Sunday, April 22, 2007
Leaving Las Vegas
Arrive at Reno airport in plenty of time for flight to Vegas. Check bag, go through security.
Learn that U.S. Air flight is delayed one hour due to mechanical problems, which will result in self missing connection to Philly. Am offered two choices: fly to Phoenix at 6 PM and connect to Philly flight arriving 6 AM -- too late to see Mom before she's wheeled into surgery at 7:30 -- or switch to Southwest flight which will make Philly connection.
Choose second option. Security rules now prohibit transfer of luggage between airlines: learn I'll have to go downstairs, pick up my checked bag, recheck it, and go through security again. Learn I'll have to do the same thing in Vegas, in the tight time between connections.
Go through security again with thirty seconds to spare to make Southwest flight. Because I'm a "late check-in," automatically qualify for "special security handling," including frisking and removal of all items in carry-on bags. Pleas with security personnel about family emergency fall on deaf ears.
Make Southwest flight anyway. Southwest flight delayed an hour due to bad weather in Vegas. Am assured that Philly connection will also be delayed.
Finally arrive in Vegas after horribly bumpy flight and bizarre holding patterns. Go downstairs to retrieve bag. Get bag. Go to ticket counter. Philly flight left on time, ninety minutes ago. Nice ticket lady looks for some other way to get me out of Vegas while sister confers frantically with me on cell phone. If they can't get me to Philly tonight, what about Newark, or even Baltimore?
Nice ticket lady finds flight that will get me into JFK at 2:00 a.m. Sister rejects this option.
Nice ticket lady books me on flight to Phoenix, making Philly connection that will get me in at 6 AM.
Go through security again, third time in one day. Record.
Am currently sitting in Phoenix, waiting for flight and already smelling like barnyard animal. Long night ahead.
Upside: Phoenix has free Internet! Yay!