So I'm stranded in the Charlotte airport after my connector flight from Buffalo and to Las Vegas got cancelled. Not just cancelled mind you, but unceremoniously cancelled 20 minutes before take off in a squelching PA announcement that no one could hear save for the those within earshot of the attendant behind the desk at the gate.
Through a sea of muttering and the breeze caused by a couple of hundred shaking heads, I found my way to the US Air service desk where, after waiting for 10 of my ex-plane mates to get re-routed, I stepped up to the desk.
Admittedly, I presented a bit of a challenge to the woman at the computer as I immediately told her, since I purchased a First Class ticket to accommodate my fat ass not being wedged in the vice-grips of a coach seat, that I only wanted First Class for rerouting...
Let's step back a minute here.
The is the first time I've ever chosen to fly US Air to Vegas. I normally fly Southwest out of Buffalo, but this time decided, instead of the Coach Vice-grips, to splurge a little bit and fly in comfort. That my flight from Buffalo to Charlotte went without a hitch despite the 8:30am takeoff was fantastic. I actually slept for about half an hour while listening to last week's TWiT podcast. Everything took a turn in Charlotte... heretofore known as the title of this blog post.
Back to my re-routing...
After about six minutes of punching keys at a terminal and looking mildly befuddled, the clerk said that the way for me to get to Vegas in First Class would be to fly from Charlotte to Philadelphia at 6pm, then fly from Philly to Vegas at 9pm. The two hour time change would get me to Vegas before midnight MST. Considering I was originally getting to Vegas shortly after noon MST, I've essentially lost 12 hours of my vacation in Vegas to purgatory at the Charlotte airport.
After a mediocre roast beef sandwich discounted by the added value $5 meal voucher from US Air (that's apparently how much 12 hours of my time is worth), I was ready to seek out a table with an outlet and a comfortable seat; here I am.
And so as I sit here wanting to throw my iPhone at the whiny kid at the table beside me, I wonder what would cause the wizards of US Air to cancel a flight so late in the process. In addition to cancelling Vegas, I heard they also cancelled flights to Miami and Ft. Lauderdale at the last minute.
Surely it can't be a maintenance issue. After all this could, at most, be the second flight of the day for this plane. I'm guessing they gave it the once over after landing last night.
Maybe the pilots got ripped in the lounge on mini bottles of Drambuie and Kahlua. Maybe I was unlucky enough to be flying on the day of a FAA crackdown. Maybe the price of gas went up and US Air wanted to save its money for the annual holiday Hootenanny at the Stuckey's in Asheville.
Regardless, I'm here for another 4.5 hours then off to Philly, which is closer to home than Vegas, only to look forward to the 5 hours Vegas flight 2 hours after that. This day could have been so much easier if not for... let's say Drambuie AND Stuckey's.