Air rage

The flight to Long Island went off without a hitch. In fact, it was almost too easy. Eerily so. Aaaaand here’s the return trip payback:

8:30-9:30 a.m. — Drive from Smithtown to LaGuardia airport. Violet is tired and angry.

9:30 a.m. — Arrive at LaGuardia. It’s dark. The power is out. Massive amounts of people are sitting around on their luggage, looking confused and sweaty. No one is telling anyone what’s happening. Violet is tired and angry and running amok, mingling with the mob.

10 a.m. — We call Rob’s dad to come back and pick us up. Rob starts an interminable call to American Airlines. All flights have been cancelled. We are offered an evening flight out of JFK or a morning flight. We choose the wrong one.

11 a.m — We almost get creamed by some New York stereotype driver cutting us off on the way to JFK. Violet falls asleep in the car, only to be woken up way too soon to wait in a monster check-in line. She is tired, angry and hungry.

12 p.m — Have to wrestle Violet through security.

12:30 p.m. — Go to the nearest/only restaurant in the terminal. Our pleas for a highchair are ignored. Have to wrestle Violet away from the drinking fountain.

1-3:00 p.m. — Entertain the kiddo while trying to keep her from licking every surface of the airport.

3-4:00 p.m. — She naps. Yay!

4-5:00 p.m. — Violet wakes up tired and angry. Clearly she cannot believe she is still in the damn airport. We try to buy sandwiches for the flight. Have to wrestle Violet in line at the sandwich shop.

6:00 p.m — Board the airplane. Yay!

6:30 p.m. — Sit on the tarmac.

7:30 p.m. — Sit on the tarmac.

8:00 p.m — Sit on the tarmac.

8:05 p.m — Diaper blow-out. Violet is screaming hysterically. Two hundred passengers are looking at us in horror. Those nearby are holding their noses. The lavatories are occupied. We throw an airline blanket down on the first unused surface we see (the counter in the flight attendant area) and clean up. This is about the time Mommy loses her mind and starts crying hysterically along with the baby.

8:30 p.m. — Calm Violet down. Not one, but three flight attendants berate us for using their area for a diaper change.

9:00-11:30 (Central) p.m. — The airplane actually flies. Violet actually sleeps, although very fitfully. We land in Dallas, missing our connecting flight by over 2 hours.

11:30-12 a.m — The entire plane has deboarded and left the gate area by the time we get our stroller. The flight attendants actually complain about their day to the other sad, exhausted families waiting for strollers, holding drooping children. We’re told that we have to pay to stay at a hotel without our luggage. We wrestle Violet off the construction equipment.

12:30-1 a.m. — We wait outside in the stifling heat for the hotel van. People practically push each other down trying to squeeze in. Rob has to sit on luggage in the back. We wrestle Violet out of the street and into the vehicle.

1-1:30 a.m. — We wait in yet another line to check in. Then we wait for the front desk to send a crib. They say it will take 30 more minutes. We all fall asleep in our clothes.

6:30 a.m. — Violet wakes up. We have no diapers, tampons, clean clothes or deodorant. We stink. Violet acts as though she’s completely refreshed on 4 1/2 hours of sleep. Still, she doesn’t want me out of her sight.

7:00 a.m. — I go in search of breakfast and other necessities. The @#%$ crib is outside the @#*& door. Apparently the porters are told not to knock(?!?). I go downstairs and pay nearly $20 for tampons and a pack of weird Mexican diapers.

8:30-11:30 a.m. — The van ride to the airport, the wait, and the flight are actually without incident. Violet sleeps on the plane.

12:30 p.m. — Our luggage is nowhere to be found. Of course. At that point we were grateful our car started.

4:00 p.m. — American calls and says our luggage has arrived. It will be delivered shortly.

9:00 p.m. — Barely able to keep our eyes open, we call the American and beg them to give us our fricken luggage. They don’t seem to know who we are.

10:30 p.m. — Luggage delivered.

10:31 p.m — Sleep.

7 responses to “Air rage”

  1. Veronika

    That sounds absolutely horrible. I’m so sorry you had to experience that, and I’m glad you’re finally home and hopefully able to recover…

  2. Dad aka Apa

    Oh…My…God!!! What a nightmare. I can’t believe you didn’t go “postal” and kill many/all AA workers.

  3. New York Parental Units

    Grampa Lifford says that was our LAST American Airlines points – so we can use Southwest and hope for better luck next time.

    Gramma Lifford is so sorry you had to go through such an ordeal to cap off an “unusual” visit. Gramma’s nightmare came when the AA website said that your evening flight had arrived in Dallas but a few moments later on the phone an AA rep said that there was no record of the three of you on that flight! I shouldn’t watch “Without a Trace!” I was scared to death (as you could tell by my frantic voice on your cell phone vc mail…) By the way, when are you coming to visit again????

  4. Leah

    i think this clearly means you were supposed to stay in new york and live, you were not supposed to go back to texas! give that beautiful girl a kiss for me! see you SOON!

  5. Justin

    I can’t believe you used the stewardesses’ counter to change a diaper. That not only violates FFA regulation, but it also violates what most consider sacred space.

    Of course, I jest.

    American Airline is freakin’ EVIL. They pulled the same stunts on us on a flight back from Pittsburgh once. The ground the plane, make us late for our connection and then refuse to pay for a hotel. Only after half an hour of irate screaming, they gave us a discount coupon. F’ers.

  6. Nancy G

    Been there, done that, when I came back to the states with Ian the only flat spot I could find was back in the stewardesses area. At least only one jumped my case about it. Sorry about your trip but am glad your back in Texas.

  7. hi, idea » Just bragging a little…

    […] He’ll probably need all of these talents during our plane ride to Oregon tomorrow. (Let’s just hope it’s not a repeat of the last time.) […]

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