Beware: this is the longest post I have ever written.
We just got back from Arizona where we had a wonderful time visiting family and attending Brad's youngest brothers wedding. Usually the flight from DC to Phoenix is not too bad, even with a layover its not even a full days journey. Well this was quite a bit different. After this experience, I may never travel again. Here is our tale:
We chose to fly out of Baltimore Airport this time, it was cheaper and the flight times looked good. My good friend Carlota took us to the airport early on Friday for our 7:30 am departure. Everything went smoothly, the lines were short, the seats on the plane were good, no problems. Then the pilot came on "Hi folks (why do pilots always say "folks"?), seems we have taken a rock in the engine and need to buff it out before we depart, it will be a few minutes". Turns out the problem was bigger than they thought so they had to take the plane out of service. We had to get off, get our luggage and then stand in the slowest line possible to re-book another flight. We were supposed to layover in Chicago so now there was no way that was going to happen. After much negotiating by Brad to the ticket agent, we arranged a 2:45 pm flight out of Regan National though Chicago to Phoenix. So we hopped on the bus to the metro back home to hang out for about an hour until we had to head to Regan. As an added bonus I threw up the whole time we were home, gotta love the timing!
We made the 2:45 flight and got to Chicago with no problems. Our layover was short and we got right on the plane headed to Phoenix. All was going well. Our pilot even had a mullet and lots of gold man jewelry- sweet! We started on the runway to take off, we were at full speed ahead when the pilot slammed on the breaks and pulled off the runway, "Uh folks, seems we have a engine light on and we have to have it checked out". We headed back to the terminal and waited. We were told the plane was being taken out of service so everyone had to get off. We spent the next 6 hours in the Chicago airport waiting to hear if we were going to get another plane or if we were going to be stuck there in the airport all night. Luckily we got another plane and loaded back up.
We boarded the 4th plane of the day and luckily, the flight to Phoenix from Chicago actually happened. We made it there 11 hours after originally planned. The trip concluded with a 2 hour drive to Prescott with one stop at the QT. (Side note: I LOVE a good convenience store! But that will be for another time.) We got to my parents house 22 hours after we left our apartment. It was a LONG stressed filled day to say the least.
Attempt 4- the return
This flight was scheduled as a non-stop flight from Phoenix to Baltimore. This gave us hope that things couldn't possibly be as bad as the trip to AZ. We arrived at the check in kiosk but there was no sign of our reservation. I started to panic. We talked to the very nice ticket agent and he told us that since we didn't make the Chicago to Phoenix connection on the way there, our flight back was cancelled. (for the record, when we rebooked we asked about our return tickets and were assured they would not be affected at all). The agent put us on the "stand by" list and off we went. We got to the gate and it seemed there were tons of stand by passengers waiting. After some very nervous waiting we got seats on the plane! We were the last three on. We were even lucky enough to all sit together! There were no engine troubles this time, thankfully. Kristen was there to meet us and we made it home! It turned out alright in the end but I was almost in tears and stressed out before we got on the plane.
There were some good things during our long journey to AZ
- We didn't crash and die on an airplane with engine problems, they were found before we left the ground (this is serious, I am really grateful for this!)
- Good milkshakes from McDonalds in Chicago
- We were booked in Economy Plus from Chicago to Phoenix
- Avery was a total champ! He was so good the whole time (and there isnt a thing wrong with Starburst Jelly Bean bribes to get your 2 year old to sit still)
- We each got a $150 flight credit for a future flight for our troubles
Turns out all the hassle was totally worth the trip. It was one of the best and most relaxing trips home we have made. We even had a surprise the night and morning after we arrived. This is what we saw: SNOW!
The snow didn't hang around for long, and the rest of the time the weather was great, especially for Brad and his kite!