Note to self: never board a plane without a toothbrush in my carry-on. And a comb.
It wasn’t bad enough to spend all that time checking my bag and getting through security in Raleigh. Then, of course, I had to sit and wait for the plane. And wait. Then they posted a gate change for the plane. It wasn’t announced, just posted.
Up. Walk. Find new gate. It was past boarding time before they changed the departure time on the sign. Again, no announcement.
We eventually boarded about 45 minutes past the original boarding time, and I began to be nervous about connecting with my flight in Atlanta.
The ride was beautiful! Huge cumulous clouds stacked higher than the 30,000 flight path. They looked thick land chunky, the kind you could surely jump into and have fun bouncing around in.
There was one huge wall of dark cloud. It must have been 600-700 feet tall, standing above the fluffy cumulous clouds. It looked like a movie set, not at all real.
About the time we passed the huge dark cloud, the pilot announced that there was a major storm in Atlanta and that landing would be delayed. This actually reassured me a bit because I figured my departing flight would also be delayed. However, we then had to sit on the tarmac for another 20 or 30 minutes.
Deplaning moved very slowly, but as soon as I was able, I zipped by the other passengers. I found that my connecting flight was at gate E 37. I was at B 9. It didn’t look hopeful.
Although I dashed through the terminal, rode the little train, and did some more dashing, the door to my plane was closed when I arrived at E 37. The woman told me it had already left, but it wasn’t gone. It was still at the gate. No matter how I begged, she made no attempt to notify the pilot that I (and now others) was there.
I was sent on a half-mile hike to a service desk where there were three agents working: one for the first class people (all three of them), one for the international people (two of them), and one harried woman for the thirty or more of us who were lowly general passengers.
There was a phone bank with signs proclaiming they we help phones, but everyone who stood and spoke on the phone ended up in the long line of angry passengers awaiting service.
After about 45 minutes waiting, it was finally my turn. Since it was a weather-related problem, Delta wouldn’t put me on any other airline, so I had to spend the night in Atlanta. The agent told me the costs of the different motels (with the special Delta discount), and I just asked for the cheapest motel – Motel 6. $42 plus tax with the discount.
By the time I got to the motel shuttle and then to the motel, it was 9:15. There I found out the price I’d been quoted was wrong, by $13. I complained and decided to call Delta to get a room down the street at a $49 motel. Motel 6, it turned out, had no Internet and no breakfast, even at the higher price.
When I called the Delta help desk, a robot voice told me there would be about a 30 minute wait. I gave up and checked in at Motel 6.
Although I was exhausted, I was so wired I couldn’t sleep well. Lots of tossing and turning. And fuzzy teeth.
In the morning, I had my choice of McDonalds, a waffle place, or a 24 hour diner. I opted for the diner and had a passable meal. Then it was off to the airport. SO many people, but security was efficient, friendly, helpful, and entertaining. I didn’t even have to go through the body scanner!
In all, the highlight of the whole trip was the Atlanta security and the cheerful, funny security guard that waved people through the metal detector. Amazing.