Interrupting the woefully delayed recounting of Summer Odyssey 2015 to announce a delay of another kind: after spending a lovely week in Boston, I was supposed to make it home tonight but thanks to weather delays in Chicago, my connecting city, I…did not.
My flight from Boston to Chicago was delayed by 3 hours, as was my flight to Madison. We got to Chicago after what seemed like hours on the plane, and then I rushed over to find out that my plane had left and there was only one more flight to Madison for the day. I was given a ticket at Gate C5, and then walked over to Gate C3 – literally, feet away – and was told that I couldn’t get on the flight even though I had a ticket because it was packed full, and since I was “late” they gave my “seat” away. What the gate agent should have done was direct me to a bus, but instead she told me to go to Customer Service, for which the line was already miles long. Upset and panicked, I took a short break to breathe and wait, and then wandered over to the B terminal, which had a) an open Starbucks, where I got a venti green tea lemonade (worth it), and b) a much shorter line at Customer Service. By the time it was my turn, the last Madison bus was gone (just my luck!) but I got a seat on tomorrow’s 9:16 AM flight, and the option to either sleep on a cot in the airport, or pay a discounted rate at a local hotel via Airport Accommodations. The lady at the counter said that there were very few rooms left within a reasonable distance, but I took my chances and called, and now, for just $89 and a $62 cab ride, I’m spending the night in Room 421 at the Eaglewood Resort and Spa in Itasca, Illinois.
Knowing how crowded O’Hare will be, I’ll probably need to get there 3 hours early instead of just 2, so I’m setting all my alarms for 6 AM, which is 4 hours from now (2 AM Central).
I’m sad that my trip had to end this way, but at least I’m going to take a hot bath now and then try to get some sleep in a real bed (rather than a mattress/couch) for the first time since Charlottetown.
…But before I left the airport, as I was sitting near the customer service desk waiting on the phone with the hotel, I noticed a passport and some travel documents lying on a table nearby, with no one around to claim them. After I got off the phone, I went over and picked it up, it was some woman from Utah’s forgotten passport along with her plane ticket to Vienna on Austrian Airlines. Rather than risk it being stolen or thrown out, I turned it in at Customer Service, who told me with a smile that I should stick around and look for more lost passports and tickets. I hope that my act of kindness brought me some good karma, and that the woman and her passport are reunited and off to Austria soon.
Anyway, good night. Wish me luck for tomorrow!