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That Horrible Travel Story...

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May. 13th, 2003 | 10:52 pm

You know, the one that EVERYBODY and their brother has about how the airline lost their luggage or their plane was delayed three hours or they missed a connection and had to spend a full evening in a strange airport?

Today was mine. My second encounter with Almost Together Airlines (ATA... really American Trans Air, who, I might add, have a very fitting slogan "an honestly different airline." I'm not sure, however, that their meaning of "honestly different" matches mine.) and my second BAD encounter with them.

Last year, I flew with them and they cancelled my 8 am flight out of LaGuradia, only to put me on a 6 am flight out of Newark. This wouldn't have been so bad if they hadn't called me at 1:30 am to tell me so, leaving me with a complete lack of sleep that evening.

This year, in desperate need for cheap airline tickets to fly to Minnesota for a couple of days to visit my mommy, I decided to try them again, thinking "hey, every airline screws up sometimes... so perhaps that was just one bad time." No such luck. The 8am flight from LaGuardia was fine this time... the problem instead was with the 10am flight from Chicago-Midway to Minneapolis/St. Paul. What had originally been deemed a small dent of no consequence to the plane's safety was, in the process of the mechanics updating the log books for the plane, studied again and deemed to be caused by a lightning strike. This left the plane unsafe for flying (or so they told us), and caused all of us travellers, after a two-hour delay, to have to change to a new aircraft.

So, a two-hour delay isn't really so bad. We'll get on the new aircraft and leave and be in Minneapolis in a little over an hour. Not a problem.

Well, it was a problem. The new aircraft WAS fine until the ground crew started to give us our pushback. In the process, the ground crew broke the taxi light on the front of the plane... which had to be replaced before we were able to fly. Theoretically, replacing the part wouldn't be such a big deal. However, what had appeared to be a broken lens cap at first was actually a broken assembly. No problem, replace the assembly. Unfortunately, in the assembly kit, the new lens cover was the wrong size... which the oh-so-bright mechanics only recognized after nearly half an hour of trying to make the incorrectly sized lens fit. Finally, they order the new part and have to wait FOREVER for the new part to show up... then to install it, then to spend half an hour filling out paperwork that was supposed to take 3 minutes in order to give the log book back to the pilot so that we could leave.

When we finally departed the gate, around 2:45 pm, everyone left on the plane (those of us who either hadn't become so disgusted that we left, or stayed only because we had no other choice) applauded. When we finally took off, around 3:10, everyone applauded again. So we arrived in Minneapolis four and a half hours late... not so horrible in the grand scheme of things, but truly annoying because of a large lack of sleep on my part the last two days, a keen wish for a RELAXING VACATION and the fact that I had NO FOOD from 6:15 am until 5:30 PM save three packets of airline peanuts and approximately 10 ounces of 7up.

It's been a GREAT day.

On the plus side, the first grade of my semester is in: an A in History of Drama and Theatre II.

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Vanillahyacinth

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from: vanillahyacinth
date: May. 14th, 2003 01:44 pm (UTC)
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ugh about the trip, but congrats on your grade! =) =)

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