Travel Hell

SPL Poster Best Laid Schemes Robert Burns

Can you say worst couple days ever, because I sure can. I have never had my travel plans go quite as awry as this trip to Toronto. Honestly, I’m so fucking stressed about the whole thing that I’m about to have a complete breakdown.

Everything started out well. I woke up a little later than I wanted to, left the house about a half hour later than I would have liked, but still managed to make it to the airport an hour and a half before my initial flight. Security was a breeze, like always, made it to my gate, and proceeded to wait for the time to board. I did the nice thing by offering up my seat to a man and his  daughter so they could fly together and then had to sit in a center seat, but it was ok, because the flight to Atlanta is fairly short. Flight to Atlanta. When I was traveling to Toronto. You know, in Ontario. Canada. Unfortunately, Port Columbus International Airport is not an international egress, so that means instead of a nice short flight, I had to go way the fuck out of my way. Whatever. I don’t care. Just racking up those Skymiles.

Things started their downward slide when we boarded the plane, though. Because of weather in Atlanta, we were forced to sit in the plane at the gate for about an hour before we were allowed to taxi and takeoff. Whatever, I thought, shit happens, and it’s not like it mattered too much since I had a roughly 4 hour layover in Atlanta before my flight to Toronto. We take off, fly to Atlanta, one minor little weird sound from the plane on the trip, but overall, all was well.

Arrive in Atlanta and I hoof it to the gate just to see where it is, then head back and grab some food. I happened to run into one of my seat mates from the flight to Atlanta, he was headed to Puerto Rico, and we chatted for a little bit, which was nice. Food done, back to the gate, and all still seems well when they announce that they will not be using the plane that just arrived from Harrisburg to fly us to Toronto. The pilot felt that the plane was not flight worthy, and while I do appreciate that, because no one wants to fly on a plane that isn’t flight worthy, this commenced an almost 4 hour delay for my flight. 

I did meet another person, a woman from Atlanta who was also flying to Toronto, and she was stuck in the same predicament as me, like roughly 53 other people, although her probably was slightly her fault. She originally and a flight at 5 but missed it because she left her passport at home. Whoops. She and I chatted for a bit a few times over the next 4 hours and just laughed at the absurdity of the whole situation in general, so at least that helped the time pass a little bit better. 

While we were sitting at they gate, the fine folks at Delta announced that, anyone flying to Greenville would have to land at Tupulo because the crew was all out of hours and they could not fly all the way to Greenville, so anyone flying to Greenville needed to tell their family to pick them up in Tupulo instead of Greenville. I may have chuckled a little bit.

Finally, one gate change, a snack tray, and 3 hours and 52 minutes after our flight was supposed to depart, we board a plane that just arrived from Houston to take us to Toronto. A small cheer did not go up from the exhausted crowd. Everyone boards the plane, the pilot apologizes, because it’s still the same guy who was supposed to fly us earlier and decided not to use the original plane. In hindsight, should I be worried that he had been sitting around for 4 hours getting nice and tired before flying? But I digress.

For once, I managed to actually sleep on a plane. Basically from wheels up to wheels down. This is nice, since we didn’t land until about 2am and my hotel is about 40 minutes away from YYZ. Deplane. Breeze through customs, grab my suitcase, yes I checked and yes it arrived at the proper airport (WIN), and head out to the rental cars. The fucking rental cars…

It turns out that, everyone who works at the rental car agencies had departed approximately 5 minutes before we got there. That meant absolutely no rental car to drive to the hotel. My feelings? I think Marcellus Wallace said it best.

Yes, it also felt like I had just been hit by a Yugo.

I walk back over to the taxi area, since now that is the only way I’m going to make it to Cambridge and the hotel. Mind you, it’s now about 245 in the am. First cab? “No, no, I can’t go to Cambridge, my shift is almost over.” Second cab, hop on in. So, $170 and 40 minutes later, I arrive at the hotel. Now, I did do one intelligent thing and I called the hotel while I was sitting in Atlanta and told them I was going to be late, so at least I still had a hotel room.

I talk to Chris who was working the counter at the hotel, a very nice and helpful gentleman, and he got me the number for the local Enterprise and their hours, since, you know, We’re Enterprise and we’ll pick you up. Unless you call in the middle of the night and try to arrange a car since they don’t open until 8am. Still I reserved a car so I could pick it up in the morning, asked Chris if the shuttle could run me there, he said yes, and proceeded to head to bed to get a little bit of sleep. I got more sleep than I should have. 

A text at 810 wakes me up, I dive through the shower, and head out to the front desk to ask if the shuttle can run me to Enterprise. Guess what, the shuttle is gone and won’t be back until 9. I should have been at Enterprise 30 minutes ago, so this is not good. I ask the ladies how far it is to Enterprise, they said it’s just down the road. I ask how long it takes to walk there. They said it’s a bit of a walk, about 15 minutes. I chuckled, that’s nothing, and head out the door. For a very brief period of time, my life becomes The Lord of the Rings. 

Finally, I arrive at Enterprise to pick up my rental car and drive to the customer! Wait, no, that would be too fucking easy, wouldn’t it? Since I reserved a car at 4am and this is not a location that actually has cars, they do not have a car available and cannot have one ready until about 430pm. All that walking for nothing. 

Luckily, I was able to get someone from the customer to come pick me up, and he ran me to Waterloo after we were done today so I could pick up a rental there that I can drop of at YYZ on Friday morning, which is nice since I couldn’t have done that with Enterprise.

Seriously, why didn’t I fucking drive?

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