Friday, August 24, 2007

Made it to London. Will get to Africa but without bags.

Oh, you should have seen the mess at O'Hare. Yesterday may have been the first time I had ever seen a line with more than 1,000 people in it. Customer service was just telling people "if you walk by a flight that's going where you're going, just go get on it."

Despite assurances that all outbound flights were delayed as well because of the severe storms, by the time we landed our Virgin Atlantic flight had already left. It was the only Virgin flight for the day and the counter and shut down. The next flight would not leave until 6pm the next night, which would cause us to miss our flight to Addis Ababa and then to Kilimanjaro.

I spent over an hour on the phone calling between the two airlines. On the final call to Virgin, they told me that United had already re-booked us on the next flight to London that was leaving in 30 minutes (we had yet to go through security). We ran full speed all the way back to United and cut in front of a ton of people. The lady said there were no such reservations. We waited there for 45 minutes while she tried to work it out on the phone with a call center in India. Finally, she just printed boarding passes and gave them to us and said "I'll deal with this later." The flight had been delayed by another 30 minutes, so now we had 15 minutes to get through international security and run to another terminal. And run we did.

We're in London now. Our bags are sitting with Virgin back in Chicago. This is a problem because we're getting on a flight for Kilimanjaro and Virgin doesn't know that. Plus I had already paid for a storage unit and we were supposed to drop half our suitcases off (and some valuables) in London. Now it all needs to go to Africa one way or another.

We're going to go ahead and get on this flight, because who knows how many planes go to Addis Ababa. Well just have to hope our suitcases show up in Kilimanjaro in the next few days. I'm so tired of flying.

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