Thursday, August 25, 2005

the final leg

The journey is coming to a close. I got into Chicago at 845 and arrived at gate C32, I think. I then had to find my way to gate B22. What a chore that was.

I walked from one end of the C concourse to the other thinking that at the other end there would be a hub that branched off to the other concourses. I wasn't really looking for signs to concourse B because I thought that it would branch off near the beginning of C. Wrong.

II got to the other end of C and had to ask where B was as there was no signing at the end. On the way back to the middle of the concourse C, I saw a sign. It was small. Fuckers. I had to go down a steep escalator and through a long tunnel, then up a steep escalator and voila, concourse B. They are an H configuration.

The tunnel had the moving walkways so at least it was less of a hike, but it was still a long way. My original flight had just a half hour layover. It took me 55 minutes to go from gate to gate. Even if I had not browsed and detoured the wrong way, I doubt I would have made it.

Original flight, yes, I had to change yet another leg of the journey. It wasn't enough to change Connor's trip plan by a week and a half causing the need to rebook two additional flights. It wasn't enough that he overslept and missed his first flight last week. Or that his connecting flight had a maintenance delay causing me to wait 4 hours rather than 5 minutes.

When we got to the airport so bright and early this morning, I checked in for my flight so I would be rid of my baggage. Then we went to Connor's airline to check him in for his flight. and I was informed that I could not get on my flight because I could not leave the airport until his flight was off the ground. This trip has been such a comedy of errors that it really didn't even phase me.

I went back over to United and had to see the man. I told him the dilemma and asked if Connor and I could just exchange flights. Umm, no. Not that simple. He could, however, book me on the next flight out, and he was nice enough to cancel the rebooking fee. I took Connor to his gate which was on one end of the airport and he left at 655. The plane was not actually off the ground, but my plane was boarding at 7 at the other end of the airport and the attendant said it was okay. Like I even asked permission. Lucky for me, the Albany airport is quite petite compared to Chicago. Gate B1 to gate A5 only took about 8 minutes.

The next drama will be when Connor arrives in Houston at 1220 in terminal C and I do not arrive until 1250 in terminal A. I called E while waiting at the gate in Chicago and explained all the new drama of the morning. I did make her an alternate to sign for Connor, but she might not be able to leave work to do it. I told her to not sweat it as this is part of what the airline is paid a fee for. Since Connor's flight had a connecting layover, the unaccompanied minor fee was $75. Let them earn it by having to wait for me. The clincher here is that the attendant that was working the check in in Albany was so adamant about me changing my flight that she neglected to collect the fee. She distracted herself right out of the $$ and I think that all this drama has earned me a trip to Yarns 2 Ewe. They are having a sale this weekend to unload some inventory before they move next weekend. Sounds like providence to me.


weese said...

my goodness what you two have been through. how old is Conner?
Our son is a seasoned traveller and has been flying by himself since he was about 7. But still my wife makes me stay at the airport until his plane takes off. The kid is 17 ...I keep telling her that if there is a problem he will call and I could go back - but this is not acceptable to my sweet motherly wife. and so I bring a book :o)

Elizabeth said...

Connor is 14 and also a seasoned traveler (seems like most kids are these days). It was rather ridiculous that Continental made him fly UM. It was quite silly seeing him sitting in the 'Young Traveler's Lounge', Mr. Smoove in his big 'fro. I swear he looks like he could pass for Tito Jackson of the Jackson 5 circa 1970.