Frank (ljtourist) wrote,

AA vs. ljtourist, and Fiji

So, this was the second time this trip where my AA flight was delayed, and American did not call me, despite assurances they would. But, fine, it was a bad weather day across important parts of the country, delays happen, no problem. I had plenty of reading material to keep myself entertained.

Now, I was on flight 1779, which goes FLL->DFW->SEA. I'd never been on that sort of a flight before; always had to change planes in the past. I had asked the flight agent the details, and she said that we could just stay on the plane if we wanted, but would have to take our bags off if we left. My plan, therefore, was to stay put when we landed. I also asked what time we would get into Seattle, and she said it'd be about an hour delay. That surprised me slightly, since we were 2 hours late taking off, but airplanes have made up time before, so I shrugged it off.

Everything goes fine until we're on final approach to DFW. The attendant is announcing that we're landing at gate A31, and starts announcing all the other connecting gates. Including Seattle at gate A24. What? This is the plane for Seattle, right? After we landed, I asked the attendant, and she seemed to think this plane was going there, as did the other people she talked to. The pilot, however, seemed to disagree. Oh. After everyone else left, except for those of us staying on board planning to go to Seattle, she went up and talked to the gate agent in the airport. No, Seattle people need to head over to gate A24. *sigh* Fine.

On my way over, I passed one of those big "Arrival/Departure" displays. Seattle, flight 1779, departing A24 at 9:50pm. Look at my cell phone: 9:41. FUCK!

RUN over to the gate to find out that, no, that plane left at 9pm. WTF?!? That means that there were 2 different AA1779's in the air at the same time. I didn't think that was legal.

I was the second person in line to get rebooked. There was one more flight from DFW->SEA, and the first person in line and his wife were booked as the 8th and 9th standby passengers on that flight. So, best case, I'd be #10. "Well, not getting to Seattle tonight!", I thought. The next flight was something like 9:30 the next day, but I couldn't get on that flight either. Oh, and since all the delays were weather related, AA wasn't going to pay for a hotel. I was not going to pay ~$100-150 for the privilege of losing a day of vacation and my life in freaking Dallas, TX.

I was not letting this upset me, though. At this point, I was playing like I had a free flight to anywhere AA was flying out of DFW that night. So, Plan B: I'll meet up with my family in PHL, take 2 more days off, and see my father and brothers. No, that plane left 10 minutes ago. Maybe Newark? No. OK, Plan C: get me back to FLL; I'll find a place to stay, hang out at the beach, and see Chris again. No, that plane's gone too. Fine, try the west coast (it's earlier there); how about Portland? I'll take a train to Seattle. No, no flights there. All right, San Francisco? I know several people there, surely I can stay with one of them. Yes! That works! Only, AA doesn't do SFO->SEA, so that would have to be on Alaska, and AA can't guarantee me a seat. So, no to SFO, then. Drat. I'll try the midwest. Chicago? Yes! That plane was delayed an hour, so it's still on the ground! And I can get to Seattle the following evening! Woohoo!

I call up my sister (who just got back from two weeks in Fiji), and say: "Hi! I'm in Dallas. Can I stay with you tonight?" That was one of the most fun phone calls I've ever made. So, yes, I had my little detour, the entire way giggling "I can't believe I'm going to Chicago". Landed about 1am, got to her place at 2, and crashed.

Oh, and the next day, when I got to ORD, there was some more confusion because, according to the computer, I got on 1779, and 1779 got to Seattle, so of course, I was in Seattle! How could it not be so? Fortunately, the manager decided to fix this "the easy way", and they just let me get on the plane. My baggage was waiting for me at SeaTac, just like I hoped it would be. If anything else had gone wrong, AA would be another airline that I wouldn't be flying again. As it is now, they're just "on notice", and not "dead to me".

That Fiji trip was my sister's (now)-fiance Dave's idea. He used it to propose to her on the beach at sunset (awwwww). So I got to see the ring (stunning! huge rock!) and the pictures, and hear all about it.

Now, you've got to understand my sister's POV: not only is the glass half empty, it's the wrong shape, and she should have ordered the chardonnay anyway. I tend to take her criticisms with a shaker of salt. On top of that, she did not have a good time in Fiji. This was largely colored by the fact that her tooth (which had recently gotten a root canal) became infected, and was hurting pretty badly the entire trip. So if I hadn't seen the pictures, I might have dismissed her review out of hand.

Anyway, Fiji is not like the pictures you may have in your head. It's much less mountainous than I thought, and relatively spread out. Most of the beaches (at least this year) are somewhat unusable due to the excessive seaweed that continually washes up. Even then, they (apparently) aren't the pleasant sandy beaches in, say, Hawaii; no, the sand is much less fine (when it isn't a rocky beach), and it slopes down into the sea rather sharply. Therefore, there's little good swimming to be had, since it gets deep quickly.

The food, apparently, is insanely expensive, and not very good. A staple is this one starchy potato-like root vegetable (she couldn't remember the name), and it's served in almost everything, at every meal. Another complaint was that dog fighting is common entertainment, and this was off-putting for her (well, it would be for me, too).

For those who are interested, the one place she did give a good review of is the Oarsman's Bay Lodge. The food and beaches, in particular, were much better than all the other places they went.

So, yeah, between all that and the fact that (as unzeugmatic and kimuchi pointed out) Fiji is not big on the whole gay thing, it is not among my planned vacation destinations. Having several islands of hot brown guys whom you cannot sleep with is not my idea of a good time.
Tags: life, rant, travel

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