Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm Baaaacck!

Oh my gosh, you would not believe it if I told you lol. Our return home trip from Guatemala was considered the trip from HELL!

First, when we arrived at the airport I tried to use the self check in kiosk for my tickets. After several tries, including one that was done by American Airlines personnel as well-it spit out a ticket telling me my request could not be processed and to see the ticketing agent.

Knowing that was NOT a good sign, off I went. Because we'd purchased tickets before they started charging additional for a second bag, and we were checking 4 bags, the ticket agent had a hard time getting that additional bag checked for no cost. Then, we were informed our 11:30 am flight had changed to 1:30. That meant we would miss our connection in Miami, and the ticketing agent said that they would put us on the 9:15 plane Miami to Boston, so we called our relatives who would be picking us up and let them know it'd be around midnight before we got in to Boston.

Our plane took off from Guatemala at the right time, and although we hit a little turbulence flying in to Miami, all went well. Now of course, we had to wait a few hours until our next flight. Because of my luck, the gate our new flight was booked at was the furthest away from where we landed and we had to take a sky train, and then walk outside in the hot hot Miami weather (100 degrees or more I swear!) due to construction at the airport, to get us to the right gate.

Having some time to spare, we had a great meal at one of the airport restaurants and headed back to our gate. Boarding time came and went, due to the rumble of thunder outside and the occasional cloud to ground lightning I knew we weren't going anywhere until the storm was over. I was correct.

After not one but TWO thunderstorms, it was around 11pm and our pilot came to tell us that the plane we were supposed to fly on was damaged (something to do with the computer and landing system) he'd hoped that it would be fixed but they couldn't do anything until after the storms passed. Finally, a half hour later (everyone was growing very impatient) they announced that we would be taking another plane and that it wouldn't be ready until 12:45 am due to transfer of luggage to the new plane at the next gate. Sigh...

By 1:30 am (we were supposed to have a 10 pm 7/22 arrival in Boston) on 7/23 we took off. We arrived in Boston very sleepy and grumpy at around 4:30 am. Close to 5 am, we hurried for our luggage. Hubby scooped up one of our bags and a few others got some of their bags. Then the belt stopped. Oh no, this was NOT good... we had 3 more bags to go-and in them was perishable chicken (Pollo Campero fried chicken from Guatemala which hubby had been paid for by family and friends to bring chicken to them). I was already worried about the chicken due to the extreme heat in the US and had told hubby that it might be spoiled. Now, we were told our luggage was lost or delayed (later informed that they never even transferred it to the 2nd plane in Miami!) and we needed to call the toll free number to file a claim with American. By now, hubby and I both knew this $200 worth of fried chicken wasn't going to be any good by the time it got to us.

We were right. Because of being so tired, we spent the night in Rhode Island where we'd left the car at hubby's sisters. I was exhausted, so we got a hotel room and were able to sleep during the afternoon for awhile-something we couldn't do at my sister in law's house. We also had NO clothes, so I had to go to Walmart to get a shirt and some undies for me and some undies and a cheap outfit for Deja. Hubby didn't want anything, lol.

I kept checking with baggage services, who informed me that they would deliver my bags once found to my house in Maine. At 10 pm Saturday night I got an automated message on my cell that they'd located our bags and they were scheduled to be picked up by the delivery service and delivered to our house in Maine. The next morning, Sunday, the delivery driver called me around 9 am to tell me that my bags were delivered. My mom went over to bring them into the house, and I informed her to open the bags and get the chicken out. Apparently the chicken had spilled everywhere in the bag, and it was a greasy, rotten mess. One bag ruined... My sister in law had packed some sort of peach applesauce textured thing in a plastic container in yet another bag... yup, it had leaked my mom informed me. And it smelled BAD. Yup, yet another bag down. Finally, the bag that we had gotten off the plane (bought it brand new mind you) had a huge rip in the front and the front pocket was almost torn off. So 3 damaged bags, no recourse for damaged bags (except for maybe the ripped one) due to perishables spoiling in them and no recourse for the couple hundred bucks of chicken we were out.

We got home Sunday around 5 pm and I immediately set to doing laundry. (my sister in law had brilliantly packed her peach applesauce with clothing, lucky for me nothing was stained but just a sticky mess which was resolved once it was put in my washer) It will be awhile before I fly the not so friendly skies again-and I've already informed hubby no liquids and no more chicken in the checked bags!!!

I've yet to pick a winner for my giveaway, but I will later tonight. I have also been suffering from what appears to be a ganglion cyst on my left wrist... I hope to make an appt. soon at the doctor's and I can so see a surgical procedure ahead. Lucky for me I am mostly right-handed, so it should not affect my job too much. So, I'm glad to be back-I apologize for the lack of posts, but with SLOW Guatemalan internet I am loving my DSL right about now. Have a great week everyone, and I will post the winner later tonight!


Elle said...

Hi Michele! Trying to reach you about the Alouette Cheese giveaway on my blog, Elle's New England Kitchen. You won, but didn't leave an email address. Luckily, you left the link to your tweet about it! ;) I tweeted you, and I also need your shipping info. Please email me at ellenekitchen at gmail dot com. Thanks!

Expat Mom said...

Ugh, what a disaster! Did you get anything for the messed up bag? I wonder if they let you carry chicken onto the plane (obviously not that much of it, but a single family pack)? I packed a ton of stuff for us, mostly tinned beans in the luggage and then granola bars and snacks in the carry ons, but my boys would be really thrilled to have Pollo Campero in the air!