I was exhausted after all that conferencing in Reno, but my Sunday afternoon was going pretty well. My flight to Denver was right on time, so after an hourlong layover and another 3-1/2 hours of flying, I'd be home.
Or so I thought. As it turned out, my flight out of Denver was cancelled.
Oh, I mean really cancelled. I'm not talking about the kind of cancelled where they put you up in a hotel room for the night and then get you on a plane first thing in the morning. Friends, my flight doesn't leave Denver until Tuesday morning.
The airline is comping my hotel bill for tonight, but I'll be on my own tomorrow night, which is part of the reason I'm not giving these people any points for customer service. They were supposed to line up a shuttle to get me here (I was to pay $30, round trip), but that promise was as empty as several others that were made to me this evening, so I had to improvise. This hotel is right on the edge of downtown Denver, which means my cab fare, with tip, was $48.
Not that I cared. By the time I rescued my bags it was nearly midnight and I would probably have offered my firstborn son (sorry, Tristan, but Mom has had a very trying day) to anyone willing to take me away from that airport. After waiting two hours on a sick plane that the maintenance guys weren't able to resuscitate, I'd had to stand in a customer service line for two more hours. After that I felt downright British as I queued up yet again, this time for the privilege of waiting 90 minutes before earning the right to take my luggage to the hotel with me.
I made it to the hotel just after midnight (and got a "smoking" room, which I'm bummed about because I suffer from chronic bronchitis). I hadn't eaten dinner, so as late as it was, I dropped off my bags and returned to the lobby, where I managed to score a great chicken sandwich from the bar. I felt a lot better after that, especially when a sympathetic server named Diana (I meant what I said, Diana, so be sure to e-mail me) fixed me a tall, icy Coke to bring back upstairs. Then I unpacked my stuff and sat down in front of my computer to blog about my awful evening and drum up some sympathy from you people.
But I think I'll stop whining now and go to bed. I'm planning to sleep late in the morning, and then I'll write all day tomorrow and half of tomorrow night. I might check in with you tomorrow, but I'm making no promises. So until . . . whenever, friends, everyone stay safe, do good work, and don't fly United Airlines.