Weekend Adventure – Day One

I am back home from a trip to see my Mom over Memorial Day Weekend. I flew up on Thursday and returned home this morning. It was a short visit, but an extremely enjoyable one! Here’s how my weekend adventure started out:

Thursday —

  • The trip started out on a rocky note! I got up in the morning and took the girls to Rae-Zor for boarding (they were so happy to get to go!). Once they were settled in, I picked up some breakfast and went back home to get ready to go to the airport. I was planning my time so that I would leave the house about 10:00 to make my 11:49 Jet Blue flight. At 10:00, I took out my boarding passes and checked to be sure I had the right ones and put them where I could easily get them out when I got to the airport. As I glanced at them, I noticed that it said that the plane would begin boarding at 10:00!! The thoughts that flashed through my head were “WHAT??? 10:00???? Why board at 10:00 for an 11:49 flight???” So I looked closer and it said my flight was 10:20 – not 11:49!!! OMG!!! My first thought was that the boarding pass was wrong – so I looked at the itinerary. Sure enough – the flight was 10:20 – it was arriving at JFK at 11:49 – I read it wrong!!!! The rush of panic poured over me – no way would I make it to the airport in time, let alone get through security, etc…… So, I called Jet Blue to find out what options I had. They were very nice and helpful and got me on the next flight that was leaving at 2-something (just about the same time I was originally supposed to arrive in Rochester!).
  • I switched gears and calmed myself down – all was gonna be OK! I called my Mom and told her to let my brother know about the change – he was planning to pick me up at the airport. This was going to create a problem for him – I picked the original arrival time to coincide when he got off work because my home town is about an hour away from the Rochester airport, but Kevin works as a Lab Technician at Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester – not far from the airport. Now that I was going to arrive about 7:00, he was going to have to go all the way home and come back for me! Uugghh! But….it was what it was! Since I now had the time, I went by Shops of Steele Street to pick him up some of Amy’s Carolina Cake Truffles (he loves them and I thought they would make a nice peace offering!). She was out of Truffles, but I was able to get him some Fudge and English Toffee. (Time warp ahead — he was really happy to get them, so it was a good decision!)
  • The problems didn’t stop there — I got to the airport in plenty of time, we boarded on time, taxi’d to the tarmac, and suddenly the pilot stopped the plane and shut off the engines. Not a good sign!!! He came on the intercom and announced that we were put on hold because JFK decided to shut down part of the airport to permit some practice flights for an airshow that was scheduled for Memorial Day (4 days away)!!! WHAT??? We all looked around at each other saying that we never heard of such a thing!!! Anyway – we sat there almost an hour waiting for clearance to take off and head toward JFK! The pilot said that the weather conditions and other factors would allow him to make up most of that time and that we would only be about 15 minutes late. Some of us talked about how we should probably be OK with connecting flights because of the made up time and the “assumption” that if they shut down large portions of JFK, then the connections should be running late, too……
  • The problems continued…….we were able to make up the time, but we discovered that our “assumption” about cascading delays was not necessarily correct! In my case, I had a 1 hour layover, so by the time I got off the plane, I had about 30 minutes to get to my next flight. I arrived at gate 18 and was departing at gate 10, so was happy that it appeared that I wouldn’t have too far to go! WRONG AGAIN!!! I soon found out that gates 1-17 was in another concourse and I had to walk a fair distance to hop a shuttle to take me there! JFK was PACKED and it was very difficult to maneuver my way through the crowds! I made it to the gate totally out of breathe with only about 5 minutes to take off time – thinking they might have already closed the doors and I missed ANOTHER flight!!!! But – I soon found out they hadn’t even started boarding, yet – even though the monitors were still saying the flight was “on time”!
  • It’s not over, yet………we finally boarded about 20 minutes after the original take off time! We pulled away from the gate and began to taxi to the runway — we drove and drove and drove and drove — I began to wonder if we were “driving” to Rochester, instead of “flying”! We came to a stop and sat there for almost 15 minutes before we started driving again and the pilot said that we were 20th for take off, so he received permission to move to another runway – another long drive the seemed to never end! When we got to the other runway, we were 8th for take off, but then there was some other delay (by then I lost track of all the reasons!) and we were almost two hours late taking off and over an hour late landing in Rochester!!! I was exhausted!!!! My brother and sister-in-law were frustrated waiting for a flight that was super late, but continued to show “on time” on the monitors!!!
  • It was my first experience with Jet Blue — I usually fly Southwest! But, from what I could tell, none of the problems were their fault and the employees were very friendly, helpful, and easy to deal with; the planes were very nice and had super comfortable seats AND individual TVs at each seat with free access to watch 30-some odd channels of Direct TV through personal headsets — I was impressed with Jet Blue!!!

Stay tuned for the rest of the Weekend Adventure!

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