Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hop over at Chicago

What must you do... if you have to catch a connecting flight.... at Chicago... and you are traveling alone?
  • keep enough time between flights so that you can walk to the departure gate at a comfortable pace
  • keep some cash on hand or carry a credit card so you can pay for a flight if you need to
  • keep your carry-on bag very light 
  • wear comfortable shoes
  • keep a charged cell phone so you are in touch with family
  • if you need to rebook, try getting on a flight by the SAME airlines
And I did none of these!!!
I was flying from San Fransisco to Louisville with a hop-over at Chicago. 
I landed in Chicago O'Hare ORD airport at 3pm at Terminal 2 and I had to board my flight to Louisville at 3:55. The lady at the counter says, hurry, go to terminal1 gate B22. I have this humongous black bag. It is heavy and has no wheels. 
I scramble like mad for a good 15 minutes to B22. Oops I need to trace back to the restroom 
and huff back again......
crackle crackle ..... Passengers please note flight blah blah to Louisville is delayed. It will leave at 6pm. I need to warn my daughter who is waiting at Louisville airport, with two small kids in tow... and I have no cell phone.
errr lady, may I borrow your cell phone? Hello chinnu... My flight is delayed by 2 hours!

half hour later they tell us ...YOUR  flight captain has not reported to duty. The flight is CANCELLED! Crackle ... Please get to customer service. We regret the inconvenience....Ya right...
errr lady ... may I borrow your cell phone? hello chinnu

So I trudge to the customer desk. They offer me tickets on a 7pm flight to Lexington on American Eagle.. Yippee
errr lady ... may I borrow your cell phone? hey chinnu

So, I plod with the now double humongous bag ...  to G14 at terminal 3. It takes me a solid 22 minutes. It is now 6pm. American Eagle refuses to let me board the flight. They have no intimation or money transfer from United she tells me. Go back to the customer service at terminal 1.

My bag seems to now weigh a hundred kilos, my shoes a fifty, and my knees are jelly. But I need to reach before this flight takes off.... or I may not get a replacement ticket... I manage to reach customer service in B8.
Hi how r u today... Sorry about that. We have a last seat in the United 9pm flight. U r lucky!
ya right! 
errr lady ... may I borrow your cell phone? Aa.a... chinnu

This flight leaves from the other end of terminal 2. I am past thinking. and way beyond fatigue point. I drag my bag, my feet and my soul to F14. I plonk into a seat. And burst into silent wet tears.
This flight did take off. and I was in it.

So If you are travelling alone, and if you have a hop-over flight, do follow the pointers at the beginning of this blog post 
or else  !!


  1. Sorry about that - and Chicago airport is not exactly the easiest place for such things to happen! No wonder you were quiet for a while!


  2. Phew!!

    Glad to see you back :)


  3. Yes Prath ... Looks like I am not that strong afterall...
    and DG thankyou ... for a flashing moment at the airport I did think.... what am I rushing back to...

  4. Ma, on the contrary, this shows that you are strong and can think on the move.. ! So if anyone knows the Chicago airport its u ;) its another 'first time' amma ..just that it was not on ur list !!

  5. Grit and determination bundled into one and that is RATNA RAO.... cheers.. I am finding new meanings to display tenacity and you seem to be at the top now with a cheerful demeanor albeit the invisible silent wet tears.... Thanks Ratna.. this was great... Vijay


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