We are safely in the hotel in NYC waiting in the lobby for D and J.
November 10, 2006 the 36 hour day from NYC to Dallas.
The day started well a early breakfast at the hotel about 6:30 AM. We caught the ever elusive shuttle to the airport. Porter took our luggage and wisked it away to check out. I over tipped him just for the shear joy of not having to handle that luggage. Checked in with the airline had a our boarding passes in hand and on our way to the gate. Everything was fine, we boarded the plane and were taxing out to take off 12 to 15 planes ahead of us so it took some time. About 2/3 of the way into the line we were ask to go back to the terminal. Something was leaking from the engine. We were ask to leave the plane and have a seat in the gate area. Hubby went to the restroom and I was left with both carryons. He took a very long time to return, I was very alarmed but couldn't leave the carryons or loose our seat in the gate area. He finally returned and said he had been lost. I then left him the luggage and went to the rest room and to buy us some lunch it was 11:30 AM. When I returned people were streaming passed me going somewhere. When I ask the gate personnel what was going on we were directed. "Go get your luggage and go to the ticket counter."
We went down to the baggage area, our luggage was off to one side with about 3 other pieces. People standing around no other luggage in sight the carrousel was not runing. We paid $3.00 for a cart and loaded our luggage on the cart found the elevator and went back to the ATA ticket counter. The line this time was all the way around the baggage x-ray area. Most of the people in line did not have their luggage. We stood in line awhile, a ATA woman personnel said no we were to go to a area opposited from where we were waiting for a ticket agent. She said if we had boarding passes and we could board our plane it was ready to go. A male ATA personnel helped us put our luggage through the x-ray again. When we arrived at the designated area to show our boarding passes, we were turned away. We were told once again to go get our luggage and go back to the ATA ticketing area. Went back to luggage area no luggage in baggage area, carrousel was not running people standing all over the place. I left hubby in the baggage area to retrive luggage, told him to stay there I would meet him at the carrousel when I had a flight for us to leave NYC. I was standing in the ATA ticketing line with an empty cart I had managed to catch. The ATA male person who had helped me load the luggage back into the x-ray machine ask me why I was in line with an empty cart. I explained hubby was down stairs waiting with the luggage while I was trying to get another flight out of NYC to Chicago. I explained to him that hubby had ALZ and he had already been lost once today. He was wonderful he went down to baggage area gathered up hubby and luggage and brought it up to me. We stood in line 2 hours when I was next in line to speak to ticket agent. The woman ATA agent who kept sending people on wild goose chases told us to put our baggage through the X-ray and go to the gate we were re-boarding the same plane. I refused because I was next in line to speak to the ticket agent and she had caused me so much trouble. We got into a shouting match and I stayed put. The ticket agent had a friend that was trying to get him to issue him a new ticket for his friend. I told him to wait his turn. Another ticket agent rushed up and tried to use his computer for someone ese. I told her to wait her turn and told the agent it was my turn I had been waiting for 4 hours. He then processed our tickets the second time and told us to put our luggage through the x-ray for the 3 rd time. We had to go through security again and they took our lunch away from us. This was now 2:30PM hubby has diabetes and had not had any thing to eat since 6:30 AM. I had purchased our lunch in the gate area but they still took it away from us. I had to purchase food again as we rushed to the gate to board our flight once again. Our flight was suppose to leave at 10:00 AM we left at 3:45PM. We either stood or ran up and down the terminal for 5 hours.
I appreciate the fact that the plane was not allowed to leave with a leaking engine. The perferable plan would have allowed us to sit in the boarding area where we had food, water and a restroom without our luggage to haul around until the plane was repaired and ready to leave.
When we arrived in Chicago in a thunderstorm. We sat in the boarding area with ATA gate personnel that kept us informed as to the status of our flight and waited for the thunderstorm to pass. The ATA personnel were so professional and helpful that the 3 hour wait was not that painful.
We arrived at DFW at midnight, we located our car and drove home, arriving at 2:00 AM not 24 hours from the time we left but it felt like 36 hours.
When I related this experience at the ALZ support group meeting yesterday, they thought I was brave to even attempt an airline flight or a cruise with ALZ hubby. I don't know maybe I am stupid to attempt such things but the cruise was great. Now that I have this horrible experience out of my system maybe I can tell about the pleasant part of the trip.