Tuesday, May 29, 2012

6 hour flight to 28 hour nightmare...

You know those movies that are so ridiculously unreal that they are hilarious, well this could have been one of those movies. Except it was real, and at the time it was SOO not hilarious!
Joel, Siena and I had a flight from Houston to Kentucky with one layover in Dallas.  The total travel time was supposed to be 6 hours.  I was a little nervous about the flight because I hadn't had much success flying with Siena before. One time I ended up in tears even before we got on the plane..lol This time I had Joel though so I wasn't too nervous thankfully.

Well, security went well and we got to our gate on time just to find out we would be delayed for about an hour.  Finally, we boarded and everything seemed normal.  We began taxiing to our runway and came to a stop.  We sat there for about 45 minutes before they came over the intercom to tell us that one of the engines had shut down so they were running tests to fix it. 2 hours after leaving the gate we were finally clear for lift-off. After flying for about 45 minutes, one of the passengers behind us began questioning our direction, and sure enough the pilot came on the intercom to tell us that there was some weather in Dallas that wasn't letting us land and therefore we were circling over San Antonio and we would continue to do so until we were in the clear to land in Dallas.  about 30 more minutes passed and the Pilot came back on saying that the plane was low on fuel and we were going to have to land in Austin to re-fuel.  We had already been on the plane for 4 hours when we finally landed in Austin.  The pilot originally told us that we would be getting off the plane in Austin and would there be figuring out new plans to get to Dallas, but after about 30 minutes of once again sitting on the runway he came on the intercom to tell us that we had to stay on the hot, and non-air conditioned plane with 200 other hot aired bodies (in more ways than one) while we waited for the only fuel truck to bring us fuel.  What he failed to mention at that time was that we were 6th in line for the ONE fuel truck. Oh! I forgot to mention the EXTREMELY loud, HORRIBLY obnoxious, and Dreadfully inappropriate group of people that were sitting directly behind us. They told all sorts of obscene jokes (pretty much to the entire plane because they were so loud) about body parts that should not be mentioned even in anatomic form and how they wish they were hermaphrodites for the 6 hours that we were on the plane with them. Fortunately for us, 2 of the 3 decided that they were going to get off the plane and rent a car to drive to Dallas. Unfortunately, the loudest of the bunch stayed and a new victim joined her, however, at least the obscene jokes ended.

We finally took off and landed in Dallas about 4 hours after landing in Austin.  Luckily for us I have cousins that live about 20 minutes from the airport in Dallas. We weren't able to get our car seat from the airplane because they sent them onto Dallas so we had to borrow one from the airport.  We couldn't figure out how to use it though so Siena sat in a carseat basically dangling from it because it was leaning so far forward. We got to my cousins' house and finally laid down to sleep at 1 am.  The incredible part about that entire day was that Siena stayed awake for 6 hours and didn't cry once.  We were on the same plane for about 8 hours straight. She did fantastic! I couldn't even believe it.  She usually goes down for a nap at max every 3 hours. That was a HUGE blessing throughout that whole day.

Fortunately for us, the fun didn't end there.  The next day we went to the airport to catch our flight from Dallas to Kentucky. We got on the plane and everything seemed good until we realized 30 minutes after getting on the plane that we still hadn't pushed off from the gate.  The pilot came on and told us that the plane was not working so they were running tests to see if we could use it, but we would likely have to switch planes. After sitting on the plane for an hour to an hour and a half we were told we had to switch planes.

By this point Joel and I realized that we weren't going to have enough formula and diapers to last us. We had NO formula, and only ONE diaper.  Once off the plane we asked the gate agent if they had any diapers or formula that we could have or if there was a place we could buy some.  She said no. In fact, she continued by saying that we should get a hotel, take a taxi and go to walmart to get the things we needed then return the next day to fly to Kentucky. Joel and I were shocked. She was called somewhere else but before leaving she said she was going to return to help, but never came back. While Joel waited by the counter, I began walking up and down the airport looking for anyone that had a baby. There were NO BABIES in the dang airport! I saw probably 3 toddlers, but no babies! I decided that it was futile so I went and asked another gate agent if she knew of a place to get diapers because we had been traveling since yesterday and were out. She then began to lecture me about the importance of packing enough for your travel time. That was my breaking point. I came back at her telling her that it wasn't our fault and that the airline had had multiple issues and that we were supposed to get there about 12 hours ago. Apparently my "angry" isn't loud enough to be heard when the dumb gate agent was talking over me. She eventually made a few phone calls and found out that there were some outside of security.  Knowing that we could be needing to get back on a plane any moment, I knew that that wasn't an option.  The gate agent lady started asking questions because I think she was going to have someone bring me the diaper. This is how the conversation went:
Gate Agent: Which gate are you at?
Me: I don't know..
GA:Ok, what flight are you on?
Me: I don't know
GA:Well when are you leaving?
Me: I don't know, we don't have a plane yet, they had to change planes for us...

She then began to talk over me again, when I noticed that right next to me was a lady and her BABY that were giving a gate agent her ticket to enter her flight. I ran up to her and asked if she had a diaper.  It was a size 5(Siena wears 3's) but I did not care! It was a diaper!
I thanked her and then left to catch up to Joel. We finally were able to get onto our plane and leave for Kentucky. OH HAPPY DAY! We finally made it after 28 hours of total travel time (By the way, we could have made it in 16 hours if we had driven.)
We're supposed to leave for Houston, traveling through Dallas today.  It has been beautiful weather the entire vacation..I woke up to thunder and lightning this morning. Cross your fingers.lol


  1. oh my gosh. what a nightmare. I'm so sorry Kris :( Way to go for Siena, though!

  2. This sounds awful! I'm so so sorry!

  3. WOW. What airline, may I ask? I have similar horror stories and they are all while flying with Delta. And the worst one was while flying alone with a baby. So sorry! And I'm so glad you had Joel with you!

  4. American Airlines. I don't think we'll ever fly with them again!!!

  5. Kristin, I knew from your Mom about your horror story, and yet, I didn't know. You did the most amazing job telling your story and it is a horror story, too! So sad for you all to be looking forward to a trip to visit family and then this nightmare! Glad you finally made it! I just think you had a blessing from the Lord with Siena doing so well over those long grueling hours. Also, try and send your story to someone higher up in American Airlines and see if you can manage a perk for your pain and suffering. They could manage one if they care about keeping a customer but you shouldn't send it to a low man on the totem pole. Thanks for sharing your very interesting but sadly, painful story!