Jan. 25th, 2009

Travels

Jan. 25th, 2009 12:45 pm
dracodraconis: (Default)
Back from San Jose, CA, much later than expected. Things were fine until I got to Denver airport. My coworker and I booked at the same time but he got the earlier flight from Denver to Chicago. Both of us were to catch the last flight out from Chicago to Ottawa. As it turned out, my Denver-Chicago flight was delayed by 30 minutes, leaving me 20 minutes to make it to the gate (running from C-terminal to B-terminal). Doable, but a bit tight.

The repairs actually took 35 minutes. Now I have a 15 minute run. Still doable.

A slight snow squall had the powers-that-be decide to deice the plane. A 5 minute run. Being able to make it would depend on the length of the run so I estimated the chance at 50-50. Fortunately I had already talked with Customer Service for United Airlines (who were very helpful) who prebooked a space on the first flight out the next morning (as a backup) and gave me instructions for how exactly to make the run to the next terminal in the minimum time available (they estimated that 10 minutes would be required to do it, but they would alert the plane that I was on the way).

We arrive just as the gate would be closing, and I learned that there were two other Canadians in the same boat. Customer Service had moved me (and one other Canadian, as well as someone from the Netherlands trying to make his connector) into the frontmost Economy seats so that we would have the smallest delay possible. Flight attendants then, just before landing, asked all people short on time to press the call light, and that other passengers should let us out first.

The three of us were off the plane in about one minute, being let out ahead of the first class people. We made the run, only to arrive just as the plane was pulling out. It seems the people at the gate, despite being alerted to our arrival, decided to leave slightly early rather than delay the flight (the last flight of the night) by ten minutes.

As a result, United footed the bill for three rooms at the airport Hilton (at $200/night) in return for getting the flight out exactly on time. We left the next morning, arriving in Ottawa at 10:55. Oddly enough, they booked everyone on the flight (there were only 8 of us) in rows 13 and 14. With the steward's permission we spread out to make things more comfortable and spent the flight chatting. I took quite a few shots with the SLR of clouds over cities and lakes. I'll process then over the next little while.

We arrived at Ottawa, proceeded through customs with no problem (Reminder to self: get a Nexus card. At 50$ for a 5-year period it can save a lot of time at the border). I waited that the luggage carousel, only to discover that they had never put my luggage on the plane. Filled out paperwork, got picked up by [livejournal.com profile] ms_danson and headed home to hope for the return of my luggage.

Finally, Sunday around noon, the luggage arrived. With that, I have officially returned, requiring only 2.5 days (counting the time taken to get my luggage) to make the trip.

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