Oh boy – talk about pandemonium at the airport today! With the bad snowstorms expected in the midwest tonight, and the severe storms scattered east of us, dozens of flights are already delayed and/or canceled to and from Chicago. Lisa and I are unfortunately part of the unlucky group (yes, we are flying Spirit, but that’s not what I’m referring to this time when I say unlucky…).
We arrived at the airport hours early before our scheduled 5:20 pm flight to LGA because it had already started raining, and we all had some work to catch up with, so we figured that we could squeeze in a few hours of productivity before boarding the plane. When we arrived at 1 PM, we already knew that trouble had found us after we saw that our flight was marked as delayed until 7 pm. By that point I was not too worried because Chicago was only expected to get hit with 1 to 2 inches of a light wintry mix.
My idealism quickly changed to a slight panic when I checked the flight status on Spirit’s website and saw that it was completely canceled. AH! My first weather-related flight cancelation. Ever. And it had to be on Spirit. OMG. I knew my options were slim. Oh boy.
We rushed to the ticket counter to see what could be done for us. First, the ticket agent said that our only option to NY was being rebooked on tomorrow morning’s 5:45 AM flight. Ideally, we were not looking to spend another night in Chicago (nothing against the city, but I was hoping to be back in NY tomorrow to attend the NY Times Travel Show). After realizing that tomorrow’s 5:45 am flight really seemed to be our only option, I grunted and said, “Fine, we’ll take it”.
The ticket agent then proceeds to tell me that she could only put us on stand-by, because the morning flight was already 5 tickets overbooked, with a standby list of 18. No bueno. Ugh, this was frustrating… and there’s no way either of us wanted to be booked on tomorrow’s later 5:20 PM flight to get a guaranteed seat…
We had to be creative. We spent a long time going back and forth with the agent trying to get a flight into another city serviced by Spirit Airlines. Here was our one and only option of a confirmed seat:
Depart ORD at 11:05 PM. Arrive in FLL (Fort Lauderdale) at 3:48 AM. Depart FLL at 7:03 AM. Arrive in LGA at 10:00 AM tomorrow.
Will I be sleeping tonight? No. Will I be cranky tomorrow? Most likely. Is this a learning experience? Definitely.
Oh, and I’m sure someone will ask if we received any accommodation arrangements, credit shells for future travel, or airport meal vouchers. Definitely not. Come on – this is Spirit Airlines…
In the meantime, we are trying to maintain a positive attitude about the situation at large. We do have several hours to kill at Terminal 3 of ORD, so if you have any fun airport games you can recommend for us to play to pass time while waiting, please do share.
Feel free to comment, share stories, anything… we surely can use whatever entertainment we can find at this point.
Oh, and if you see me posting on the blog several times throughout the night, at least you’ll know why. :)