Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stuck Inside of Queens with the Travelin' Blues Again...

We've all heard about holiday travel nightmares around Thanksgiving, and i'm currently in the midst of one. It started as innocent as increased traffic on Queens Boulevard on the way to my 7:20 pm flight out of JFK, but just 2 minutes ago, i witnessed LaGuardia Airport Security performing a bum sweep in the sitting area i am holed up in for the night.

Apparently you're not allowed to sleep in airports? Luckily i was busy beginning this post when the fuzz came through. Everyone asleep in this area was rudely awoken, and one woman that didn't look to be homeless was escorted out. i need a red bull.

If you noticed, i mentioned two different airports. Let's just say my travel plans have gone slightly askew. That 7:20 flight of of JFK was first delayed until 8:50. No big deal - dinner and a couple beers at an airport bar. Then it was pushed back to 10:00. Then 10:15. Finally at 10:30 we board the plane. Just as i get settled in my seat, the steward... flight attendant.... whatever - air travel accommodation representative informed us that our flight back to Houston had been canceled and we were to return to the gate for further instructions. Upon returning inside it quickly became obvious that those on the flight with me were not too pleased. We later found out that the 7:20 flight from the previous day had also been delayed numerous times before finally being canceled. Those on the flight were put up in a crappy hotel for the night, given $7 bucks for dinner, and told to return to the airport for the same 7:20 pm flight the following day (today), only to repeat the entire process. You can imagine their fury.

The 15 minutes following the cancellation were a little tense to say the least. The Delta representatives back in the gate cluelessly asked a line of 50+ angered travelers (half of which were well versed in the cancellation/hotel voucher process by now) what we were doing and if we had all missed our flight. This instigated a rash of exchanges between the two sides. Warnings of calls to attorneys, some personal threats, and many understandably worrying what missing another day of work could spell for them. That was my first encounter with airport security for the night. Needless to say, most folks on the flight (including myself) will never fly Delta again.

Instead of trust the promise of a 6:00 am flight being added the next morning to get everyone back to Houston, my party has decided to cut ties with Delta and the shithole that is JFK. We booked a Continental flight out of LaGuardia scheduled for 5:45 am. After another cab ride stifled by traffic, we arrive at the new airport to find that the Continental check-in desk has closed for the night and the automated kiosks don't function until 3:00 am. These days, you obviously can't enter the terminal (where comfortable and numerous seats reside) without a boarding pass. So here we are. Sitting with the bums.... well not anymore, i guess. Now if i can only suffer these next 3 hours in an iron seat and hope the gestapo don't come back, i may make it home in the morning.

Thanks for humoring my attempt at killing time/venting a bit.
Here's some jams:

Bob Dylan - Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again (alt. take)
buy No Direction Home Soundtrack (2005)

Robert Johnson – Traveling Riverside Blues
buy The Complete Recordings (1990)

Leadbelly – Where Did You Sleep Last Night
buy Best of Leadbelly (2000)

Adam Hood – Million Miles Away
buy 6th Street (2004)

Kasey Chambers – Better Be Home Soon
from Don’t Talk Back [Single] (1999)


  1. I hope you are in the sky on a plane right now : )

  2. people should most definitely be allowed to sleep in airports, if nowhere else in public.

    good playlist, no matter how bad you've had it, leadbelly reminds you that he's had it worse

  3. All is well.... almost.

    Switching airlines/airports creates quite a problem with checked luggage. And lines of communication b/t Delta and Continental barely exist and don't quite match up. So, after traversing IAH in Houston a few times this morning, we are home and our luggage is supposed to be delivered here. When? Hopefully sometime before the clothes in them don't fit anymore.

  4. In Europe, they let people do it all the time. I guess it's their solution to "homelessness".