Thursday, July 14, 2011

I know it's not Tuesday...but Ten!

 So, I guess every Tuesday 10 questions are posted here and so since I'm lazy and don't feel like talking about anything going on in my life, I figured I'd participate...on Thursday

1. When you are on a plane and the kid behind you is kicking your seat, what do you do?
It's been a long time since this has happened to me, although just crying children anywhere on the plane can set me off. I would probably turn around and a few times to look at them and stare down their parent/guardian. If they didn't get the hint from the death stare, I would ask them to politely stop. If that didn't work I would ask more forcefully and direct it at their parent. I would hope it wouldn't get past this point, if it did, I would probably start making rude comments about people who shouldn't have children, or can't control their kids loud enough for the parent behind me to hear.

2. What food that you KNOW is bad for you and you shouldn’t have, but you love/eat it anyway?
Tiramisu. Alcohol - I know this isn't a food (although it might be one of my main foodgroups), but goddamn if it isn't empty calories that I insist on ingesting.

3. What is your favorite book of all time?

Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind. It made me fall in love with fantasy fiction all over again and got me so wrapped in the series that I was actually transported to another world, joyfully.

4. If I came to visit you in your town, where would we eat?
I don't really know who "I" would refer to (probably Kyria, and since I don't know her at all I will just tell you where my preference is...) I live in New York City, and I have a lot of favorites, but if we're talking about the borough I live in. We'd go to my favorite Vietnamese place, or to this Japanese place with the best cheap sushi ever. If we go in Manhattan, if it's a Wednesday we'll go to the Stumble Inn for a stuffed burger and a good time.

5. You have 500 dollars and 40 minutes to spend it at any store you want. Where do you go?
Can it be a website? Because I'd probably use expedia/jetblue or the likes to book a flight somewhere.

6. What blog do you read every day/the most often?

I read everyone on my bloglist every day. I would name names about the ones I never skip over, but that would probably take too long.

7. What’s the longest you’ve ever been stuck at an airport?

The reason I wanted to do this Ten on Tuesday was to tell my story about my February 2010 trip to Jamaica. It took 38 hours to get there I think. See below for the whole story.

8. What’s your daily makeup/face/cleansing routine?


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9. Where is your farthest away friend?
I used to be able to say Perth, Australia. Alas, Chawa and I are hardly in touch anymore, so now it's probably JarJar in Austin, TX.

10. Where is your favorite place to go hiking (or to enjoy nature)?
I don't particularly enjoy nature, so I can't answer this.

If you want to join in, I guess you go here to Kyria's blog

Ok, so my trip to Jamaica in February of 2010 was filled with a million ups and downs, getting there was definitely a down.

Me fake sad in the pool once we got there...

I had been to Jamaica once before I planned to go that February. The last time I went was summer of '09 and I was living in Chicago at the time and I decided two weeks before all of my friends were going that I wanted to go to. And so I booked my tickets and room and had the best trip of my life, pretty much. We went to Montego Bay, specifically, for those of you who were wondering. Some of the people I was going with had been there about a million times before. One is in Mo Bay right now with her boo, another had a baby with her Mo Bay bf last August...so you can see we had a lot of ties to Jamaica. This would be B's first trip there though and I hadn't shut up about it for the previous 6 months.

B was finishing her last semester of college, and was essentially done. I was working part time as a Medical Assistant for a pediatrician. We were going to Jamaica with my Chicago (and a Canadian) friends.

We were scheduled to fly out on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 at around 12:30pm. We actually flew out at around 10am on Thursday, February 11th, 2010.

So let's rewind and see what happened there.

On Monday night B's mom tells B and I that if possible we should get a flight out on Tuesday because there's news of a huge snowstorm on its way. This is contemplated. I work late on Tuesdays, and in order to make a LITTLE more money, B and I decide that we're going to hope our original flight works out. Tuesday night rolls around and the forecast doesn't look good. I tell B to come over ASAP so we can try and fly standby for the 7am flight to Kingston with a connection to Mo Bay.

She gets to my house around 11pm, and we get a cab and go to the airport because A. We want to be the first ones on standby and B. We don't want to get stuck in the impending snow storm on our way to the airport.

We arrive at the airport around midnight. We find out that the desk for Air Jamaica doesn't open until 4am. This blows. We hang out upstairs for a while, we lug our bags downstairs into the waiting area, we're still in good spirits. We come back up to the desk right as it opened. One of the ladies gave us a hassle and told us that we needed to talk to another man about going on standby and blah blah blah. We kept our composure and the man did help us, along with another woman. We were issued the new stand by tickets and we gave them our bags.

We went back downstairs, and through security. We were obviously some of the first. We waited at the gate for 3 hours give or take. We notice a woman who is being deported, is cuffed and there are two officers with her. Just as the lady at the desk is about to announce standby availability, they get a call. Mind you, it is now 7:20am and snowing slightly. This is an international flight and they should've already been boarded at this point. Also, people should've been at the airport 2-3 hours before the flight, or at least within 45 minutes of TAKE OFF. But no. The call had the following message: "Hold the plane, a family of 8 scheduled for this flight has just arrived at the front desk and they're on their way.". Everyone who was waiting's heart sank. A family of 8 comes moseying into the terminal, 4 of them small children that probably could've easily shared two seats. There was at least one lap child that had their own seat too.

We were shit outta luck. Everyone starts going up to the desk and the following announcement is made. "There will be no standby seats available, you will be automatically checked in to your original flight and your bags will be transferred to the correct aircraft." This should've sounded curious to me considering the flight took off in the next 20 or so minutes and it never takes a short time to move bags. But oh well, I trust them. Big mistake.

We're all sitting at the gate we were told would be used for the next flight as well. The snow has slowed down. There is hope.

It's about 20 minutes before the plane should be boarding and there don't seem to be too many people at the gate. This seems suspicious, so I walk back toward the security area. Lo and behold, they changed the gate and didn't tell any of the people who were on standby earlier.

We gather our stuff and move to the new gate. Everyone starts exchanging Air Jamaica horror stories. We tell them what we've been through and one woman goes "Are you sure you're checked in to this flight? I would check that out. You never know with Air Jamaica." This is true. You never do know with Air Jamaica, so B and I agree we should confirm we're checked in for the flight. Thing is, the gate desk attendants haven't arrived yet.

B takes our passports and goes out through security to the main desk. About 15 minutes later she returns through, while sending me messages about how I won't believe what just happened. They give her a hard time going through security because she has both of our passports. She's about to flip.

She gets back to me and goes "We weren't checked in for the flight. In fact, when I asked the woman if we were checked in, she LAUGHED in my face and said 'NO, what were you waiting for? You were going to wait for the plane to take off before checking in?" I almost snatched the weave right off her head. I've had enough of this." She was a bit more huffy, but we were both pissed.

At the time when the plane should've been taking off, they say that the crew has just arrived and they have to do their preliminary check of the plane before we can board. The whole crew is a half hour late.

It has started snowing again. Heavily.


Our window of opportunity to leave is quickly shrinking. They eventually begin boarding. There's a family with three kids under 4 that I don't envy. They cancel their hotel because we're boarding the plane and obviously we will make it to Jamaica, obviously. They tell us that we will need to de-ice the plane.

I've been through this before, it's a 20 minute process that sucks. Whatever, we're on the plane and on our way to the Caribbean, right? Wrong.

We de-ice once, but because we have to wait so long before take off and the snow has drastically picked up in speed and quantity, the wheels freeze and we have to be towed back to the gate.

We were on the plane for an hour before being tugged back to the gate.

This is what they tell us when we get back. "Your flight has been scheduled for 7am tomorrow morning. Please come get your boarding passes. There will be no accommodations or food vouchers provided."

The family of 5 who canceled their hotel tries to get it back - sorry all booked up. How shitty is THAT?

That's right folks. We spent another night in the airport. I slept some, B really didn't. We ate shitty fast food and were uncomfortable and angry.

Security opened at 4am. We were the first ones there.

We went to hand them our re-issued boarding passes from the day before. Security tells us that they're invalid because it has yesterday's date. We assure them that while we have been there since yesterday, these are for the rescheduled flight. They have to call the Air Jamaica front desk. This takes 20 minutes because no one is ever working. We finally get through.

Somewhere along the way I lose my boarding pass. I have to spend more time getting another one re-issued, which thankfully, they didn't hassle me about.

We board late, but we take off.

We arrive just after noon I would say. Our bags are not there.

We file a report. We continuously check on it for the rest of the evening.

B is in an awful mood and wants to go home. She almost does. This is her first time meeting all of my Chicago friends and she is not happy. I somehow convince her that we've already lost a day, we need to make the most of the time we have. We get into a fight and I force her to come out to the "club" on the property. She wears Paris' swim dress. I wear Lisa's floor length dress that I pin up to be knee length.

We drink until we're wasted.

I wake up at 9am to call the airport the next day, because that's what they said to do. We had to put $20 on our phone bill for the hotel.

No one really works in Jamaica at 9am at the airport.

Our bags arrive at the hotel at 3pm on Friday afternoon.

We are elated and run and cry to our bags in the lobby. They will never forget us. We went 6 months later and the woman at the desk still remembers our story. My sunscreen had exploded in my bag and leaked out of the ziploc ruining a skirt and a bathing suit, but whatever. We had our stuff.

The rest of the trip was great.

Moral of the story - Air Jamaica sucks and they recently shut down most of their service and got bought out. Probably because of their lack of customer fucking service.

24 comments:

Maxwell said...

This is related to absolutely nothing, but I bought a bunch of cherry tomatoes at the store today almost entirely because of your professed love for them. When next I hoist one, I toast you.

And slightly related: this is just one example of why I refuse to fly through Chicago.

Monica said...

I remember the nonsense you went through for this trip! When you finally did make it I was so happy to see you two!

Not who I will be said...

@ Maxwell, I ate my typical two pints today and I toasted you as well!

O'Hare is a mess, but that whole debacle took place at JFK in NYC! Typically not a bad airport, but AirJamaica is the worst.

@ Mo, that trip was no joke. I can't believe that everyone still loved B right off the bat, because we were both so miserable. Glad they did though!

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