Saturday, December 13, 2014

A nice sunny day in Atlanta, but a Toronto snowstorm jeopardizes my flight home

My wife gave me a heads up that a storm was forecast for Toronto and could disrupt my flight plans home. 

Sure enough, just as I was wrapping up my work in Atlanta the text came in that my flight home was cancelled.   As it happened, I was finishing early and I got on the phone early to Expedia, then Air Canada.  

One small wrinkle was that I had arranged last minute to visit another customer on the way to the airport as I ironically thought I had time.

The next wrinkle would be my rental car.   The extra time it takes to drop off a rental car was exasperated by the many miles between the international terminal and the rental car center.

When I reach air Canada (pleased that it took much less than the predicted 35 min wait time), they tell me I've already been rebooked for an 11am flight the next day.  After some sweet talking, Air Canada confirm that I can get on the 1:35pm (delayed from the morning).  It is about noon and the GPS tells me my ETA is 12:35pm.   That is very tight to drop the car off, check in, go thru security and get to my gate.  

I hunt for the airport Hertz number, trying not to drive off the road.   I decide to call my wife (happy to be traveling with my Bluetooth headset) and see if she could find it and send it to me.   I call Hertz and plead my case hoping someone could meet me curbside at the terminal.  Confusion, unanswered transfers, dropped calls and voicemails.  I arrive at the international terminal as a manager's voicemail greeting is coming thru my earpiece.  Alas, the idea of dropping my rental off at the curb only seems to be a possibility in a stand up comedy bit.

I drive all the way to Hertz and I'm greeted by the typical speedy return team and say I'm in a rather big rush.   I'm quickly offered a valet service back to the terminal.   And luckily my driver, Tenicia was fast and friendly.   She appreciated my advice about marriage and I got to the terminal at about 1pm.

The Air Canada check-in desk was abandoned, but luckily I had printed my boarding pass for my original flight.  I was at the international terminal in the middle of the day so the security lineup was very short and the gate was very close.  

Now the moment of truth, was the Air Canada agent going to let me check in with less than 30 mins to departure...


Thank you Expedia, Tenicia at Hertz and Air Canada. 

I'm heading home.