Monday, January 4, 2010

An Unexpected Road Trip

Traveling in winter is full of surprises! You just never know what to expect.

M and I had good luck flying to San Juan - minor delays and smooth flights, but coming home was a different story! When we got to the airport in San Juan on Saturday they told us our connecting flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Buffalo, New York had been canceled due to plane maintenance. They scheduled us for the next flight on Sunday morning at 9:30 am and put us up in a hotel for the night. We figured that could be alright - we'd have a good night's sleep and still get home in plenty of time on Sunday for M to catch his flight back to Chicago at 5 pm.

Everything was looking good on Sunday morning. We got checked in at the airport and enjoyed the free wifi while waiting. They decided our plane needed an oil change so we were delayed about 45 minutes. Fine. We boarded our airplane, taxied out to the runway and and waited... and waited some more until the pilot announced we'd be delayed 35 minutes due to the weather conditions in Buffalo. Then they announced we had to taxi back to our gate but were staying on the plane waiting. Then a while later they announced our flight was canceled. The pilot had been working too many hours. We actually sat on the plane for a longer period than our flight would have taken.

Our entire flight had to line up at the "Special Services" desk where they had two people working. Two people. We asked what our options were and they basically had no idea. Really great customer service, US Airways. All flights were booked or canceled until the next day.

We had been chatting with another couple who also had their car parked in Buffalo, so we decided to rent a car with them and make the trek together. It was either that or sleep over at the airport. We knew we were going to be in for a fun night, as there was a winter storm on our route from Pennsylvania to New York. Think this:

13 hours, 5 states, and 1 province later, we were home. Safely!

What we learned:
1) US Airways is incompetent in all ways
2) Never book a flight from Buffalo in winter, no matter how much money you think you'll save
3) You meet new friends in the most unexpected ways

BUT, we did have a great cruise, which I'll tell you all about later!


  1. I'm holding you to lesson number two!!! But, actually, what an adventure and it turned out ok.

  2. Well I'm just relieved there was a happy ending! Christmas in Canada from now on - please ;)