Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Our Midway Adventure!

When we come up to Illinois, we've almost never come thru Midway Airport.  From our lil' place in St Charles, O'Hare seems so much easier and faster to get into and out of.  But when we booked this most recent trip only a couple weeks in advance, the airfares into O'Hare were outrageous, so saved a couple hundred dollars flying Southwest into Midway.  The trip up was delightful - actual snacks handed out on the plane, friendly staff and a very congenial atmosphere.  There was a feeling that I might actually learn the way to the airport!

But yesterday, with storms in the area, it was time to return to the desert.  As we were loading the luggage into the car - the heavens opened and dumped on us - about the heaviest rain I've ever been in.  The 10 seconds moving from porch to the back of the car to throw 2 suitcases left me absolutely soaked.  Niece Kathy graciously offered to drive us, and we left our car at a friend's house as usual.  Worried about the rush hour drive for the 8:20pm flight, we left in plenty of time, even with the slow traffic.  Yea, it was a tedious drive, but we arrived at 6 to find I had an e-mail notification for our flight delayed a couple hours.  Our plane was delayed in arriving...  Which was fine - a relaxing evening, with fine dining at Midway.

Well the 2 hours turned into 3, the fine dining turned out to be McDonald's, then when the plane did arrive, evidently, the crew had worked enough they couldn't make the leg to Tucson, and walked off the plane without even telling the gate crew - flight cancelled!  Of course there wasn't another flight that night, and by the time I got to a woman w/a computer, the next day's trips would have been on standby, so the first guaranteed seats were for Wednesday, another day and a half in paradise!

But here we were at 11:30pm, 45 miles from our house, 30 hours from our flight and no luggage!  The ideal situation would be to get a rental car we could drive to our house the next 2 nights and return at the airport.  We took the shuttle to the off-site car rental places - no one had cars!  Something about the Chicago Blackhawks and the Stanley Cup and no rental cars.  We called the limo company that had delivered us home 10 days before - no luck.  We called 3 cab companies that provide rides to the western suburbs (that's us) - no one available.  Finally the 4th said they could do it and picked us up at 12:30 for the hour drive to our car.  Our driver was a character, which made for an entertaining ride, and an hour later (and $100), we were delivered to our friend in the darkness, our lil' Toyota.  Fifteen minutes later we walked into the house we had closed up 10 hours earlier, made the bed and crawled into it by 3am.  We've already texted our cab driver to provide a 5:30 am pickup tomorrow and we'll try it again.  And while we've found the best plans can be waylaid by weather, Southwest had already lost some it's shine for us.  We'll see if we get back safely tomorrow, and evaluate our options in the future.

In the meantime, yesterday's rain cleared the air and today we've got blue skies and a high temp of 74F!  Truly one more day in paradise before a return to Tucson's 105F!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

all's well that ends well.. some of our weirdest adventures in life are meant to be, meant to teach, meant for something..... In reality you are returning to 110 F maybe 112. And be thankful you were not on the Delta 1328 flight later in the day at Midway who heard his call sign wrong and took off on a head on collision with the correct call sign Southwest 3828 flight. Disaster averted due to an alert and assertive flight controller.

I've been the recipient of cancelled altogether evening flight with Southwest once when visiting my son and daughter in law in San Diego. Heaviest fog in decades rolling onshore by 5 pm. Oy Vey another night and day in paradise then too. Initially I felt critical of Southwest's all or nothing Cancel policy but later realized it was the safest thing to do regardless of how many inconveniences it created. As I regained my rental car and drove up the coast toward Del Mar the driving visibility became > ZERO. had to just sit and park there for about an hour touch and go touch and go until I finally arrived at my destination.

When Southwest makes a blanket cancel all flights they know what they are talking about. Too much traffic too much risk better safe than sorry.

So if yalll are home now, welcome to Tucson. Welcome to 112 F and nice to see you were not on that Delta flight later in the day. just think about it.