This is my sixth winter travel season with my job. I have been through all sorts of terrible weather so believe me when I say the best way to prepare for surviving winter travel is to chill out and bring along your sense of humour and tissues for the occasional tears that you may shed in frustration or laughter.
This week was my first encounter this season with winter travel. Upon arriving at the airport at 4:30 AM yesterday I discovered that my flight to Chicago had been cancelled due to the fact that American had no flights come into Madison on Sunday. So, I hopped in a taxi to catch a bus to Chicago in hopes of catching my connecting flight. I got to O’Hare at 8:15 AM, my flight was scheduled for 8:55AM and in a freakish bit of ORD not messing up, it was not delayed. However, I did get stuck behind a mom and her two teenage princesses in the security line so it took longer than usual. I did manage to get through security by 8:40. So I ran to my gate and arrived at 8:45 to discover they had shut the gate a mere minute to 2 before and I couldn’t board. WHAT?!?! Cranky pants because I was up at 3AM and had yet to have breakfast. Luckily I now had time for a leisurely breakfast as the next flight I could get on was at 11:50. So I had my greek omelet breakfast and orange juice. Then I stopped to look at the departing flights again and my original flight was listed as delayed until 9:45. For serious, they had to let me on the flight so I went back to the ticket counter and tada on the flight! Please note I went through the many stages of winter traveling dealing with it during this time. Stage 1: sadness and tears, Stage 2: general frustration, Stage 3: anger, Stage 4: acceptance and joking around with the people around you who are in the same shitty position, Stage 5: defeated and just wanting to sleep somewhere, anywhere.
This was the end of my airline travel fun. All in all not nearly as terrible as I have encountered in the past, but I do have one other weird thing that happened to me. I checked into my hotel that evening and got my room key, then I went up to my room opened the door and found that someone else had already been given that room! Oh that poor man. It was so awkward. I was like OH they gave me this room and key and I’m really glad nothing really awkward was happening and left. So lesson learned, always use the additional latch that prevents the door from opening just in case.
There’s currently no additional snow in the forecast for my travels this week.