I left for the airport at about noon for my 2:45 PM flight to Orlando. I had to make a stop at the post office in order to mail away my tax papers to my new tax person. Once that was done I was on the road and it didn’t take me long to get to the airport, find a parking space and check in. Dulles was pretty empty on a Wednesday afternoon. I checked in at the counter (checking 2 bags) and found that my flight was departing 15 minutes late, at 3 PM. That was fine because I had to wait about 1-1/2 for Lisa in Orlando.
I made my way to the terminal, and decided to get a sandwich from Potbelly. On my way back to the gate, there was an enormous line at the customer service desk, and I immediately became concerned. The concern grew when I heard someone say that the flight to Orlando was canceled and that there were no other flights available for the rest of the weekend. I got into the customer service line and called from my cell phone. I was on hold. But I noticed there were customer service kiosks that no one was using. I went up to one of those, put in my Premier card and was told pick up the phone. I did and was immediately connected to an agent. He told me that the flight had been canceled due to mechanical problems. There were no more direct flights but he could get me on a 2:30 flight to Philly and from there, a 5:45 flight to Orlando. It would mean I wouldn’t get into Orlando until after 8 PM and I’d miss dinner with Norm and Vicky. Since it was mechanical problems and not weather that caused the cancellation, I asked what my options were under Rule 240. The agent checked but all other airlines direct flight were full. So I had him book me on the flight to Philly and he assured me my luggage would get there.
I got to Philly on time and was talking to Norm on the phone when I heard an announcement that US Airways flight so-and-so was making it’s last and final boarding call to Orlando. I hung up on Norm and ran to that gate and pleaded with the agent to get me on this flight. (United had rebooked me on US Airways for the Philly to Orlando leg of the flight.) Somehow, she was able to do this and I managed to get on a 4 PM flight to Orlando. It was a good flight to, as I sat between two interesting people and talked with them for the entire flight. I got into Orlando about 10 minutes before Lisa. The only worry now was my luggage. I checked with the luggage office and was told my bags would arrive on the next flight from Dulles which was in about half an hour. I let our driver know and then Lisa and I went to a bar for a drink. When we got back downstairs, the bags were just beginning to arrive.
While waiting for my bags, Lisa pontificated on the convenience of carrying your bags onto the plane, as she did. She also pointed out that luggage makes a convenient seat, and she sat on her carry-on. The words had barely come out of her mouth when the carry-on went out from under her and Lisa ended up on the floor. I couldn’t help but laugh about it. My bags were out shortly and before long, we were in the car to the hotel. We checked in, went up to the room to unpack, and then met Norm and Vicky in the lobby and headed off to dinner at Boma. I was in great spirits, having averted disaster, and being able to spend a really nice evening with Lisa, Norm and Vicky.