Porcupyn's Blog

July 4, 2017

Alaska Trip – Day 1

Filed under: Family,Travel — Porcupyn @ 8:33 pm

T-1 day:

Baab comes to me and says, “Appa! Did you know that if we were flying out today, we would miss our connection at Chicago Midway? And our flight from Midway to Seattle is the last one for the day?”

Me: Huh?!!

Baab: Yes, four days over the last week, our flight out of Orlando was delayed due to weather, enough for it to miss the connection out of Midway!

Me: *fry me for an oyster* What would our options be if that happened to us?

Baab: Well … there is this flight the next day, where you can connect from Denver or Salt Lake City … and can get to Seattle by 11:30.

Me: 11:30? We need to get out, grab our checked in bag(s) from Southwest, check it back into Alaska and go back in through security and catch the 2:00 pm flight from Seattle to Juneau! We will be S.O.L.

Baab: Well …

Me: I hope we don’t get in that situation. Maybe we should leave earlier and see if we can get the earlier flight out of Orlando.

T-0:
We’re down to one check in bag among the five of us, which is certainly an achievement. Don’t get me wrong, we could’ve taken up to one check in bag per person (including my almost octogenarian mother) – SW would allow two per person, but our bottleneck there would’ve been Alaska and Delta – but we would have a tough time squeezing in those items into our rental cars, either in Anchorage or in Seattle – with the five of us, or without!! So, chalk that as a victory to myself that Mrs. Porcupyn and Katya haven’t mutinied and squished me before we even set out to the airport.

We are even ready by noon, but dilly dally until 1:30 pm – our flight, after all, is only at 6:30 pm! By 3:30 pm, under sunny skies, we are checked in and at our gate. Because of how nice the weather was, I haven’t even bothered inquiring about the availability of an earlier flight-and-connection with the check-in folks.

4:00 pm: I can see clouds building up. *no problem, that’s par for the course*

4:30 pm: Clouds are getting darker. I am Whatsapping photos of us at the gate to sundry friends and co-workers.

5:00 pm: It is raining.

5:15 pm: It is pouring. I cannot see past the jetway. Needless to say, our flight is yet to come in.

5:30 pm: I am at the gate agent, asking her if our flight would take off in time. She’s like, umm, yes, it looks like your flight should be landing shortly, and it should take off in time. And not to worry, if there are issues, there are flights to Las Vegas and Denver that she could put us on, and we could get to Seattle from there.

I nervously walk around to the next few gates and see which other westbound flights Southwest has going – there are flights to Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City. I am thinking in my mind, if there are connection issues, surely we should be able to get much closer to Seattle than Midway. But those gate agents inform me that they cannot do anything for me – I would have to go speak with the lady at my gate. More dense rains …

5:45 pm: I see on one of the monitors that our inbound flight has been diverted to Jacksonville! At this point, I run back to the agent. For better or for worse, I’m number 3 in line. It appears that she’s already re-routing the folks ahead of me. I wait (and sweat) it out. Folks bound for Kansas City and/or Indianapolis are ahead of me. I’m thanking my lucky stars that no one else is going to Seattle.

6:00 pm: It’s my turn – yippee yay yay!

Gate agent: How may I help you?

Me: Well, I had come here earlier as well … going to Seattle … flight connection …

GA: Yes, let me check. *hammers away at keyboard* Well, sir, let’s see – party of five?

Me: Yes. You’d said that you could connect us through Denver/Salt Lake City/…

GA: *still hammering away* Well, Denver and Salt Lake City flights don’t have any room.

Me: Huh? You said …

GA: Yes, but other flights have been delayed as well, and folks are being rebooked. I can put you this flight that will leave tomorrow evening and get into Seattle tomorrow night!

Me: Hhhhuuuuhhhh??!!! We have got to catch a flight out of Seattle in the afternoon tomorrow. We cannot afford to get there any later than, say, 11:30 am. *frantically beckoned Baab, who’s our resident genius of flight routes and availability*

Baab: I see seven seats on this combination that can put us in Seattle at 11:30.

GA: No sir, there is nothing available that can get you into Seattle before tomorrow evening.

Me: Baab, why don’t you tell her the flight combination?

Baab: *hands over his smartphone to GA*

GA: Ahaa! I got it. You guys are now going to stay on this flight to Chicago, then an early morning flight to Las Vegas, and then from there to Seattle. Yes, there is space for five. Let me re-book you guys.

*hands me fifteen, yes, FIFTEEN, boarding passes*

At about 8:00 pm, our plane finally lands in Orlando via Jacksonville ...

At about 8:00 pm, our plane finally lands in Orlando via Jacksonville …

... and is at our gate

… and is at our gate

More hiccups – our boarding passes failed to scan at the gate. Back to GA, who reprinted the boarding passes (now, I’m up to 30 boarding passes!). I notice now that instead of being in the Bxx boarding category, we are Cxx (I didn’t get that, as we had not really relinquished our MCO-MDW flight).

Finally, we push back from the gate, and the view is really nice!

Finally, we push back from the gate, and the view is really nice!

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