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June 22, 2010

Won't You Pack Your Bags And Leave Tonight?

Let me start off by saying, I'm not an Eddie Money fan, and can't for the life of me figure out why it has become a tradition that he open DTE Music Theater every summer?

Traveling for work stinks, and that is when everything goes well.  When something goes wrong, traveling is right up there with taxes and root canals.

Back in May, I had to travel to our aluminum manufacturing facility in Franklin, GA southwest of Atlanta.  I thought this trip was going to go well as I was able to find a direct flight out of Flint (as opposed to Detroit, Flint airport is closer to my home, and much less of a hassel...so I thought) cheaper than I could out of detroit.  I was departing just before 5pm, which put me in ATL at 7pm, and I would be settled into my hotel before 9pm...so I thought.

While driving from work to the airport, I got a call from Delta, seems my flight has been delayed about an hour.  No big deal, I actually had a warm fuzzy feeling at this point, thinking how nice it was that Delta called me to inform me so I wasn't stuck in a terminal at the airport.  I used the opportunity to grab a burger at Fuddruckers in flint.

While enjoying a delicious burger and chocolate shake at the previously mentioned Fuddruckers, I get another call from Delta, informing me that my flight was delayed again.  This time about 30 minutes.  Hmmm, the warm and fuzzy feeling is now more of a room temperature normal feeling.

So I hang out at the FR's a bit more, and mess around with my Blackberry.  No more calls, so I head to the airport and to the terminal, where little did I know I was about to wait for another two hours for the inbound plane I was trying to go outbound on to arrive at FNT.  8:30pm, almost 4 hours later than scheduled, we board the plane.  Then we get to wait on the tarmac an additional 35 minutes because of additional delays.  9:10, we finally took off.

My warm fuzzy feeling is a full on cold prickly one!

I got settled into my hotel at around 1am, thankfully I'm too tired to be mad at anyone or anybody, so I just go to bed.

BTW, what does Delta think 4 hours of your time is worth?  Fifty bucks, and I would not have gotten that had I not asked.

So thankfully the trip itself went well.  Good meetings at work, and I actually go to take in a Braves game.

Then I got to go home, and the fun began again.  Seems right as I was heading to the trains at Hartsfield Airport in Atlanta, there was smoke coming from one of the train stations under the airport.  Had the trains stopped, and they were not letting anyone through, so hundreds if not thousands of people were stranded in the basement of an airport where there may or may not be a fire.

I chose to head backwards against the flow (or herd) of people.  If there was a fire, I was heading for higher ground as soon as I could.

Here is a link to the story on the debacle:

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/news/fire-smoke-atlanta-airport-concourse-051910

So after about an hour they open the tunnel back up.  The trains are still not running, but they are letting people in there, you could get down there easy enough, but moving once down there was a different story.  I estimated the walking pace to be abour 0.005MPH.  It is now 2pm, and I have a 2:45pm plane to catch.  I quickly realize at the pace I was traveling, making my flight was going to be tricky.  I was not quite to concourse 'A', and my flight was leaving from concourse 'D'.  I happened to be walking next to a pilot, and he informed me that concourse 'D' was "around a mile from where you are standing right now."

Now I realize that making my flight is not going to happen if it is on time.  I decide to head up the escalators at concourse 'A' to check the status of my flight.  This would prove to be a mistake, as this is what I was greeted with at the top of the moving stairs:

So I missed my 2:45, and now there are no direct flights to Flint until 8pm that night.  What a stupid idea flying out of Flint!

I do end up catching a 3:40 flight to Detroit, where my wonderful wife Kari picked me up so I didn't have to connect to Flint in Detroit.  Kari would have to drive me to Flint to get my car.

We did end up grabbing a bite to eat at, of all places, Fuddruckers, where it all began 3 short days ago!

Thanks for stopping by -- Dan