Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Flying Woes

Here are Gabe, Ollie and Chad early in the morning on the 4th of July, waiting for our plane in Spokane (headed to Phoenix and then onto Charlotte) . When I took the picture I had no idea that we would still be waiting and waiting and waiting...way past when it was supposed to depart. There was a broken part in the cockpit and they had to fly a part to fix it, so the plane was delayed by about 6 hours, which of course made it impossible to catch any connections from Phoenix to Charlotte. So we had to re-book for the same flight the next day.

After three hours at the airport, with hotel and food vouchers, we went back to Chad's parent's house for a few hours and then went to the hotel for the night. We figured that way no one from Chad's family would have to transport us to the airport (yet again) at 6 in the morning.

It was a long long day and we didn't even get anywhere. It was so frustrating knowing that it would be followed by a long long day traveling with kids. We let the kids run around at the hotel and tried to have fun with our food vouchers but even room service took over an hour to get because the hotel was overwhelmed. That building behind the kids?

There were five different pools and a waterslide in there! Of course we had to be stranded there on a Sunday. I was very tempted to let the kids break the Sabbath just this once in the name of sanity.
This is the second time we have had to be put up in a hotel because of airline delays. The first time we got stuck during our connection in Salt Lake City and since Aaron and Jamie were living in Provo they came up and paid us a visit in our hotel. Chad was supposed to start a his new job with Bank of America the day after we got back and had to call and tell them he wasn't going to be there until the next day. That was 2007

And then of course there was the time when we were in Blythe and the airline we had tickets with went out of business two days before we were supposed to go home. I know that three major incidents doesn't sound like much, but we fly as a family ONCE a year and all three incidents have taken place over a three year span. BLAH.

Here is the positive though - as miserable as experiences like this are, they are well worth it for our Spokane trip. My kids get to know their grandparents in a way that living across the country doesn't easily allow. Truly priceless. Also, thank heavens flying is so safe that every single instrument in the cockpit gets checked (and fixed, if needed) before take-off. How lucky are we that we can span thousands of miles, quite safely, in a matter of hours?


Ashley said...

You do have bad luck! We flew to/from Germany with no delays and no lost baggage. And we've flown as a family about 4 times with hardly any problems - even with snow on the ground! Now that I've bragged we'll probably have problems when we fly in August!

Em said...

When I was growing up my mom worked for united airlines. When a flight would cancel or be delayed she would say "this is no fun but at least it's free! These people have all paid for this." nownj am one of those people that pay for delayed and cancelled flights. Awesome. Worse is with kids. Makes me want to snap my fingers out of it. Is there an app for that??

Jamie said...

I remember going to see you guys in Salt Lake. Wow, I forgot how long my hair used to be!

Christie said...

I was thinking about how unlucky you guys are with flight complications...but better these complications than the kind in the air!

Christie said...

Wait a sec...have all 3 been on a Sunday?

Olivia Carter said...

Ewww.... airport stuff is the WORST!

I haven't flown in a really long time & the last time it was with the kids I blocked it out but I have a vague sense that I almost threw myself out the door of the plane then stay seated with my kids for one more moment.

Nelle said...

Oh, that really stinks especially with kids. Hopefully they were good the next day.

Katie said...

Gaynelle - of course they weren't! ;o) Ollie on a plane?! Not pretty.

Another positive that I forgot to mention is that even though we didn't have seats together (because of the rebooking), and all our seats were middle seats (which no one wants) everyone around us cheerfully moved to let us sit together, which doesn't always happen.

James said...

For added fun:

The previous version is a lot easier, but this one has the realistic radio traffic.