Saturday, June 24, 2017

Summer vacations are not EZ.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation. An essay by Dan Moyes.

Our first overnight stay of our summer vacation to Costa Rica is in a lovely home in San Antonio, Texas. That's right. OUR home in San Antonio, Texas. We arrived at the airport at 7am this morning for a flight through Houston Hobby connecting to a flight to Liberia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica (LIR), where we were to meet our son, Joel, and his wonderful and lovely wife, Orenda, who were flying from Phoenix by way of DFW. by 9am we were comfortably boarded and our flight from SAT to connect in Houston was taxiing. We taxied. To the end of the taxiway where we stopped. The captain announced we had a short weather hold for the airport in Houston. About 10 minutes later, the captain announced that, while we were waiting for the weather hold to be lifted, our airplane had broken and we'd be returning to the terminal gate and deplaning. Back in the terminal by 10am, the Southwest agents were working feverishly to reaccommodate their passengers, calling people by their intended destination, issuing new boarding passes, and sending them on their way. We waited. As the crowd thinned, we discovered 10 other passengers who were also bound for Liberia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica on our flight. We all waited. We took turns going to the restroom and waiting. We visited and waited. We had a snack and waited. Finally, there were no passengers waiting except the Costa Rica 12. Over time, we became kind of a Cosa Nostra 12. We knew first names. We knew careers and grandchildren's name. We took turns approaching the gate agent to see if there was, yet, any news for us. Southwest agents hammered away at keyboards and spoke furtively into telephones. We waited. The stranded 12 consisted of three couples and one party of 6 bound on a scheduled deep-sea fishing trip. Finally, at about 1:30pm, the agent told us that there was no way Southwest could get us to Costa Rica today, even on other carriers. Everyone was booked or overbooked and the later in the day it got, the less likely it was that anything would be available. Further, Southwest was fully booked to LIR through the weekend. The best they could offer was an outbound flight on United (Oh, Joy!) tomorrow, Sunday, June 25th, at 1:45 PM changing planes in Houston Bush Intercontinental arriving in LIR at 8:00pm local that same day. The party of six threw in the towel and cancelled their plans. The three couples all agreed to the reaccommodations. While they made the new routing arrangements, we... that's right: waited. At about 3:00pm we were told to go home, we'd get our United routing by email before the day was over. By 3:30pm we had reclaimed our bags and were enroute to our overnight accommodations. At home. We did get the United confirmation at about 4:30pm. I guess we'll try this vacation thing again tomorrow. Wish us luck!