Thursday, May 24, 2007

travel roundup - jeffcity, mo

i just now am sitting in the airport in kansas city. it's not all that large an airport, and it's not all that fancy. but i'm in the admiral's club, enjoying my comfy chair and the fact that the bartender brings the drinks to me, and it could be a LOT worse. again, tonight, with the dallas weather and me being lucky: this is probably the fourth time this year that i've been scheduled on the one and only flight that is actually leaving for dallas because the weather has caused all the others to be cancelled. i guess that's the hidden blessing in the fact that i almost always end up on the last plane of the night. usually, by the time my flight is scheduled to land in dallas, the afternoon thundershowers have been robbed of their fuel by the setting of the sun, and so my flight is able to land.

whew. i really didn't want to spend the night in kansas city. getting here has already been an adventure, and all the adventure i need for a while. my flying day on the way here very nearly took over the top spot as my worst travel day ever. but it managed not to, and for that i'm grateful. the bullet-list of BadThings (tm, pat pend) that happened to me on my way out here:

  • I missed my flight out and got redirected through St. Louis
  • The TSA inspectors in Dallas decided that my hair gel might be in a container larger than the allowed 3.4 oz.
  • The TSA inspectors in Dallas decided that my hair gel might be a threat to national security since it was in an unlabeled bottle and might not even BE hair gel
  • The TSA inspectors in Dallas decided (after long deliberation) to throw away my hair gel and my Downy Wrinkle Releaser (the wonder drug that works wonders for the ironing-averse)
  • The Dallas ticket agent who re-routed me through St. Louis neglected to change my second-leg ticket, so it still said I was flying from Kansas City when I was clearly standing in St. Louis.
  • The delay caused by unraveling the Kansas/St. Louis conundrum caused me to check in so late that I was pulled aside for super-special seekrit sequiriti screening. At least those TSA agents were nice.
  • The airplane from St. Louis to Columbia, MO seats TWO ACROSS. Not two on either side of the aisle, but TWO ACROSS the whole plane; it's tiny.
  • The Enterprise desk in Columbia lost my reservation.
  • The Enterprise employee was not at the desk for 30 minutes, so I didn't know he'd lost my reservation until I finally tracked down his manager with my cell phone.
  • The desk clerk in my hotel SSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH'd me while I was in the lobby talking on the cell phone about my travel misadventures. I think she took offense at the f-bomb I dropped regarding my hair gel.
  • THE TSA THREW AWAY MY HAIR GEL!!! it was in a 3 oz. bottle, in a quart-sized plastic bag. clearly, they are haters of teh curleez.

the good things that happened?
  • i got pizza and cookies for dinner.
  • the hotel had NOT lost my reservation.

and now, in spite of the evil weather that's coming on... i think i'm going to end up on a plane bound for dallas tonight. i had to drive up to the airport instead of flying back here on the tiny plane from Columbia. the weather in Columbia was threatening, and they tend to cancel flights on those tiny planes for much less weather than it takes to cancel a big jet flight. i had the time to drive up, and it was more appealing than sitting in Columbia on the hard plastic chairs for four hours to find out they were cancelling my flight. i actually got to the Kansas City airport before i'd have arrived if I'd waited for the flight in Columbia to take me. plus, they don't cancel the freeway for light rain, so i was guaranteed to get there, barring the usual highway travel perils befalling me.

and here's something funny for you... the airport bathrooms in Columbia, MO (where they have one gate and everyone waits outside security because they don't open it until the plane lands) were a helluva lot nicer than the ones in Minneapolis/St. Paul. in Columbia, there were self-flushing toilets and automated paper towel dispensers. the place was clean and smelled not unprofessional.

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