Monday, April 7, 2014

A Visit to SoFL

Got the call last week, my step mothers dad had passed away at the age of 93.

Booked travel, and headed down to South Florida, the Lake Worth/West Palm Beach area. Had been scheduled to run The Hollywood Half Marathon over the weekend, but that wasn't in the cards.

So, a trip back to where I lived for 10 years, but this time I'm the visitor/tourist. And it was a trip. I got to visit dad, get to the services, get a few runs in, and let US Airways and Budget turn the whole thing into a bit of an Odyssey.

Starting with the travel, because, really, I have to vent. Got to LAX early for a 6AM flight,  yeah, early for a 6AM flight. One carryon bag, one personal item, just like it says in the rules. Went to the counter to see if I could get out of the middle seat in the back. Was told "no", but would you volunteer to give your bag up to be checked, the flight is over-full. I asked directly, will it be ok, will it make the connection. She said "absolutely, plenty of time in Charlotte." Got on the plane, and just to make a point, there was a ton of open space in the overheads.

So all that was a lie. Or at least a misrepresentation. Changed planes in Charlotte, and landed, after delays, an hour late in West Palm. No bag. So, she was wrong, it could get lost. The tool at the lost baggage center essentially blamed me for checking it. Told me "At least 20 people touch it in Charlotte, so you never know what can happen". When I pointed out the contradiction with the desk's statement he backed off a little. When I asked for his manager, he actually started to help. He told me the bag was still in Charlotte, would be landing in West Palm by 6:30PM, and he would get it to the hotel immediately. (Went to get my car at Budget, that was an hour of pain I'll pass on sharing)

Well, that didn't happen. Got back to the hotel at 10, no bag. Called US Airways, was told that the bag was still at the airport, and was scheduled for delivery after 12AM, probably after 1AM. I told them to skip it, and I would drive back to the airport and get it myself. Turned out they were wrong/lying as well.

Half way back to the airport, I get a call on my cell from a delivery guy. He's at the hotel with my bag, can he leave it with the front desk. Whatever.

SO the desk agent at LAX could have said, it should get there but you never know, and I would have kept my bag. But she didn't. The baggage agent in WPB could have been less of an asshole and at least known what was happening, but he didn't. And US Airways could have known the bag as already on the way to me, but of course....

Just to make the trip right, they blew it on the way home too. My flight from WPB to LAX had a stop over in Charlotte. So, they said, if you get off the plane, don't go far. Well, that was another lie/misinformation. Turns out an earlier flight to Chicago had equipment problems. So BECAUSE THEY CAN, they took the our plane and moved it to that flight. Now we're delayed, gate changed, and waiting. No explanation, no apology, nothing. Only got the story by standing over the desk agent while she spent 10 full minutes running the true story down.

Thanks for listening.

Ok, no more venting, back to the running blog thing this is supposed to be.

Visiting older family in Florida, maybe the first time in ages I was the young kid in the room at 50. So take advantage of it.

I got to hit beach and run, I got the hide from the heat and hit the treadmill a few times, and I got to visit my dad, make the services and make it back to Cali in one piece.

Maybe next time, I'll focus more on the trip and less on the travel?