Friday, June 10, 2011

Return Flight(s) Fiasco

Because I used miles and booked my flight to/from Vegas via award travel, I was limited on the flight options.  The only flight back Sunday was at 6pm at night.  I prefer to leave earlier for several reasons:  (1) to get home at a decent hour, (2) I have things to do at the house before I go to work on Monday, and (3) because afternoon thunderstorms can delay flights.

I prefer to leave early Sunday morning from BCAPL Nationals, but this was not an option for my "free" flight.

Sunday morning I visit the host at the Riv to try and get some food comped.  Much to my utter surprise, I was told not only will they not comp my food, but the last 6 days of the two rooms I booked would not be given the players rate.  I kicked, screamed, cried, gave a sob story, showed my boob (just kidding) but nothing work.  The lady had no sympathy for me, even tho I spent gobs of money in that place.  I had to pay the full rate and I was pissed!

After that debacle, I took a shower and packed and decided to venture to the Mirage Champagne Brunch, which I absolutely love, love.  Even eating it solo was still a thrill for me because I love the food and atmosphere there.  Or was it because of the champagne?  lol  Then I gambled a little bit before I needed to depart to the airport.

As I sat at the airport, I get a text my flight is canceled, then comes the announcement, "Flight 1532 has been canceled."

Here is the a timeline how things went from there:

Sunday evening:

5:15 Flight cancelled due to weather in and around Dallas.
5:20 On phone with AA.
5:50 Disconnected from AA after 30 minutes. !@#$%^^$%#$ PISSED!
6:00 Lug ALL my luggage that I had to pick up from the carousel to the AA counter and I'm now last in line!
6:30 Finally get to counter 30 minutes later.  I got a flight for Tuesday afternoon and a voucher for $50 a night at South Point Casino through AA.
6:40 Called Mom. Told her I wouldn't be home til Tuesday. She tells me she has been running a fever but didn't want me to worry.  My neighbor was feeding my cat and checking in on her for me, but she kept her fever from both of us.
6:45 In taxi line with luggage  (see both videos - I am UPSET! - video blog taxi line 1 and video blog taxi line 2)
7:15 In taxi after 30 minutes long line with luggage.
7:25 At South Point Casino (which is located nowhere near the strip). Taxi cab fee $25 plus tip!  omg...
7:35 Check in
7:40 Lug luggage across casino floor and the long, long hallway to get to my room (video blog of the long hallway).  Tired, upset, miserable.
7:45 Call Mom and cry to her.
7:50 Call b/f and cry to him.
9:00 Gamble in casino and have too many mai tai's.  Check out video blog of smart shaped table game.


7:45am Neighbor calls. My Mom called 911 and is now headed to the ER!
7:50 Call other neighbor who saw her in the ambulance; she was having trouble with her emphysema and was breathing bad.
8:10 Called Mom in ER to try and calm her.  She can't talk well because she can't breathe well.
8:15 Call AA. They found me a flight at 7am Tuesday instead 2pm Tuesday.
8:30 Call ER nurse, they say Mom is stable but has a few infections.
8:45 Call neighbor. They visited Mom and she was sleeping.
9:30 Called Mom; she's very tired and not talkative.
9:35 Call Mom's nurse who visits her once a week. She will head to the ER asap.
10:15 She called me back and says Mom is doing ok but they are going to admit her when a room is available.
10:30 ER nurse calls to confirm meds.
11:00 AA calls ME. They have a seat open on a flight in two hours!
11:05 I rush to airport (leave behind my video camera in hotel room by accident)
11:30 Check bags, walk to gate.
11:40 Call Mom; still in ER.
11:45 Call hotel to try and find my video camera.
11:55 Flight delayed an hour.  omg, really?

12:15 Flight delayed another hour.
12:30 Hear from hotel - they found video camera, will mail it to me.
12:35 Flight cancelled due to weather.  Seriously??
12:37 Call AA to try and change flight.
12:50 AA is calling me on the other line. The lady I spoke to this morning saw my flight was cancelled and booked me on the 4:45 flight because of my Mom.  (omg, how awesome!)
1:00 Go get luggage.
1:15 Recheck bags at AA counter.
1:25 Check in through security again.
1:30 Call Mom - she has been moved to her hospital room now and talking better.
2:00 Eat Burger King.
2:30 Flight delayed an hour.  ugh...
2:45 Flight delayed another 30 mins.  Really??  I can feel for what is coming next...
3:00 Flight cancelled.  Yep.
3:05 Call AA to get on another flight.
3:25 On hold for 25 minutes, but got me on a flight at 5pm on Tuesday.
3:40 Get luggage; stand in taxi line. Use roller-ed luggage caddy this time.
4:15 Go back to South Point. Taxi still $25 plus tip.
4:20 Check in, use bell guys to carry my luggage.
4:35 Visit business center to pick up my video camera that hadn't been mailed yet.
4:45 Call Mom. She is upset I'm not there; I am more upset.
5:00 Get ice cream.
5:15 Take a nap.
6:10 Go see Pirates of the Caribbean Movie to get my mind off everything.  Movie theatre in the casino - check out this video:

8:55 Movie done, Mavs won, going to sleep after calling Mom.

7:15am Call Mom. Her meds are all messed up and she's very very upset. I talk to nurse; they are working on it.
8:00 Take shower.
8:30 Try and rest some more.
10:30 Eat chinese food in this little cafe in the Casino that had a separate chinese menu (best orange chicken I've ever had)
11:30 Decide to try Pai Gow.
11:55 Flight delayed an hour (via email notification).  Continue to play Pai Gow Poker.
1:30 Flight delayed another hour.  Play more Pai Gow.
3:00 Head to airport.
3:30 Try to check in, but machine tells me I need to speak to an agent. WTH?
3:32 Get in LONG line. Trying to remain calm.
3:15 Try to check in again (while in line, someone holding my spot), still can't check in via the kiosk for some reason.
3:45 Long Line at AA counter barely moving. :(
3:55 Try to check in again. It works! I move my bags from the line and get them and myself checked in.
4:00 Walk to security gate.
4:05 See a cute stuffed elephant for Mom!
4:25 Eat Burger King. Throw money into a Wheel of Fortune slot machine.
4:40 Stand in line to talk to AA Manager about my fiasco.
4:55 Still in line after 15 minutes. Drunk guy talking to AA manager is causing a scene.
5:05 AA manager tells me since it's weather related, it's an Act of God, and I can't gt reimbursed for the $110 for hotel nor the $120 in cab fees.
6:15 Flight about to take off.
6:16 B/F tells me tornado warnings in Dallas.  Crap!
6:20 Take off (see video blog of take off). Pilot says weather should be out of the area by the time we land.
10:40 (Texas time) pilot says we are 30 minutes away and weather is worse so we are being diverted to San Antonio!
10:50 Land. No gates available. 1000 other people diverted to SA, also.
10:55 Call b/f - he was driving back from the airport that I never arrived at.
11:00 Called Mom - told her the bad news - I still wasn't in town yet! ;(
Sit on tarmac for 2 1/2 hours!
1:25 Shuttle buses arrive at our plane and we are shuttled to the airport.
1:30 Stand in line for free hotel voucher. With 1000 people to put in hotels, it's a long process.
2:00 Get voucher.  Luggage is still on the plane!
2:30 Arrive at hotel. Line is super long to check in.

3:30 FINALLY get checked into my hotel room.
3:50 Fall asleep.

8am Wake up.
8:15 Wait for shuttle from hotel to airport.
8:30 Arrive at San Antonio airport. Lines are long EVERYWHERE!
8:45 Go through security using yesterdays boarding pass (somehow).
8:55 Stand in long line to find out from agent what time my flight is suppose to leave.
8:55 Call AA at the same time in case I can get through to them sooner.
9:20 A few people from my flight walk by. They heard our 10am flight will now depart at 3pm, but we keep hearing announcements that other flights are being cancelled and we get nervous.
9:30 Group of 4 of us decided to drive the 4 1/2 hours to DFW.
10:00 In car with strangers, but on my way to see Mom.
3:00 B/F picks me up from DFW airport (that's where we dropped the rental car off and every one's cars were).
3:20 Dropped him off at his house.
4:00 Walk in Mom's hospital room with stuffed elephant!
4:10 Still hugging and crying!

Visit mom.
Go to airport to try and find my luggage.
Get a parking ticket trying to find them in two separate terminals.  !@#$%^&%$#@
Go to work for 6 hours (in two weeks! ugh :( ).
Visit mom.

Visit mom.
Go to work.
Mom calls - I need to come right back, they are doing the angiogram today after all.
Go back to hospital.
Sit with Mom before and after her procedure, and into the evening.
Waiting on Heart surgeon.
Finally find out she wont need open heart surgery after all!  Whew!  SO relieved!

Mom out of hospital!

Visit back doctor (a new one).
Make appt for previous back doctor (get to see him one more time before he leaves for his promotion in another state).
Back still hurts from carrying luggage during the flight fiasco's.  :(

June 22 - will visit back doc again

To say it was a nightmare trying to get back is an understatement. Luckily I had a lot of great friends who followed my crappy fiasco posts on FB who shared comforting, loving comments and texts throughout the entire ordeal!

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