Aight, so it’s the last post of the week recapping my experience with LA. I started at the end and worked my way back to the beginning. Some of you may have saw me going off in the tweets that Thursday and Friday, but that was just a fraction of the frustration I felt tryin’ to get out to Cali. Someone somewhere was enforcing Murphy’s Law on my life. The sh*t was wack B. The sh*t was real wack. I really started thinking the trip wasn’t meant to be.
When I woke up on Thursday morning, I was excited. My suitcase was packed. Ok, I’m lying. I went to go pick up the laundry I dropped off Wednesday then came back and tossed stuff in the suitcase. I threw a bunch of clean stuff onto the couch the night before, so it wasn’t a total scramble. Nonetheless, I had my stuff together. To save myself trouble and strife getting to the airport, I drove my car to work and ate the cost of parking at a garage. Getting caught underground in delayed trains was not an option. Neither was getting stuck in OD extreme traffic. I was gonna leave work early.
Fast forward through a relatively forgettable day at the office.
I get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. As soon as I walk into the AirTran area, all I see is blinking screens saying flights are delayed. I get to the counter and ask the woman what the issue is and she says the weather. Of course it was a clear day in NYC. I checked the weather in Atlanta, where my connection was, and it looked to be ok there as well. It made no sense. It was 630pm and my 745pm flight was delayed til 815 at this point. That then turned into 845. My connection to LA was at 11pm and it started lookin’ real bleak. I got through sakurity and tried to remain hopeful. I find out there’s another flight that was supposed to depart at 815 even after delays, so I switched my ticket. That flight got pushed back to 915 and the original went to like 945.
I’m was at the gate talking to AirTran and they told me I was gonna miss my connection. My insides boiled. I had to step aside and woosah for a minute. After tweeting, texting, and gritting my teeth, I decided I’d fly to ATL. I wanted to get to LA as soon as possible and coming back to LaGuardia the next morning for a 9am flight wasn’t an option. It seemed too risky. Besides, there was still a small chance my flight in ATL would be delayed and I just might make it. I called the Marriott in LA to change my stay by a day and they upped the prices. I boiled some more, then went back to focusing on the flight.
That was a fail.
I got to ATL and the connection flight was long gone. I went to baggage claim and waited for my suitcase for about 45 minutes. Folks from different flights kept coming through and taking their stuff off the carousels while I stood there with my own personal thunderstorm over my head. I checked the AirTran office and nobody was there. I called AirTran and the woman on the other end took about 30 minutes to tell me I was shit out of luck unless I found an AirTran person. The good thing was she upgraded me to business class for the return flight because of the nonsense I went through.
So there I was in Atlanta well after midnight walking aimlessly with no luggage. My flight for the next day was at 9am, but I got nervous about oversleeping and not making it so I pushed it to 1215. There was no way I was sleeping in the airport seeing that I already didn’t feel well, so I took a shuttle to a Holiday Inn around 3 in the morning. I coughed up the dough to sleep for a few hours and begrudgingly went to my room with no suitcase. I felt like my shit was just floating in outer space. All I could do was hope gravity pulled it back to earth.
I woke up Friday morning, took a shower, and packed the few things I had with me — mainly my laptop. I went down to catch the shuttle and it wasn’t there. Front desk told me it should’ve been back soon, but that turned into half an hour at which point I called a cab. The taxi then took 25 minutes to get there. I basically lost an hour. My brow was furrowed but I tried to be slightly optimistic. I really wasn’t tryin’ to miss this flight.
I got to the airport at 1155 with my future lookin’ lame and tried to check in via the kiosk, but it didn’t let me. I cut the line, hustled through sakurity, hopped on the shuttle/rail thing, then sprinted through the terminal to get there just in time to see my flight backing away from the gate. It felt like I just lost the NBA championship. I should have tweeted Lebron. Anyway, it took everything in me to not yell and draw the attention of the men in white shirts. I asked the attendant at the desk what time the next flight was leaving and she said she’d put me on an 11pm.
Yes, it was 1215 and this woman was telling me she’d put me on an 11pm flight to LA. There was a 715 flight, but it was at capacity and my name was like 12th on the list. I wanted to throw a Boeing. But rather than overexert myself tryin’ to lift that much machinery, I just sat down and leaned forward with my hands behind my head. You know, kinda like what happens during March Madness when the higher seed loses and everybody on the bench is in disbelief and disappointment.
My only other option was to try to find another flight. Other airlines were talkin’ $400. Actually, my only option was Delta. I respect the sorority, but I’ve never been too fond of the airline. But yeah, I had looked at flights back to NY and I was ready to just ask AirTran to change my flight and let me go back home. I’d lost a day of my trip, my suitcase was on Mars, and I just couldn’t comprehend how so many things could’ve went wrong despite my best efforts to be prepared. That’s life i guess, and it ain’t been no crystal stair. Langston Hughes.
After consuming approximately 6 drinks, I went back to AirTran for a last ditch effort to board the earlier plane. I made up some story about needing to speak on a panel and people depending on me. Next thing you know, I’m paying $25 to change my flight and things are back on track. Why the AirTran woman at the gate didn’t offer this as an option was beyond me. I just did some happy feet holy dance and blasted some RAWSE in my headphones as I strolled to the new gate in a west coast state of mind.
Things worked out from there and I made it to LA. As you know from the other posts, it was well worth the trip. After the blogging festivities were over, I enjoyed some Roscoes’s, chilled at a friend’s crib and saved money on a hotel, then went back to the airport and just went past a bunch of nonsense because I was business class. Yo, business class is the shit. I ain’t felt that privileged since I shopped at Trader Joe’s for the first time. I will be checking for that moving forward if I can get a deal.
Lessons learned? Don’t transfer in Atlanta and stay optimistic because there’s always a way. I’m a better person than when I left NYC and I’ma do my best to pay it forward. Life is good. Busy as hell, but good.
A lot of words, but hey it’s my blog,