Monday, April 7, 2008

Boston Convention & Airport Olympics

This traveling court reporter made her way to Boston for the NCRA Midyear Convention. A nonstop flight on a Delta connection got us to rainy, cold Boston on Friday morning around 9 a.m. Al and I played most of the day, doing the tourist thing (albeit we were on the Trolley Tour and not hoofing it as it was about 38 degrees and pouring) - stopping at Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market, having a cup of clam chowda, cruising past all the historic sites.

The convention was AWESOME! Saw a lot of my friends, gave a presentation (well received, thankfully), had a fantastic meal at Oleana in Cambridge, and, alas, watched the Tar Heels get crushed by Kansas. Even bought a new steno machine (the Light Speed) and plan on signing up for a new program for transcript delivery with electronic signatures.

Sunday found us back at Logan airport for the quick trip home. And then, the adventure began! The flight was exactly ONE SEAT oversold. Al had to be home for his on-call shift, but I thought, HEY, I could use a voucher for travel... so I said I'd take the hit.

They rerouted me home via LaGuardia airport in Queens. My 5:15 connection never left the ground (they canceled it, finally, at 9:37 p.m.) in New York. First they told us there was a ground stop in NYC - which we found out wasn't the case as folks called friends who were flying out of JFK - and then we found out, finally, that it was really an equipment error. Of course, nobody wants to fly on a broken plane; it just would've been nice to find out about that a little earlier. After the cancellation, 70 passengers had to spend time finding new flights, getting luggage - though mine was already in Wake Forest, as it made it back with Al on the original flight - getting toiletries (as I had no luggage, remember), getting our hotel vouchers and food vouchers. Spent about 90 minutes between getting our hotel voucher and making it to the hotel.

Back to the airport Monday morning for an 8:10 flight, nonstop to RDU. They took our boarding passes, drove us to the plane, then told us we had to go back - the crew was going to Richmond, not Raleigh. Back to the terminal. We left LGA at 9:30 a.m. and I made it home, finally, to Wake Forest and my BED, by noon.

Moral of the story: NEVER EVER give up your seat on a nonstop/direct flight; ONLY give up your seat on a flight where you were going to have to have a layover anyway.

But, despite all the anguish, those of us waiting for the plane had a good time - we realized there was nothing we could do but "make lemonade" out of our bad (lemon) day.

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