Travel Nightmare!

On Saturday afternoon, June 8th, 2019, Jeri and Tim left Orange County for Moline, Illinois to visit Tim’s mom. However the trip didn’t start off well at all. And it went downhill from there.

Our first plane had mechanical issues so the pilot opted to not fly it. The replacement pilot reviewed the issues and the maintenance log and also decided to not fly it. So we eventually got another plane and had to switch gates…not once, but twice.

Our late start out of John Wayne Airport had us concerned that we would miss our tight connection in Dallas. During our flight, the flight attendant assured everyone that they would make their connections.

When we arrived in Dallas and checked the monitors, we saw that the flight to Moline had indeed been delayed several times. We thought that maybe they are holding the plane for us. However it was scheduled to leave very shortly. We decided to hustle to the next gate (at another terminal) just in case the flight was delayed one more time.

When we arrive at the terminal and at our gate, we see crowds and lines of people. Our flight was initially said to be boarding, then went to delayed, then finally canceled.

Waiting in line to find out our status. Click photo for full size.

Turns out that a GPS software update was grounding a number of aircraft that day. So we now had to find a place to stay in Dallas for the night. We were booked on the next available flight to Moline which was the next day in the evening. (The late morning flight was already full.)

Long story short, we finally found a nearby hotel to stay and were picked up by the hotel shuttle. Here we are waiting for the shuttle.

Waiting for the shuttle to take us to the hotel. Click photo for full size.

We get to our room around midnight. We only had our carry-on bags. All of our clothes and toiletries were in our checked bag. Fortunately we each had a toothbrush and toothpaste on us.

In the morning, our hotel served breakfast. After checking out, we spent our time in the hotel lobby. Tim had his laptop so he could work on some stuff. Jeri had some reading material and puzzles with her. For lunch, we ate some snacks that we brought along with us.

When evening approached, we took the shuttle back to the airport. When we get to the gate, we found that we didn’t have seat assignments and were told to check the Standby list. What?!? Does this mean that we might not make the flight to Moline and would have to stay another night in Dallas…without our luggage? (By the way, due to the nature of the cancellation, the American Airlines would not have to reimburse our hotel expenses.)

On top of that, severe weather was in the Dallas area which caused many flights to be delayed and some flights to be canceled.

We stopped at a place for food. Jeri got a grilled veggie panini; Tim got tofu, brown rice, broccoli with Thai chili sauce which was healthy but not as tasty as Jeri’s.

Getting food at the UFood Grill at the DFW Airport. Click photo for full size.
Jeri with her Veggie Panini. Click photo for full size.
Tofusion Bowl. Click photo for full size.

So we wait and wait as our “flight” (for which we don’t have confirmed seats) kept getting delayed. The 8:45 PM scheduled departure turned into 10:45 PM. Then finally a 12:45 AM departure was announced. We were thrilled when we were issued boarding passes and took our seats near the very back of the plane.

Shortly before takeoff, the flight attendant said that the pilot wanted to even out the weight and asked if we would be willing to move to the first class seats in front. Of course we would! So we got nice large seats in the first row. However we slept (or tried) sleeping most of the flight so we didn’t really enjoy the upgrade.

We finally arrive at the Moline airport around 3:20 AM. We wait and wait and wait at baggage claim hoping to get our luggage. After 20 or 30 minutes the last bags were unloaded with ours nowhere in sight. So we get in Grandma’s car and head home.

Everyone, including Grandma, was hungry. So we decided to have breakfast before going to bed.

By the time we get to bed it is nearly 5 AM Monday morning! Remember we left home Saturday afternoon. The eight or nine-hour travel turned into 40 hours!

But we were thankful to make it safely. Later Monday morning, Tim went on line to track the luggage and to provide a delivery address. It looked like our bag (still containing all of our clothes and toiletries) wouldn’t make it until Tuesday morning. However we were pleasantly surprised went it showed up Monday evening around 9 PM.