Have you ever tried coordinating someone else's travel plans, long distance? Have you tried doing it with them routed through ORD/O'Hare airport? It's a good thing I seem to thrive on chaos, because that is what today has been...chaos.
My dear Mom, is returning to her home, from visiting my sister in the South. She was supposed to fly to ORD, change planes with 90-120min on the ground between flights, and land at MCI in the afternoon, to be met by a family friend and driven home. That was the plan.
Note the past tense in that last sentence. Her flight to ORD was delayed 45min on the ground at the originating airport. This left her about 20min real time to make her connection, at 84yrs old, and being pushed in a wheelchair (because they put everyone in a chair if you ask for boarding assistance). AFTER she was airborne, I learned that her connecting flight had been canceled. Yep. No plane for her to catch at ORD. Her luggage had been booked through to MCI, so who knows where that will end up?
I spent some quality time on the phone with the airline, only to learn that yes, the connecting flight was canceled, the next was full, the second would fly her to Charlotte NC to catch yet another flight to MCI, landing some time late at night. Not acceptable. I managed to snag the last seat on a 8:00pm direct flight from ORD>MCI. Now how to tell Mom, who turns off her cellphone at airports and in planes? Remember, by now she is airborne, and does not yet know her connection was canceled.
I call my sis and tell her the gory details. I call Mom's ride home to tell her, only to find that friend has to take a family member to the hospital...and the lines there are horrendous today apparently. Eventually Mom turns on her phone in ORD, apparently because she discovered to her dismay that the plane was not there to take her home. On her own then, she managed to get booked on a different sub-carrier from ORD>MCI at an earlier time, totally disrupting the plans I had made on the fly for her to get home. But her ride home from MCI is still stuck in the hospital, trying to get someone admitted. Now I need to find another person to meet Mom at MCI.
The friend calls me. I call Mom. Again. And again--bad cell coverage in ORD apparently. I tell Mom that she needs to call some of her other friends for a ride home, since friend #1 is still stuck at the hospital. Mom calls some other friends and manages to get a promise one of them will come meet her earlier flight. Around that same time I learn much to my shock and surprise, that the KC Royals are in the American League Wildcard Playoff game! IN Kansas City no less...OMG! I think Hell must've frozen over! Go Royals! Who'da Thunk It? So I am sure the traffic getting to and from MCI will not be 'ideal' shall we say?
Anyway, the chaos has damped down for now. Mom is safe in ORD, awaiting her flight, probably reading a book or crocheting an afghan (blanket, not person). She said she had a candy bar and a bag of Chex Mix with her, and some cash, so she shouldn't starve I guess.
Now, what should I fix for dinner?