I may or may not make it tonight. Philadelpha to Chicago is delayed, so I may not make my connecting flight to San Antonio. If that happens, there are later flights, but they may all be sold out. I'm sure I'll get there sometime, but it may not be an ideal time for the evening's planned outing. (I'll definitely call the affected folks if I'll be late or won't make it.)
But in better news, after I decided there were no outlets near chairs, and sat down on the floor next to an outlet, the guy who'd been behind me in the security line spotted seats with a hidden outlet and waved me over. Hey, a familiar-looking white power adapter. Hey, another PowerBook. Hey, he looks familiar! Turned out to be Stuart Lynn, the former VP of Information Technologies at Cornell who I knew before I worked for CIT because I helped him and Steve Worona with computer issues a number of times. He grumbled about $6.95 for 24 hours of Clarity Connect wireless access in the airport, so I shared my Bluetooth cell phone connection out through my AirPort for him.
The late flight from Philadelphia to O'Hare got even later, and I would not have made the flight, so I'm glad the helpful US Airways gate agent worked at finding me another route. I'm now booked on Delta through Atlanta, arriving in San Antonio at 6:23 instead of 5:27.
And, I'm inhaling a couple of hot dogs and a pint of Yuengling at the pub near the gate, since the three fast food stands are mobbed. I gather this is one of the busiest days in PHL's history, since not only is it the start of a holiday travel weekend with most flights sold out or close to it, but they also had major weather delays and cancellations last night, leaving a lot of people stranded here. I ran into Dave Vernon as I arrived, looking a bit glazed as he headed toward his flight back to Ithaca after being stranded last night.
I'm not sure I could have helped it, but I left the secure area without realizing it, and after waiting on line for the security checkpoint for the new terminal I was supposed to go to, she told me I couldn't get in without a boarding pass, and should go "back downstairs." Well, I hadn't been downstairs, but I figured out where to go, and they told me to bypass the line on my way back. Of course, I ended up "selected" for thorough screening. Officially that's random, but in reality it happens reliably when you're rebooked.
Dunno if it's better to be stuck in Atlanta than in Chicago for a few hours, but at least I found a Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits!
I'm stuck in Atlanta for a couple of hours. Apparently everything is slowed down in the entire New York to southeast corridor, so when we left Philadelphia late after getting boarded nearly on time, the captain came on the speakers and told us they'd been told to do an extra circle leaving PHL airspace and then fly about 100 knots slower than usual, to come into Atlanta later.
Naturally, the ONLY on-time flight ANYWHERE today was the one leaving Atlanta for San Antonio, which was already gone when a bunch of us got there from the Philly flight two minutes before the scheduled departure.
I asked the guy who rebooked me on the next flight for a phone card to call the friends I was going to meet tonight (which I won't actually use, but could come in handy for emergencies) and a meal voucher. Then in my excitement at finding a Popeye's I forgot to use the meal voucher! So I'm now enjoying a Glenfiddich courtesy of Delta at the Magnolia Grill.
That reminds me... more ammo in my campaign to get US Airways to start carrying decent scotch and bourbon... Delta has Glenmorangie and Blanton's on some flights!
I've already called Eric and Shay to let them know I wasn't going to hit San Antonio until about 9, so driving to Austin no longer sounded like a good idea. I'm lucky I'm rooming with Martin, since he's already checked into the hotel, a key is waiting for me, and I can just show up. I'll deal with cancelling the rental car later; Priceline says if flight delays beyond your control result in you not being able to use your prepaid rental, they'll refund it.
As J.C. commented, this mess, which is apparently being repeated all over the eastern seaboard if not all over the country, is an excellent reason not to have this conference on holiday weekends.
My original second flight got to Chicago two and a quarter hours late, but my original third flight left Chicago for San Antonio two and a half hours late. I would have made the connection with plenty of time... and gotten into SAT about two hours behind schedule.
This must be why my luggage beat me to San Antonio... on United. I spotted both pieces in the United baggage office when I got down to the baggage claim area.
"I'm not even supposed to be here today!" definitely applies, but that's fine. There are lots of folks already here, and I'll get to relax tonight and tomorrow.