Deal ... Or Ordeal?
My husband Andrew and I came into Phoenix on Wednesday night -- or should I say Thursday morning? We originally had a bargain flight from Akron/Canton to Phoenix via O'Hare that was due to arrive in Arizona around 11:30 pm. Naturally, this being the beginning of December, inclement weather is par for the course. Our flight was delayed first by twenty minutes due to weather, then by almost an hour because of a mechanical problem. Incidentally, that hour was the length of time we originally had to make our connection in O'Hare -- one which (naturally) we missed.
Thankfully, United has some pretty helpful people standing behind the service counters. They put us on a plane ("You'll need to hurry, it boards in five minutes at another terminal") bound for Denver, where we were to stay the night (where?) and catch the first flight of the morning to PHX (arriving at 11 am local time). It wasn't ideal for Andrew, who works east coast hours wherever he travels, but it was the best they could do. We found ourselves running the entire length of the airport, because the handy dandy shuttle could only take one more person, and we were two. I found myself not feeling so bad for not making it to the gym that day.
Time to Think
While en route to Denver, we strategized the next part of our trip -- Should we stay overnight in the airport (where there was free but SLOW wi-fi for Andrew to use at work in the morning) or add to our financial losses by booking a hotel in Denver (in addition to the one we had booked in Phoenix for the same night)? Websites like Hotwire came to mind as a way to find a cheap hotel, but we had a ten-minute window once we landed to find a place online before they stopped booking for the night.
Salvation Comes From the... Board
The beauty of the Denver airport and surrounding mountains did much to ease our anxiousness about the situation, and so the eight minutes I had to set up my wi-fi connection and search for a hotel seemed like plenty of time... Plenty of time, that is, for Andrew to have a look around and see on the announcement board that the plane from which we had just disembarked was immediately boarding for (wouldn't you believe it) Phoenix. It had been a delayed flight with literally fifteen minutes turnaround time, so wouldn't have shown up as an option when we booked our re-route back in O'Hare.
Thanks again to United, we changed our flight once more, and headed for our final destination. We arrived at our hotel shortly after 1:30 am AZ time, or 3:30 am EST. Four hours of sleep and we were up again so Andrew could start work on time. I spent a good part of the next day retrieving our rental car and finding my lost luggage, but in the end all worked out. It was a crazy ride, but we couldn't have been more thankful for how things turned out. Seriously.
Business or Pleasure?
While we were making this trip for personal reasons (a friend's wedding), the logistics of the trip had/still has potential to affect both of our work -- mostly Andrew's schedule on the way out, and both of ours on the way back. We have a concert just a few hours after landing back in Cleveland on Sunday (Let's see how THAT turns out...). I've also brought my fiddle along because I still need to practice for other performances later in the week.
While we're not completely out of the woods yet, I'd like to share with you a few bits of wisdom I think I've already gained from this trip:
If you've just GOT to know the outcome of this adventure, come to our concert at SRBC on Sunday at 7pm and see if we've made it. :)
Thanks for reading!
I'm Erica Ward, formerly