Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Can't Make the Right Decisions When I Travel, Either

I got a cab to CPH airport Monday morning to come back home. This used up all my paper kroner, so that's good. I manage to find the Delta ticket counters, and am confronted with what appears to be three lines sticking out of the maze of those fabric strips. It turns out that the crew were busy reassembling the maze, and our three lines eventually had to merge into a single-file line; the people who were in the portion of the line to which we had to merge were not happy about that.

I had not been thinking when packing, and Tom's book was in my luggage and not in my carry-on; fortunately I had my iPod and a lot of Merl Reagle's crosswords to keep me occupied. And I knew that I had to claim and recheck my bags in Atlanta to get through Customs anyway, so I figured I would get it then.

We landed at 2; my luggage arrived on the carousel right at 3:30. After I got through customs, I checked the time; my flight was scheduled out of Atlanta for 5:20, and I still wanted something to eat. So I thought I'd save time (I knew the book was buried somewhat in my luggage) and just recheck the bag; after all, it was only a 75-minute flight from Atlanta, right?

Well, of course, there was a storm going on at the time; the approach had been rather rough, but they let us land. Apparently they were not letting a lot of other people land, and traffic was stacking up about 60 miles outside of Atlanta. My 5:20 flight, became a 6:15 flight, and then a 6:45 flight, and then a 7:55 flight, and then a cancelled flight (one of 25 that I counted on the monitors). The printer at Delta's terminal in Copenhagen was not capable of printing a readable bar code, so I had to stand in the longest line in Atlanta airport history (according to a couple of Delta crew members who walked by, who are not probably the most historically accurate witnesses) to be told that I had been confirmed for the 9:45 flight (it was then around 8:40). The gate assignment printed on the card was the gate right next to the line, so that was handy; I stayed there for a little bit, then looked at the sign on the gate, which said nothing about my flight. The monitors were right behind me; looking, I saw that my flight was now two concourses away, and the flight status was "At Gate".

Well! I usually don't bother with the train at Atlanta's airport, but I did then. By the time I got to concourse D, the flight was no longer listed on the monitors; but I went to the gate listed and it was still on the sign at the gate, still listed as "At Gate". After a bit of confusion with the "Tri-Cities" flight (I don't know where that is, other than TN), the flight boarded and took off a little after 10.

The plane landed in NN at about a quarter to midnight; I went to the baggage carousel and proceeded to dig my keys (apartment and car) out of my "carry-on" (read: backpack). My apartment keys were easily found. My car keys were not. I sat down next to the other carousel and took everything out and put everything back. I looked up and saw my luggage go around the bend on the correct carousel, so I got up and waited for it to come around and grabbed it and went out to my car. I got there (I was parked directly under a light, with great foresight) and dug through my backpack and luggage and found ... nothing. So I trudged back to the terminal and went to Avis, and rented a car to get home and to work. (I found the keys this afternoon in a pocket inside the pocket that I knew they were (supposed to be) in, behind some old pictures.)

I am still not "unpacked" as such, but that can probably wait.

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