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A Series of Unfortunate (Travel) Events

May 4, 2012

Unfortunate Event #1: Flight cancelled

I am packed and ready to go. I arrive at the Sudbury airport and take my place in line, eager to set out on my adventure. I overhear a man on his phone discussing flight cancellations. The terminal status board confirms my fears. And so begins the first of several unfortunate events.

I am re-booked on a flight at 5:50pm and I’ll have to overnight in Newark, NJ. I booked my hotel on Expedia.

Unfortunate Event #2: Flight delayed, missed connection

I arrive back at the airport an hour before the scheduled departure time. The status board tells me there is delay and this delay is getting longer. I finally board 45 minutes behind schedule. I’m worried that I’ll miss my connection.

Buckled in my seat the plane sits on the tarmac for over 2 hours due to weather conditions near Toronto. We are asked to de-plane at the same time I was originally due to land in Costa Rica on my original itinerary.  After 1.5 hours of the longest line in history to re-book my connections again we were back on the plane. I guess that hotel in Newark was a waste!

Unfortunate Event #3: Delay in Toronto

Landing in Toronto there was no ground crew. So we sat on the tamac for 30 more minutes. This brought the time past midnight and with that the ticket agents were closed. I was stuck outside the secured area with all my luggage until 4:30am when US customs opened. I met a man from Ottawa flying to Cuba for a wedding and we kept each other company while we dined on vending machine food for dinner.

On the plus side, I have never slept in an airport before. A first.

Unfortunate Event #4: Reservation Mishap in Newark, NJ

I am left with a tight connection in Newark. I’m a little confused because I didn’t receive a boarding pass for this segment in Toronto but my bags were ticketed through. We land on time (a miracle) but I have to change terminals and figure out how to get a boarding pass in less than 45 minutes. I run to the gate and arrive just as they begin to board. The United Airlines customer service desk is next to the gate. I speak with the representative. She has no record of my reservation. What the fuck?!? She takes pity on me. I must look pathetic. And books me on the plane and says she will sort out the mess later. Final boarding call. I am on the plane. Next stop Costa Rica!!

Unfortunate Event #5: Lost Luggage

As I watch the baggage conveyor belt go round and round I become less hopeful. The belt stops – my luggage hasn’t arrived in Costa Rica. Seriously? I thought that there was a god possibility of this happening given the tight connection and reservation mishap but there was hope, wasn’t there? Apparently not. My bad luck continues.

I head out into Costa Rica midday in the heat and humidity wearing Jeans and a cotton t-shirt. At least I’m wearing my hiking boots. I’ll have to rely on the kindness of strangers tomorrow for my hike!

UPDATE: My luggage arrived at midnight! I’ve never been so happy to see my stuff! How one can appreciate the little things in life! I was able to borrow some clothes for the hike from my fabulous new Team Diabetes friends but now I’m be able to hike in comfort and with hiking poles!

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