An unbefitting end to a fantastic vacation

20 Jan

My long anticipated, yet short lived vacation to Paradise is now over. *Frown* Friday evening I was basking in the final moments of 80 degree Hawaiian weather, and today, I am cranking up my thermostat and sitting on my couch under a blanket with a fleecy top on and looking out into my snow covered yard. Talk about a shock to the system.

Yet, the dramatic decline of weather temperature was not the only shock to my system in regards to my return. No, no. My long-as-shit 10 hour flight turned into a 24 hour traveling adventure straight from the pits of hell. My original flight from O’ahu was to leave 11:55 pm HST Friday evening. At 2:45 am HST, it was cancelled. From then until about 5:25 am HST I was standing in lines: to reclaim my checked luggage off of the cancelled flight, to receive a hotel voucher for a nights stay, to be given a voucher for a cab ride back from the Hotel once I called the phone number I was given to find my OWN flight out of Honolulu, to wait for a shuttle to take us all to the hotel and then to actually check into the hotel. Yay, right? WRONG. Now, I am a self admitted control freak – when things don’t go according to plan, I don’t handle it well. Honestly, I freak out a bit. Especially when it comes to something like not having a flight off of an island that is over 4,000 miles away from my home…

After finally arriving in my hotel room at 5:30 am HST, and after basically losing my mental shit on the phone to my mother a couple of times over the last couple of hours, I called the airline from hell in an attempt to rebook my flight. After they tried to rebook me on the exact same flight leaving Honolulu at 11:30 pm HST on SATURDAY night, and after I basically told the gal on the phone that she needed to look outside of her airline company for flights or else I was going to track her down and steal her first born child, I was booked on a flight with a totally different airline that was due to depart at 7:30 am HST. Please remember that at this point, it was after 6 am, so I had all of about an hour to gather my shit, check out and get a taxi back to the airport which was 30 minutes away. And all of this on NO SLEEP in over 21 hours.

Thankfully, my cab driver was an Indy Car racer on the weekends, so I made it to the airport, made it through Agriculture, got my ticket and got to security with time to spare. ::ENTER MORE BULLSHIT:: I was lucky enough to be selected for what the Airlines like to call a “Special Screening.” Despite the seemingly fun and exciting name, it was nothing of the sort. Basically, it meant that my entire purse, carry on and person was picked through and patted down in front of everyone else going through the security check point themselves. I had to stand, shoeless, helpless and useless, along side of a table where the contents of my purse were dumped out and all things packed into my carry on were rifled through, some of which, really weren’t meant to be seen by ANYONE; much less the Asian guy doing the rifling. It was a harrowing experience that I have little want to ever be so “special” as to have to go through again.

So, after the taxi ride, the agriculture screening, the ticket mishap, the security frisking and the literal ass-hustling run across the airport to my terminal – I was officially on a flight out of Honolulu bound for San Francisco. Unfortunately, the flight was delayed in it’s departure from HNL, which meant that we were going to be delayed in landing in San Fran, which meant that there was a STRONG (READ: almost certain) possibility of me missing my connecting flight back home. The fun just didn’t want to end, it seemed. Gratefully though, even the powers that be realized that I had been through enough shit for one person, for one DAY, and they worked some magic which enabled the departing flight to wait for me and the other 24 people aboard my flight that were trying to make the same connection. THANK. FUCKING. GOD. Cause seriously, I think I would have run down the runway and jumped onto the landing gear with luggage in tow at that point.

SO! after a full 24 hours of waiting for my flight, not sleeping, standing in lines, making phone calls, waiting for mechanical problems to be resolved on the airplanes I was to fly on, actually flying on those airplanes with their corrected mechanical problems, getting a numb ass, running from terminal to terminal, flying some more, not sleeping again, eating Valiums like candy in an attempt to not lose my shit, claiming my checked baggage only to find that my shampoo had been smushed and spewed my Biolage all over half of my clothing…as of 3am EST I am home. To 26 degrees and snow. But I AM HOME.

I do have many, many more absolutely awesome memories to share, and I am currently planning a post from my trip to the unbelievably moving USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, but I felt the need to share my flying misery first and foremost. *smile* For now, I’m off to make myself something warm to drink and to meditate on warmer climates.


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4 responses to “An unbefitting end to a fantastic vacation

  1. Solomon Broad

    January 20, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    I think you’ve just reaffirmed my decision never to fly. It sounds like you had a terrible experience.

  2. Unrequited Life

    January 20, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    Soloman: Thanks for stopping by! In all fairness, the flight TO Honolulu was a piece of cake, but statistically, I believe it’s something like 70% of all flights are delayed and/or cancelled on a daily basis. My experience (I hope) was rather extreme, but true nonetheless. It’s definitely a gamble, but flying is considered to be the safest mode of transportation! *smile*

  3. Dad

    January 21, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    On our trip out to see Walter I had an unrully two year old that sat behind me all the way from Houstin to Honalulu. This child continually kicked the shit out of the back of my seat for almost the entire 8 hour 32 minute flight. His mother and I got into it three times during the flight. Her response of “what do you want me to do?” did not help. Sorry to hear you had so much trouble. We are still having problems adjusting to the current weather here in beautiful SE PA. I wish we were back where lows at night were 72 and the highs were 80.

  4. Unrequited Life

    January 21, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Poppa T! Thanks for the visit!! I can sympathize with the children from hell – I had one who, thankfully, didn’t kick my seat incessently, but instead, cried for most of the flight from Honolulu to San Fran! ARGH! What a mess…I’m definitely glad I went to visit, but I wish it was closer! *smile*

    Yeah, this 17 degree weather sure is a kick in the pants compared to 80 degrees, ain’t it?! HA!


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