....Not to mention my poor Hubby's nerves.
I got the impression that it was going to be a bad trip home from the moment I heard my brother puking down stairs the night before we left. That foreboding feeling was emphasized by the standing-room only train ride into Rome, and then cemented into place when the train stopped and we waited for twenty minutes waiting to pull into the station. We never did. The power malfunctioned and the doors were flung open, and we all hiked the last mile to the terminal, all the while wondering if the train workers had gone on strike, or if perhaps there had been a tragedy stopping the trains. When we did finally get to the station, speakers overhead blared the news in Italian over and over again before finally a crisp English voice came on saying "Our customers be informed,of a power failure resulting in delays, disruptions, and cancellations. We apologize for the inconvenience."
Well we dithered and dallied, not sure what to do, but in the end decided to wait it out and hope that the Leonardo Express would be up and running in time to get us to the airport before our flight left without us. Luckily the power came back and we got to the airport with enough (not really plenty of) time to find our terminal to check in (and the shuttle that took us there), and our gate (and the bus that took us there), just to find out that our flight was delayed an hour."Flight DL245 at gate 9 has been delayed. We thank you for your patience"
The flight itself was uneventful, thankfully, but then we got stuck waiting at JFK airport while the tow car failed to tow us in ("Uh, it seems that the tug that is meant to be pulling us in has suffered a mechanical malfunction. Sorry for the delay folks"), and then there was the terrible wait to get through the security line, all the while wondering if I would make my connection to Detroit, since it was supposed to load up at 5:40, and I was just reaching the front of the line( which must have had about 600 people standing in it, being serviced by 4, count em, 4 security officers) at 6:00. After dashing off to re-check my bag, and hopping through the next security line, I found that my flight was delayed (Flight 2435, service to o Detroit is delayed, and is now scheduled for 7:20 departure. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.") for an hour on the screen, but really we left at 8:30, causing me to miss my connection to Green bay. (Sorry for the late arrival folks, we had mechanical errors and had to switch planes. I know some of you have connections to make and would those of you with Detroit as your final destination please remain seated to let those with connections to catch off first. Yeah -effing- right.I have never seen anyone on an airplane let someone get out ahead of them if they need to get down two tons of luggage from the overhead bin.)
How disappointing to find that I would have to wait until morning to get home to my poor hubby, who I was unable to call in time to let him know that I missed the flight (that he was watching land on time) and he would have to go home alone to the cat and face her wrath.
So I followed the instructions of the gate agent, and followed the herd to gate E34 to find out about re-booking and vouchers, scanned my boarding pass, got a meal voucher, flight voucher thingy, and hotel voucher for Springhill Suites. Having no clue what to do next, I politely asked one of the airport lady's where to go and was directed to Ground Transportation, where I was delighted to find a shuttle marked Springhill Suites, and happily climbed aboard thinking I was off to a good nights rest. Boy was I wrong.
Apparently Delta doesn't bother to listen to the hotels when they say ' we are full, don't send them here', and just willy-nilly send stranded travelers around the city on the off chance they get one of the hotels with rooms left. I wasn't one of the fortunate ones, and neither was the grumpy man that made the trip with me to the hotel. He demanded the shuttle return for us, and wondered aloud at Delta's stupidity at not listening to the hotels.
So then I returned to the airport, and went through security again, making friends with a security guard, and went back to E34 to see about having the voucher changed to a different hotel. They switched it to the Lexington, and I asked if they actually did have the rooms there, and was assured that there were four left when the dude handing them out called, and had sent two people over since then, so two should be left, not taking into account the fact that there were a hundred or so people wandering around with missed connections, all apparently with the same vouchers. I didn't trust him, so went back out to the shuttle area where the phones are set up directly to the hotels and gave the Lexington a call to see if there would actually be a room left by the time I got there, and was told no, they already had more people coming in than rooms available, so I said screw it and decided to sleep at the airport on a bench or something.
I went back through security, had a nice chat with my new friend about not going too far from security so I wouldn't be disturbed by a screw-ball, and to stick with areas near where the police were hanging out, and went to ask a different lady at gate E34 for a pillow. I received two little ones from the airplane, and a little red blanket and found a bit of floor out of the way next to a window, near a clock and slept for a couple of hours like a fricken bum on the streets covered in newspapers.
(I really hate apologetic overhead speakers. They annoy me.)
So I made it home 30, or 35 hours after leaving my brother's house and could really use a nap now, but I think I want to go see my cows.