Monday, March 18, 2013

Positive Thoughts and Deep Breathes

Part of traveling is the journey, right? As I am sitting in the Atlanta airport, I keep telling myself this over and over and over again...

I should be in Buenos Aires right now. Exploring the Recoleta and Palermo neighborhoods. Strolling through the cemetery and gardens. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Everything seemed to be going well yesterday. I had the pre-travel jitters and a whole lot of excitement as I was in route to Antarctica. This dream of mine, was actually coming true! That was until the a gate agent made an announcement that our crew was not at the airport. The plane was there, just no crew. The crew was coming from another city...10 minute delays turned into 20 minute delays, then turned into 30 minute delays...you get the picture.

Finally, a representative came to inform us about the situation. She made it clear that she was NOT a "representative" from United, just a face to keep us calm. As the time passed, my anxiety began to set in.

Wondering what I should do, I asked this "non-United representative" what were my choices, knowing I had an international connecting flight in Newark that I may not make. She suggested that I get in the United customer service line. Off, I went...

Listening to an agent tell you she "understands" is not something that I wanted to hear...I wanted to hear that things where going to be OK and I was going to be on my way to Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, that did not happen. After a few tears and deep breathes, I spoke with a manager who assisted with my reroute to Atalanta. Worrying about my gear that I need for the trip, I inquired about my bag since it was checked all the way to my final destination. No worries, "we will change the tags and it will travel with you to Atlanta." So I thought...Being slightly paranoid, I thought I would check in with customer service at my new gate and was told, "Yes, I see that your bag has been redirected to travel with you to Atalanta." I could finally breath a sigh of relief.

Until....

I arrived in Atlanta to find that my bag DID NOT travel with me, but rather it went to Newark. NO ONE ever made the change...

One step forward, two steps back....deep breathes, a few more tears, and lots of positive thoughts, I made my way to the United baggage claim office. I was given a hotel voucher, a referral number and reassurance that my bags were going to be redirected to Atlanta.

 At this point, it's 12:30 AM, not too much I can do...off to the Westin to try and get some sleep. Thank God for Westin heavenly bed...it was just what I needed after a very emotional and trying day.

Today, I woke up ready to take on this adventure. I knew I had to remain positive and hope for the best. I thought I would head back to the airport this morning and be my own advocate. Upon arriving at the United baggage claim office again, I was informed that NO ONE EVER made the change in the computer to have my bag redirected to Atlanta. More deep breathes to be had....

Sensing my frustration and worry about my belongings, Dave Lampert from United reassured me to stay positive..."there are three flights coming in from Newark and I will will do every thing I can to get it here before you leave."

So...now I am playing the waiting game all over again. Fingers crossed, that all of this will be a good story to tell as part of the adventure of getting to Antarctica.

Over the course of the last two days, I have realized just how lucky I am to have some amazing people in my life. From my calm, rationale husband reminding me that "Antarctica is not an easy place to get to and that everything will be OK," to many friends reminding me that this is all part of the journey....




It's times like this, when you are being challenged, that you learn a lot about yourself. I know that staying calm is always the better route to take...Have a back up plan in mind incase things don't play out like you had in mind...when planning a trip, allow for some cushion before you actually have to be somewhere...be kind to those who are trying to help you, it isn't their fault you are in the situation you are in...

One of the three flights to Atlanta has taken off. Time to go see if my bag made the flight...

Positive thoughts and deep breathes...it's all part of the journey, right?



3 comments:

  1. Thinking about you with hope and care..... Looking forward to hearing the good news soon.
    Margo

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    1. Thanks, Margo. As of now, my bag never made it to Atlanta. I ran to Target to grab a few essentials (jeans, shirts, socks, etc). Hopefully United will send my bag on they later flight to Buenos Aires tonight. If so, it would there 9:58. I have a flight to Ushuaia at 9:10, so we will see what happens. If get on a plane and heads to BA, then I will see if I can get a later to flight to Ushuaia. This has been trip I won't forget on so many levels.

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    2. Epic already...but Antartica is still coming! I'll do voodoo dolls or burn things to make it all turn out right. I would have been stuck in Atlanta as I probably would have gone from crying to smashing and then jail. :) We are praying hard here for you...hope if you can't feel it, your bags will.

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