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The Hassles of Travel - Part 2

I didn't want to go on this trip, but I agreed to do it. Now I regret it.

My flight to Chicago was fairly uneventful, but it was running late. At 4:30CST the pilot says we should be on the ground in 30 minutes, which is good since I have to get to the London flight by 5:45. at 5:00 we're finally descending and then we arrive at 5:15. I rush out and find a monitor to learn I need to change terminals, which is fun for the kids with the underground tunnel, but not much fun when you want some food and need to get to a flight.

I luckily stopped for a sandwich that I stuffed in my bag when I got in sight of the gate. That would prove fortuitous later.

I get on the plane with about 5 minutes to spare before they close the door. I get settled, start reading, listening to music and then 20 minutes later I'm wondering why we haven't left. Eventually they say that the plane has an issue and we need to deplane. This bird isn't going anywhere. It's annoying, we pack up and get off, they say they'll look for another plane, announcement at 7.

OK, I go get a bit of food (I'm saving my sandwich for the flight in case the food stinks) and wait around. I call home, no one there, and then finally here we're leaving at 8 from a few gates down. Same type of plane, same tickets.

So I walk down, we get on the plane, get settled again, and then push back. They de=ice, we taxi out, moving slowly, making the journey along the runways. I'm not sure how much bigger CHI is than DEN, but we taxi'd for a good 10 minutes around. The engines rev up and we start to turn, then they go down. A couple minutes later the stewardess comes on and says that the de-icer in the engine isn't working and since it's snowing they want it checked.

Back to the gate.

It's 8:45CST and we get to the gate, they look at it, don't want us to de-plane. We sit there, people are on cell phones trying to re-book, change plans, etc. Finally at 9:30 they tell us this plane can't fly so we deplane WITHOUT the flight being canceled. I'm glad I got in line right away because they canceled the flight 5 minutes later and started booking us in hotels.

Without our bags. I can't get my bag, which means no clean clothes, no deodorant, no running shoes, etc. I get 3 vouchers for food (dinner, breakfast, lunch), and of course nothing's open at 10:45 when I get them. When I get to the hotel, their kitchen is closed. Fortunately the bar is open, I grab a beer, get to my room and then get my chicken Caesar wrap out of my bag. At least I got dinner.

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by John Magnabosco on 19 January 2009

At least you don't have to worry about getting scurvy, like in the old days when you had to cross the pond in a boat.:D

Sounds like a frustrating experience thus far. Just wait until you experience the hassles of re-entering the US.

Posted by Roy Ernest on 19 January 2009

Reminds me of a trip to Singapore that I took couple of years back. They made my life miserable. I reach Amsterdam at 9 Am and the flight is at 8 PM. So I had a long wait and at 7 PM they say the flight is cancelled. I lost my connecting flight from Singapore to my final destination. Thank God the Singapore Airlines people were really accomodating. They booked me into the next flight as soon as I arrived in Singapore.

Posted by David Reed on 19 January 2009

Nothing good ever happens @ O'Hare. I've spent more hours camped out there due to "ATC Delay" than any other excuse at any other airport.

Posted by Tim Mitchell on 19 January 2009

Glad you finally arrived.  I chuckled (with empathy, of course) as I read your updates on Twitter.

Posted by Manie Verster on 20 January 2009

My deepest sympathy with you my friend. That must have been a hell of a trip! Hope the home trip is better.

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