The trip was a comedy of errors from start to finish.
Original plans: SFO to Dallas to Indianapolis then drive to New Albany Indiana (near Louisville). Return Friday.
We get to the airport LATE as usual. They tell us, "Doesn’t matter. Indianapolis is closed. Don’t go to Dallas." We comply and get rescheduled for a few hours later.
Plans #2: SFO to Dallas to Cincinnati then drive to New Albany. This is better than before because it’s a little closer. Return SATURDAY.
We fly to Dallas. Kids yelling, happy happy joy joy. We get to Dallas and tell us Cincy is closed. We are in terminal B. Darcie has also landed and met Miriam, a American Airlines person who is helping reroute everything. She tells us to go over to Terminal D. We didn’t think about our bags yet. (MISTAKE)
Plans #3: Sleep in Dallas. Get 6AM flight (UGH) to Louisville. This is the closest airport to New Albany. Return from Louisville which is nice on Saturday.
But what about our bags? Miriam insists that we find out bags that night before going to the hotel. The search is on. We met a Barbie looking woman named Shelly with a muppet voice (sorry Shelly) who tries to track down the bags. At first she is rude, then she warms up. By the end, she says, They have been sitting at Terminal B. The policy apparently is to send all the bags of a canceled flight UP to baggage claim immediately. They have NO system to track bags. It’s all "What does it LOOK like?" Are you kidding me? Airlines have got to get a RFID or better tracking system. This sucks. So we go over to Terminal B which is a million miles away. Everyone is gone. I start looking around and find the bags! But wait! They are enclosed in a locked glass cabinet. I can SEE them, but I can’t touch them.
How frustrating is that? I wanted to break the door open. In fact it would have been easy. The hinges for the door were on the OUTSIDE. I could have easily lifted the pins out and opened the door that way. But I imagined being arrested for baggage terrorism and with my beard would probably have been tortured in Gitmo. So I decided to pursue another course. I stopped two employees clearly on their way home and begged for help. "Please, we have children! Our car seats are in there!!!" Yeah, like I wouldn’t have driven them in a second without booster seats. WHAT-evah! But it worked. They stayed, and made a few phone calls. A few tense minutes and then BA-BAM, they got the key. Woo Hoo! We have all our bags. Well almost, two of Ben’s bags were missing.
Well, at least we had most of them and high-tailed it over to the hotel. We slept for 4 hours and then had to run and get back to the Airport. We were running a little late OF COURSE and they had to check our bags in with hand written tags.
We arrive in Louisville and get over to the baggage claim VERY LATE. All of our bags have been taken off the conveyor belt and put on the side. There they all are. Well, not quite. MY BAG was missing. Crap! It had the charger for the cell phones and the laptop. They take down all out information and put in a tracer order.
Needless to say, they never found the luggage, so I had to go to Target and buy some new clothes. We tried to ration the laptop usage, so no more movies. When the trip was over, we headed back to Louisville Airport and I stopped by the baggage claim. I asked about my bag and she said, "You can look around here." I lift ONE bag and there underneath was my luggage. I was like, "WHA! It’s right here!! The whole time?!?!" How could they NOT find it! Apparently the tags had been ripped off and my little neon sign with our phone and name had been broken off as well.
With the recovery of my bag, I ran over to get on the plane. We made it. On the way home now. Matthew fell asleep just as we taxied out of the gate. Minutes ticked by. I started to wonder, "Why aren’t we in the air?" The pilot announces that the wing is leaking fluid and they have to turn around. This was after being on the ground for an hour. We have to get off the plane. Switching planes takes an hour and we get off the ground FINALLY. Matthew wakes up midstream instead of sleeping all the way through. We land, get ALL out luggage and drive home. Marvin and Debra even DETAILED our car. It looks brand new!!
Well, that’s the story. It was tragic-comedy. It was fun. The funeral was fine, although they had Alice propped up for everyone to see a little TOO publically. Freaked me out. Ethan asked, "Did they saw her in half?" Because he only saw her torso. It was a memorable trip. It makes me think I should ask Ethan to keep a journal of his trips in a diary.