I was more than a little eager to get back to Philly, to return tomorrow to work since I missed much of last week to be here, and to focus feverishly on the business of traveling and writing.
But the specter of disappointment loomed.
In case you haven’t heard, an important blizzard blanketed the east coast with more than a foot of snow, causing major delays in air travel. Before leaving today for the airport, I checked Continental’s website, which said my flight was scheduled to land in Philly on time. But when I go to check-in, I double check with the lady working the counter. According to her computer, the flight was still on schedule, she said, adding, “That’s impossible.”
“Impossible,” she says. “Every flight before yours has been canceled. It looks like a lot of subsequent flights into Philadelphia have been, too.”
“What does that mean?”
It meant I would’ve made it to Cleveland, but not to Philly, leaving me with two options.
“Do you prefer to be stuck here or in Cleveland?”
The lady wasn’t sure how long I’d be stuck in Cleveland, but guessed at least through Wednesday.
“I’ll be stuck here, I suppose.”
So she re-books my flight.
“The earliest flight available is Friday.”
“You’re shitting me?”
“And it looks like you’ll have to take the Amtrak train from Newark to Philadelphia.”
Would toughing it out in Cleveland have been the responsible choice? It was certainly the most unappealing, so I chose the latter.
There goes my New Year’s Eve.
And a week’s pay.
And my ability to honor promises to my boss that I’d be back in time to finish helping her with her year-end report.
All thanks to a blizzard that caused thousands of canceled flights in and out of the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.
Dejected, I return to my father’s house, where my sisters were playing Wii with my father’s roommate, a retired bank robber. At 6:13 p.m., I received a call from Orbitz, through whom I purchased my plane ticket, informing my connecting flight out of Cleveland has been delayed – not by days, but an hour – that the new arrival time in Philly is 10 p.m. tonight.
Continental’s website bears this out.
What is the truth?
I can handle the truth!
Fuck it; it doesn’t matter.
Too late now.
I’m now in Madison, Wisconsin, where I’m STUCK until Friday.
New Year’s Eve plans subverted. Sorry, guys!
Hundreds of dollars in lost wages. Poof!
An important promise broken. Snap!
All because of a lousy storm.