Saturday, February 6, 2010

Roadboy's Trip to Spain

Timing is Everything!

OK the internet checks us in for our flight, but the weather channel is saying that a "Big Storm" is bearing down on the east coast.

So, I finally call the airline. First on the regular line and am confronted with the "your call is very important to us, and we will answer sometime in in your lifetime". I decide to call back on the uber frequent flier "Private Line". I get a human being who speaks fluent english in three rings. After an informative chat with the very nice reservationist, we decide it would be a very good idea for Team Roadboy to take an earlier flight from Phoenix to Philadelphia (where we are scheduled to connect for our flight to Madrid).  Madame reservationist advises that Instead of allowing 2 hours of cushion time between flights, on snow days, we should probably allow 4. 

It means losing our upgrade to Philadelphia, but, hey, an exit row is open, so how bad can it be? I ask and it is a 757 (which is the most uncomfortable aircraft ever perpetrated). 757's have multiple exit rows, but only one row really has the extra leg room I covet. This is the Boeing product that made me come to realize airbus might have a future.   

A bit later as I drive home I hear Mayor Fenty of DC on the radio pronouncing that this storm has the potential to be the "biggest storm to hit DC in modern history".


So just before I go to bed, I check the internet to see how far the storm is and yessir, the flight from Philadelphia to Madrid has already been cancelled (together with just about every other flight to or from Philadelphia on Saturday). Strangely, only the flights to Orlando and Las Vegas are still listed as a "Go"?! 

Man, some sort of irony there.

I count to ten. My months of logistical efforts had taken into consideration lots of alternative plans, but "Biggest Storm in Modern History", well, that was not in my playbook anywhere.

So, with Snowmagedden standing between Roadboy and Spain, I figured it is best to just take a cue from Gumby and Pokey and remain flexible. 

Knowing that all of those cancellations would result in crushing the system on Sunday, and that there would be few options available by the the first light of morning, I spent the wee hours rebooking airfare both in the US, Spain, and the hotel in Barcelona. Got to bed by 5 AM. 

THe upshot. We lose a day in Barcelona (bummer) and we throw away a non-refundable airline ticket for a flight from Madrid to Barcelona for, what will now be, the wrong day. 

But in the grand scheme of things, I guess we sort of came up with our own little "snow day" here in Phoenix. The sun was out. The dogs got a nice walk, I gassed up the fleet, and we all caught up on loose ends.

If you gotta take a "Snow Day", take it in Phoenix in February.

Tomorrow, Sunday, is fast becoming Groundhog Day. But, If all goes well, we will truly be on our way by noon tomorrow. 

So (fingers crossed) the next post should be from Barcelona on Monday or Tuesday.

Roadboy's Travels © 2010

1 comment:

IniquitousFish said...

Why does this surprise you?
This really is just our luck.
Just another long flying epic that we can only hope will be humor worthy someday and bemuse our friends.