boarding start time for my next flight, so I was appropriately anxious.  I flew off the plane once we landed (miraculously on time) and ran to the tram.  Of course this is an airport I've never been to before, and there's no printed sign that says to get to terminal B you have to go through terminal A.  So there's 6 of us, riding around the tram trying to figure out how to get to B.  We had to circle back in order to get to our destination, at which point I'm SPRINTING through the corridor (btw if there's a tram, why not have it go between terminals instead of having long ass walking platforms?!).  I finally arrive at my gate, 5 minutes after boarding time, and they haven't even begun yet!  Super annoyed, and out of breath, I ask the gate attendant when they're board.... not for another 15 minutes!!!  UGH!

So I get my ass to Des Moines and when I land, I realize I have no earthly clue who I booked my rental car with.  I start doing searches on my iphone and droid because of course I have no idea which email I used in order to book the reservation.  Giving up, I try the first one in line, Hertz.  Then I have to think about if I used my maiden or married last name.  No luck at Hertz.  No luck at Alamo, and no luck at Avis, who checked 3 other rental agencies for me too.  Shit out of luck because none of them have free cars, I KNOW I have a rental confirmation, I just can't find it.  So I decide to check my expense report... which of course I can't access on my mobile.  Whipping out my laptop, and the charger because it's dead, and finding wireless, I land on Advantage Rent a Car, the one and only desk I didn't check.

Off to my hotel, because of course it doesn't end.  I check in, get my keys, go to my room... keys don't work.  Go back down, new keys.  Go back up... keys don't work.  Throw in the towel and just call the front desk.  The guy meets me at a new room and let's me in.

Case closed until I leave.  And boy howdy!  I have a 6:30am flight, have to remember to make time to deposit the car, so I set an alarm for 4:30, 20 min travel time from the hotel to the airport.  5:20am... SHIT my alarm didn't go off!!!  I haul ass out of the hotel, get down to the parking lot, forgot where I parked, can't find the car keys, remember I left my car keys in the sink in the room (don't ask).  So I sprint my ass around to the front of the hotel, because of course I left all my keycards in the room and can't go in the side door, have to find the front desk guy, get a new key, fly up 3 flights of stairs, back into my room, grab the keys, and back down to the car.  At this point, it's probably around 5:40 and the boarding time is 5:50 to my flight.  I'm freaking out I'm going to get stuck in DSM, but pedal to the metal there, get to the airport but there are no signs on where to do rental car drop off.  A few illegal turns, and against a "do not enter" sign, and I leave the car, go inside to drop off the car, but no one's there.  I have to fill out a form and leave it but of course there are no pens.  Finish up that debacle, another sprint to drop of my bag at luggage drop off, another sprint to security... ask the TSA guy if I can cut the line because my flight is at 6:30 and it's now 6:10, and he says NO!!!  UGH.  Weird international ppl in front of me who have no idea they can't wear a scarf and a jacket through the security check, and I'm finally through and at the gate... and they haven't even boarded yet!!!

So I get to Detroit no issue... again I have about 20 minutes between flights and my gate is on the other side of creation, but 3 rushed attempts and I decide I'm not running for another plane.  I calmly get there and there's no one at the gate.  So I'm either super late or no one's on the flight.  Phew!

Land in LGA to a vmail from car service that they didn't update my credit card information from last time and didn't process the order, therefore no car!  Fix that situation and go to grab my luggage, and the handle is broken.

Honestly a worn out trip and now I'm unpacking into another suitcase for my departure tomorrow back to NJ and then to London on Saturday.  Wish me luck!



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