Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tennessee Girl's Trip: Day 1

My girl's weekend trip to Tennessee began early Thursday morning at 5:20 am when I got out of bed. I was flying stand-by to Indianapolis and hopefully getting on a place at 8:50 that morning. I know - Indianapolis is a really random route to Tennessee. See Lauriewas driving from Illinois - so I offered to keep her company for 6 hours of her road trip by flying into Indy so she could pick me up there and we could head on to Knoxville where we were picking up everyone else. That would have been a perfect plan, except the flight to Indianapolis was over sold. In fact they were bribing passengers with travel vouchers NOT to get on the plane. Stand-by? Forget about it. I began panic mode. Not getting on the plane was going to derail my entire travel plans, and to make matters worse my luggage was heading to Indianapolis without me. The next flight into Indy wasn't until after 1 pm - hours after my ride would have already been through there. Next plan? Try to get to Knoxville.
A friendly agent helped me find an alternate flight after two not-so-friendly agents looked at me like I was stupid. I was near tears people, work with me. She decided that we would try for the 11:40 flight into Knoxville and she had the brilliant idea to have Laurie stop by the airport in Indy to grab my bag. She was going through there regardless. So that's what we did, and I had to grab the sky train over to my next gate to begin the wait.

The 11:40 am flight to Knoxville was over sold as well. Why do they do that?? Much to my happiness, and what I thought was an answered prayer, 4 passengers didn't show up to be boarded so they allowed me on the plane. I had my seatbelt buckled and was ready for take off when an older man came and got me off the plan. The slow old folks had bothered to show up after all, and so they got to go to Knoxville without me. Next option? Another shot at Knoxville at 2:30. And guess what! That flight was only oversold by 1 person! I was starting to panic a little.
So I sat in Chili's and ate lunch alone, staring out the window at airplanes that were leaving with people who were able to get on, while I was stuck in Dallas. I had now been in the airport for five hours. After lunch I headed to my next gate (I was on the grand tour today) to wait for a spot to open up on the 2:30 Knoxville flight. There were four names on the stand-by list, and I was #4. That didn't look good. Wouldn't you know, three people didn't show up? Two of the stand-by passengers were a couple, which one would have thought meant that hey, I got a seat - but no. In fact, Mr. Gentleman of the Year got on the plane and left his wife at the airport alone, hoping she would make the next Knoxville flight two hours later. Way to go, moron.

I spoke with the gate agent who informed me that she'd move me to the next flight, but it was also oversold, as was the one after that. GEEZ, what is with getting to Knoxville?? So I pulled up my map on my phone and asked about Lexington. Hey, there was a flight with 3 seats open but it was boarding NOW so she printed me a pass and said "run."
I think it was fate or something but I ended up back at gate B26, which is where I began this silly adventure. On the way to the gate, I called Laurie and rerouted her to Lexington (just in time too - she was in Louisville and only 2 miles from the exit she needed to take for Lexington) and off I went.
As it turned out, I was not the only person with airport trouble that day, and Shannon and Dylanie had been sitting at the Chicago airport for 7 hours waiting for an airplane that could being them to Knoxville.  They FINALLY arrived in Knoxville that night after 10 pm, on a day that began for them in California several hours prior.
We all went to bed exhausted but excited to head into Gatlinburg the next morning.

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