May 31, 2011

A Very Wedding Weekend in Iowa

It feels like I haven't posted in a month...and it was less than a week ago. I think I'm in trouble.

Hi friends! How's it going? I've loved catching up on all of your Memorial Day Weekend posts! Forgive me for not commenting over the entire month of May weekend, but it's been a busy, busy month! Recap to come tomorrow! But let's start with the weekend, shall we?
  • I went to Iowa for a fantastic wedding, ate more cake than should be legal, danced my butt off and (oops!) sprained my wrist.
  • I spent 5 hours in Des Moines (International???) Airport while 2 of my flights were cancelled and the ones they kept putting me on were delayed.
  • I missed my flight out of Chicago because of said delays and ended up sleeping on a cot in O'Hare and being rudely woken up at 4am by a security officer kicking said cot telling everyone to go back to their terminals...even though my flight wasn't until 6:55. 
  • I finally landed in LaGuardia, made the long trip back to Mom's house in Jersey, went to the ER to make sure my wrist wasn't broken, slept through Memorial Day and am now struggling to type this post with the arm equivalent of a boot on my arm. 
I promise you that you had a better Memorial Day than I did. But let's start with the good parts write? Two of my very dear friends, Justin and Laura, got married this weekend in Iowa. The wedding was gorgeous and I had a fantastic time. She looked beautiful and he was in tears as she walked down the aisle. The (Catholic) ceremony was quirky and fun and very *Justin and Laura.*

Photo courtesy Belltower Photography.

The reception was awesome. It wasn't rushed, the food was good, the cake was amazing, the Photo Booth was fantastic, the 90s ballads were awesome and the dancing was just awesome...well, until I took a bad spill on some spilled wine and broke my wrist (or so I thought). Luckily, this was at the end of the night so I just ignored the pain until I got back to my hotel and iced it all night.

I may or may not have had 3 slices of cake...
Me with the Beautiful Bride!

Sunday morning, we woke up bright and early and headed to the bride's house for a brunch/bbq/wiffle ball game and just lounged around nursing our hangovers with Bloody Marys. Then it was time to head to the airport. I was flying American Airlines from Des Moines to Chicago to New York. I should tell you in advance that I'm very, very picky when it comes to choosing airlines. I'd rather pay more money to fly with an airline that I've never had problems with than one I have. So I opted for this route instead of flying with my friends through Minneapolis on Delta. Chicago was having really bad storms and nothing was coming or going out of O'Hare so I was delayed by a lot which caused me to miss my flight to New York. Now, I'm not blaming the airline for any of this. No one can control the weather and overall my experience in Des Moines was pretty pleasant. The pilot was great at communicating to us exactly what was going on and when we boarded and then deplaned, even that wasn't frustrating. We finally boarded and were set to take off but were told that none of us would make our connecting flights because we would be waiting on the tarmac for at least an hour for a gate before we could get off the plane. It ended up being 2 hours but fine, we all knew it was coming. Here's where I started having problems with American. We were told that an agent would be at the gate to help us review our options for travel the next day. There was no one there. My fellow passengers and I spent about 20 minutes walking around trying to find someone. When I finally spoke to someone, she told me, she hadn't had her lunch break and shouldn't have to be dealing with us and was chatting away on her iPhone instead of helping me. Finally, she gave me a ticket out for the next morning. When I asked for a hotel room and a meal voucher, she said she couldn't give me one because 1) she can't control the weather and 2) she wasn't a supervisor and all the supervisors had left for the day. I walked around trying to find some food and drugs because my writs was extremely swollen and I was in a lot of pain. The entire airport was shut down.  The only thing opened was McDonald's. This wasn't going to fly. I found another agent and explained my situation saying that many of us had been stuck in an airport for over 7 hours without eating and we couldn't be expected to stay in a closed airport all night. He said McDonald's is open. I said, I'm a vegetarian. He said, 'Beggars can' t be choosers.' Wow. Then he offered me a hotel that was 30 minutes away for $79 and said that there was no guarantee the hotel would actually have a room but that was what they offered 'Distressed passengers.'

I finally met a friendly cop who told me that American Airlines screwed over everyone and that about 450 flights were canceled that day and that AA was the only airline who didn't offer hotels to their passengers. So I was given a cot and a blanket at 1am. The airport was freezing so I didn't sleep very well at all and when I woke up my wrist was double the size of my other arm thanks to not being able to find any meds. It was also 4am and airport security came around kicking everyone's cots telling us  they needed to get the terminal ready. My flight wasn't for 3 hours and food places didn't open for another hour and a half. And I was starving. Needless to say, this marathon running, carbo loading gal wasn't a happy camper. But worse off than me, were the 90+ year old people on oxygen tanks who were stranded in the airport, and all the people with babies. It was horrific and the most terrible display of airport customer service I have ever seen. I plan on writing a letter to American but I also wanted all of  you to know so that you think twice before booking on AA. I chose to fly American (and spend more money on my flight) than Delta because I had had a lot of problems with Delta in the past and had never had issues with American. But you know what? The last time I flew Delta, I got stranded in Atlanta because of a severe snow storm and was given a hotel and a meal voucher. American clearly doesn't care about it's passengers which was demonstrated by the fact that they didn't have any gate agents waiting for us, had no supervisors on hand to assist the thousands of passengers who were stranded, and couldn't bother to make an effort to offer comfortable options for sleeping, especially when there weren't adequate meal options in the airport.

Anyway, that's what happened. Thankfully I don't have a broken wrist but I'm out of commission for a few weeks which means the Gold Coast Tri may end up being a DNS but we'll see. And for the sake of this post not being any longer, I'll leave you all with well wishes for a short week.


  1. So sorry to hear about your wrist and the whole airport ordeal - it is SO horrible to have a long delay, let alone an overnight delay!

    Glad the wedding was fun though... when do you take out for Europe!?


  2. Oh goodness... sounds like quite an um..eventful weekend. Flying is stressful enough- but to have to deal with all of that too is just horrible.. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that and a hurt wrist (although I'm glad it isn't broken!) Have a better week :)

  3. good grief, you poor thing! what a mess! i hope your wrist heals up quick!


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