I flew out to Iowa last weekend to visit a close friend of mine. Her baby was three months old, and absolutely adorable!
I was able to sneak in some training. I took her long neglected road bike for a hilly, windy ride! I decided to go for an hour and not kill myself with the hills. I rode out a half hour, turned around, and was back in 20 minutes! I guess when it felt like I was riding uphill against the wind, I really WAS riding uphill against the wind. I also did a 30 minute run/walk on her treadmill. My knee hurt just looking at the hills!
We went to a baseball game, played with the baby, and caught up 🙂 It was good times! I’m sad she lives far away. I’d love to spend more time with her family.
Now, for my airline story…
I got to the airport to see that my flight was overbooked, probably because the next flight to O’Hare was cancelled. I tried to check in on the kiosk computer, but my flight was also delayed, and I was scheduled to miss my connection. It offered to rebook me on a flight that left over 30 hours later. I don’t think so… So, I hopped in line to see an agent, and I immediately called United customer service.
Lesson one: Don’t assume the first offer from the airline is the only one.
Lesson two: Whenever you are in line, get yourself on the phone. You might get an agent on the phone long before you get to the counter.
So, I made it to the counter while still waiting for a United agent on the phone. She informed me that I could take my original flight to O’Hare, spend 7 hours in the airport, and catch a flight that would get me in to Miami at midnight. Not cool, but better that waiting for the next day. I asked about flights into Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Turns out, I could get to Fort Lauderdale by 6pm. I called Patrick, who said he’d pick me up and take me to my car (I promised dinner in return!). I let them rebook me on the Fort Lauderdale Flight.
Lesson three: Know your geography. You may have multiple options. The agents usually will not suggest nearby airports, so it’s your job to know. When there are a few airports in the same area, there are usually shuttles or shared rides between them.
So, I landed in O’Hare a little earlier than anticipated. I checked my watch, and sure enough, I had 20 minutes to try to make my originally schedule flight! I took off my flip flops and ran barefoot from the far end of terminal E to the far end of terminal B. I told the agent that I was on that flight, and had been rescheduled because United assumed I’d miss the connection – but I was there on time! Luckily, there were still available seats, and I was rebooked right there at the gate. I made my original flights!
Lesson four: Never give up!
Lesson five: Be nice to the agents. It’s not their fault! If you’re nice to them, they can be nice to you. I had an agent give me extra food money while stranded at JFK because I was polite and easy-going.