Panic Attack

Trip Start May 20, 2011
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Trip End Jun 04, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Indiana
Friday, May 20, 2011

For the last two weeks - including this morning when I got to work early - I thought I would be writing my first REAL trip blog from a cushy airport hotel in Newark.

...and I was wrong.

Backstory:

I originally booked my & Tina's flight back in June 2010.  At that time, I booked a flight for myself that left Saturday, May 21 from Indy to Newark at 6am.  From there, the 9am flight to London.

Tina, however, lives in Phoenix.  So she's coming from there - leaving tonight (the 20th) at 10:30pm Phoenix time to arrive in Newark at 6am.  Obviously, we'd meet there for our flight over the 'lantic.

About three months ago, I was just being my anal-retentive self & looked on continental.com to see if my flights had changed, if there were better seat options open, etc.  I noticed then that my 6am flight from Indy to Newark was GONE.  Nothing else was in its place either.  Just the Newark to London flight.

I immediately called Continental to find out WTF was happening. 

Turns out, they cancelled that 6am flight & the only option that would allow me to get to Newark for the 9am London flight was to fly the night before.  Today.

I said ok.  Got booked.  Booked (and prepaid for) a hotel at the Newark airport.  Voila.

Fast forward to 3 hours ago.

I board my flight prett much on time.  We sit at the gate for awhile.  They tell us "an indicator light won't go off, so we're having maintenance come check it out. Why don't we de-plane since it's so hot in here." 

We do.

I go sit in a restaurant and order a quesadilla.

30 minutes later, our flight is cancelled completely.  I RUN back to the gate & join the rest of my fellow travelers in the line to be re-booked on new flights.
Turns out - no more flights leaving Indy at ALL that night.  To anywhere. 
And the earliest flight out in the morning is the 6am to Newark.  After that, every other flight (to Newark AND nearby JFK and LaGuardia) would put me there too late to make the 9am flight to London.

Begin panic attack. 

Ms. Continental Lady gets on the speaker telling us she has 10 seats left on the 6am.  There are about 15-20 people in line in front of me.  I begin to really freak out.

If I miss the London connection and have to take a later London flight, two things would happen:  1- We'd also miss our shuttle to London's Stansead airport AND our flight from there to Rome (and the money I paid for them.).  And 2 - Tina would be stuck in the London airport for a day or more waiting for me because I have our shuttle tickets to Stansead AND boarding passes for our Ryanair flight.

So, not only would it SUCK to have to figure out logistics from there between the two of us (me in Newark and her in London with no cell phone access), but we'd be out a bunch of money in trying to figure out how to get to Rome a day or two later.  OR skip Rome altogether.
I'm already out the Newark hotel money that I prepaid on hotels.com.

After listening to me sob to my boyfriend on the phone for about 10 minutes about the situation, two very nice men in line ahead of me offered to let me go in front of them.  They spoke very little English and it only advanced me two places in the long line.  But at that moment, I have never wanted to hug someone more.

I got up to the counter & meekly mumbled through the tears that I wanted the 6am to Newark.  The Continental ladies gave me a box of kleenex and said "don't worry hon, we pre-booked you on it since we saw your 9am international flight.  You're all good."

And for the millionth time, burst into more sob fits, thanking them profusely.

I even got a window seat.

Now I'm blogging from my own bedroom.  Gotta get up in 4 hours.  And pray to Lady Gaga this flight goes off without a hitch.

...So begins my European adventure.
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Comments

Donavan on

Wow! Glad it all got worked out though!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to read more about this trip!

Brooke on

See? The Lady Gaga answers prayers. :) Xoxo

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