You may have thought Sunday night's post was the extent of my travel troubles to San Antonio. At the time I thought it was, too. Sadly I was mistaken. Here is the rest of that post. I wrote it the following morning.
It turns out my connection in ORD was delayed by about two hours. If I stuck with my original routing, I would have made it into San Antonio just about two hours later than I planned. My luggage did that original routing and got to the San Antonio airport that night.
But I couldn't know that at the time.
So with my new routing, I call the hotel in San Antonio to tell them I wouldn't be there until 9:00 AM the following day. I asked them to not cancel my reservation and to not give away my room. They said that would be no problem.
So I putter about the airport and wait for my 11:40 PM red eye to DFW. At about 8:00 or 9:00 I get a call from American Airlines telling my that flight is delayed by an hour and twenty minutes. At this point I no longer care.
I finally get on the plane and we take off at about 1:15. I think. I pretty much fell asleep as soon as I sat down. I dreamed I was grinding my teeth, so I probably was. I can't sleep deeply on a plane. Often when I sleep I just sort of shut down parts of my consciousness and end up in a light doze with lucid dreams.
The common one is that I'm in the airplane and we are trying to land or take off in difficult areas. The pilot often has to dive or climb quickly to avoid power lines. Even in the dream I can't understand why there are all these powerlines over JFK or why we are trying to land the plane on I5. It's not exactly restful, but it does make the flight go more quickly.
I get to Dallas and have 20 minutes to make my connection, which is no problem. I even have time to grab a quick breakfast of Twix Bars and Orange Juice at the newsstand.
Eventually I make it to San Antonio and am reunited with my luggage. I grab a cab.
While I'm settling into the back seat the cabbie tells me to put my back pack on the floor three times. Each time I say yes, but I'm busying sitting down. I finally do. She says they don't want any bags on the seats because it makes them lose their cushiness for other riders. I'm not sure how much damage to old minivan bench seats my laptop bag can do, but I'm pretty sure it weighs less than the full size human that normally sits there.
Now the cabbie thinks I'm sick because I'm breathing a little hard. I think that has something to do with the hassle of managing luggage, dealing with her, and having been on the road for 22+ hours.
I could have gone from Seattle to Tokyo in less time than it took me to go from Seattle to San Antonio.
For about half the trip, the cabbie is on her cell phone trying to understand why her ATM card doesn't work and dealing with the bank. Most of the time she has at least one hand on the wheel.
I get to the hotel, and go to pay my fare with a credit card. Afterall, the sign on the cab window listing passenger rights says passengers have the right to pay by credit card. She doesn’t want me to charge it though. She would rather have cash. The fare about just over $21. On the card I would have tipped another $5. For cash, I would only tip a dollar or so. But I must have looked really annoyed. I start to fumble through my wallet and she says that for $20 she'll call it good. So I saved a couple bucks that way. And that was the highlight of the trip so far.
I walk in the hotel to check in. Remember that phone call I mentioned earlier? Well, apparently they didn't. So here I am -- scruffy, tired, unshaven, wrinkled, and not exactly smelling mountain fresh, when the desk agent looks at my reservation and decides she needs her manager. That's never good. He explains they gave away my room and don't have one for me tonight because they canceled my reservation when I didn't show up.
The fact that I called didn't seem to matter. "The person must have misunderstood."
The fact that I guaranteed the room with a credit card didn't seem to matter. "After all we didn't charge your card."
I maintained as much composure as I could and was just persistent. The manager started calling around and promised to "work with me" and even honor the conference rate I was staying at. I made some phone calls, expressed my dismay to the person who booked all the rooms for my company. Eventually, he "found" a room their sister property. Funny how that happened.
So I went over to the sister property and they were very nice, they took care of a complex reservation, and now I'm just waiting for a room in another hour and a half or so. Those folks were great.
I ran over to the convention center and picked up my badge. I decided not to go to my booth, because I'm not exactly "show fresh." I'll give that a couple hours.
So where am I know? Starbucks of course. Where else would I go after a morning like this?
And this is just day 1 of the show.