After taking some time off to visit my family in Iowa for the holidays, I am back and ready to start posting again. I have missed you all SO very, very much!
If you’ve read my post, Yes, I’m A Scrooge, then you likely know how much holiday travel stresses me out. This time around was NO exception! My issue with this trip was not with my actual destination, which was absolutely fabulous. We had a super-duper fun time with my family, and especially my sweet nephews, who I missed SO much. My problem was with the travel process itself.
If there are 300 flights leaving from a particular airport, and only one has issues, it will ALWAYS be the one I am on. It never fails. When I noticed that we had less than an hour layover in Dallas, I admit, I panicked. While extra long layovers aren’t fun, I absolutely LOATHE really short layovers. Why? Because all too often, our first flight is delayed for some reason, and a short layover means we will likely miss the second part.
My other issue with our trip to Iowa was that we had confirmed seating assignments from Shreveport to Dallas, but none for Dallas to Des Moines. For some reason, the agents in Shreveport were unable to assign us seats- even though our tickets were confirmed. We had to wait until we got to Dallas to get seats, even with a short layover. That meant we would have to wait for our carry-ons to be unloaded, then wait in line to see an agent, get seats, then try to make it to our departure gate. But, when we got to Dallas, they still couldn’t assign us seats for the flight that was going to depart in less than 20 minutes. Only at the last possible moment were we given seat assignments (major fail, American, please take note).
At least my worry was for nothing. We made our connecting flight in Dallas, and we were seated together. It really irritates me when they don’t assign us seats when we book, then seat us apart from each other when we arrive at the airport. It becomes a big clusterfrack trying to find someone to switch seats with. Uggghhhh.
When we arrived in Des Moines, we had to wait for my mom to get there to pick us up. There was a nine-car-pileup due to bad weather, so the interstate was closed and she had to take a detour. Damn Iowa weather!
The biggest problems we had, though, were with our return trip to Louisiana. There was plenty of snow in Iowa, but of course, the worst weather was to occur on Monday, the day we were heading back. Most of the non-essential businesses in the state were closing due to weather, roads were closed, there were many accidents, and officials warned against travel.
We were scheduled to depart from Des Moines at 2:38pm, then depart from our layover in Dallas at 6:50pm. Since our flight was not canceled we were still going to have to try to make it to the airport, as the tickets were non-refundable. Because of the weather, a drive that normally took an hour-and-a-half would take about three hours.
The county highway on the way to I-35 wasn’t so bad, but when we got to the interstate, the snow and sleet were horrible, and Mom’s windshield wipers were worn out- so visibility was almost completely gone. Once we were halfway there, THEN our flight got delayed until 3:00pm, then 3:30pm, then 4:00pm.
We exited and bought new windshield wipers, so visibility was better, and the main problems were the snow, sleet, wind, and ice. But, at least we could see better, and we made it to the airport. Mom usually waits with us until we go through security, but we all agreed she should just drop us off, turn around and try to get home before the weather got even worse.
O.M.G. the lines inside the airport were long! With so many delays and cancellations, it was chaos with everyone trying to rebook. When it was our turn, at least we were told there would be plenty of time in Dallas, so we would not miss our connection to Shreveport. Yet again, we had to wait until we got to our gate to receive seating assignments.
More troubles began as we had to sit on the airplane for quite a while, waiting for the runway to be cleared by snow plows, and for the plane to be de-iced. Due to a late take-off, we were scheduled to arrive in Dallas at 6:42pm, with our connecting flight leaving at 6:50pm. Obviously, we were told wrong when the agent told us we had plenty of time. Panic ensued.
At the last minute, our connecting flight in Dallas was delayed until 7:33pm, so this was a relief- we at least had a chance of making it. Then we found out another plane was in the way, sitting at OUR arrival gate, so we had to wait on the plane until the pilot got a new gate assignment. After getting off, and RUNNING to our connecting gate, we found out we were delayed, again, until 7:50pm.
After lots of stress, waiting, and panic, we finally made it home to Louisiana. In one piece. The only good things about this travel process (in addition to the barf bag I brought to my nephew as a souvenir)? Well, first of all, “TSA PRECHK” magically showed up on my boarding passes! Why was it magical? Because I didn’t have to apply for it or anything. Finally, the fact that all my personal information and DNA is on file with the federal government from being in the military actually paid off! Getting through security was a breeze compared to Jerry!
The other good thing was the fish ‘n’ chips at the Des Moines airport lounge. The only widely available fish here is catfish. And no one makes good fried fish- it’s all that icky country cornmeal breading stuff- no real, actual, battered fish. Even Jerry was so excited- we had the same meal twice! We had it while waiting for Mom to pick us up on Thursday, and again while waiting to depart on Monday.
Aside from the surprise Precheck status and fish ‘n’ chips, the travel process for this trip sucked, as usual. Was it worth it? TOTALLY. We had SO much fun, and I can’t wait to see everyone again!
Did you travel for the holidays? Scroll down to comment below!