I did my best to stay relaxed and get rested last night and did so by picking a movie from my Netflix selection, which only seems to get bigger as I rarely sit down to tackle the films I pick. I am sure this a problem many users have. I narrow my selection down to Requiem for A Dream, a JFK documentary, and a South Korean mystery, psychological thriller called Oldboy. Thinking I might see some kung fu, I choose Oldboy, not knowing how ever discovered this moving (I later traced it back to a Tony Jaa movie I watched a few months ago, Ong Bak 2, that turned out to be a roller coaster ride of one crazy fight scene after the next....check it if your down with "the arts").
I have to tell you, because I respected this movie so much after seeing it, Oldboy is badass. I could write an entire blog on it (and might just) but I will merely wet your pallet here to encourage a viewing. Oldboy is a movie from 2003 that follows the story of a drunken man who is kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years before waking up one day in the outside world. He then tries to figure out what has happened to him, why people believe he murdered his wife while still confined, where his daughter is, who the man who kidnapped and restrained him is, and how to kill him. I won't say anything more for now. Just see it!
After the epic conclusion, I go to sleep and wake to make my journey to MSY Airport. Despite leaving two and a half hours early, I greatly underestimate the level of morning traffic in New Orleans. Wish someone had given me the heads up about this.
Sometimes, the price of experience is great.
With time running short and a series of muttered curse words already uttered under my breath I struggle for several minutes to find the parking garage I'm supposed to use. I get to my destination and literally sprint through the entrance of MSY. My flight isn't scheduled to leave for another forty minutes. No problem...or so I think. Upon arriving at the check-in desk, a stoner looking character who is twiddling away on his phone looks up and says, "Nah man, planes already closed."
You gotta be kidding me.
No worries. Since I wear my sunglasses at night, I keep my calm and try to talk with the guy to see what can be done. Nothing, he says.
Two other people come in and are denied access. One goes into a rage. I'm thinking if we all raise enough hell someone will let us on this damn tin can, but nobody seems to be here except the monkey behind the counter. Finally, the manager shows up, and kindly tells us the plan has departed.
Thank you. You have been very helpful.
"Can we get another flight out today?"
"No, there are no more flights today. The next one will be two days from now."
What the shit! Do you people send one plane out and then call it a day? So now, if I take this reschedule, I will miss two days in Denver and will either have to find someone to stay with in New Orleans or go back home, only to make the return drive Saturday. Not happenin.
"Can we get refunds since you wouldn't let us on."
"Hmm, I don't know. Call this number to see."
Spoiler alert: You DO NOT get your fucking money back when Frontier Airlines decides they won't let you on your plane. To make a long story short, I was on hold a half hour before I was told this by an agent who said it as calm as a Hindu cow in a much less exciting way. I did my best to seem angry and super inconvenienced (which I was in both regards) but it's hard to play the part when I know that the defusion of responsibility is so great, that no matter who I talk to, nobody is truly at fault for my predicament and can't really do anything about it. If anyone can be blamed, it's me. But please, for the love of God, don't make me admit that. At least not today.
So I'm still trying to figure out what I will do about my predicament. I have my contacts in Denver who are expecting me know what's up and they kindly help me look for alternatives. My sweet mom, at home with my niece who can be a handful, is now dealing with her frustrated son who has her also searching for a way out.
My Denver friend makes the suggestion I keep my return flight with Frontier and book a one way flight with someone else today. Hey, why let all the money go down the drain? Might as well use them for something, and they do owe me a return flight. It's a solid idea, besides the fact it will cost me a pretty penny. Something that is not adding to my totally awesome mood. I ask my mom to scan the web for flights. She confirms a finding by my Denver friend and I go to book it.
Then, I get the e-mail.
Frontier Airlines has canceled my return flight that they owed me.
Or something like that...
And so...I find myself on the phone, on hold, AGAIN, this time for an hour since nobody is at the Frontier desk anymore (Remember? Because they sent out there one 9am plan for the day and then went to the stripe clubs). I sit with another one of the abandoned Frontier flyers who was with me earlier and see she is also trying to make it work out. The other girl who was left in the cold took the Saturday flight like a conformist, but hey, you do what you have to do, I'm not haten. Anyway, I'm still sitting there, me and this other lady, both of our phones on speaker waiting for someone to pick up.
The same hold music is playing in sync from both our phone speakers. The scene could almost be romantic if we both weren't considering arson.
I haven't eaten today and have been up since six thirty and I'm refusing to do so until I have a plan of action. With my luck, by the time I get this return flight reinstated, the ticket I wanted to purchase to get to Denver will already be bought by someone else. Thankfully, I get my return back without saying nasty things into the phone. I book another outgoing flight.
At the end of the ordeal, I have paid a $300 mistake and now have a flight course that, instead of my original 2 hour non-stop, will take all day to complete, and I will have lost an entire afternoon in Colorado. On top of all this, I am exhausted from everything, including my few hours of sleep last night.
The TSA lines are extra long today and my first hour in the terminal I secretly wish I could just go home. I realize I still haven't eaten. I brought two packs of "emergency" oatmeal in my book bag for days I go hiking or whatever other reason. Having spent more than twice the amount of money I expected to spend before even leaving the airport, I decide, I am indeed, in a state of emergency. In this state, purchasing the normal $10 sandwich at ANY airport restaurant is instantly out of my broke ass trip budget. And so, I break out a pack of oatmeal, pour it into my water bottle, and drink my first meal of the day at twelve o'clock at the B7 gate.
After that, I do something I never though I'd do successfully in an airport terminal. I fall asleep laying on the ground, my backpack and bundled hoodie as pillows with the sleeve draped over my eyes. I wake up and walk around waiting for my flight. My cousin Hope sends me a picture that one of her students has drawn for her projects. Its the Slender Man. Its pretty awesome. I start reading a book that I pulled from the shelf at home called, "Never Cry Wolf", a true story of a lone Canadian biologist who goes to the Arctic to live and study wolves for over a year. It draws me in and the time passes.
Before long, I am boarding the flight and feeling better. I release my frustration I had toward Frontier. I don't hold it against them. For the first time that day, my excitement is restored for my trip. I don't think about the extra money that has gone from my pocket. It is in the past, and I am on my way now. I don't think of my lost day in Colorado. The mountains will still be there to great me in the morning. What is done cannot be undone and I will not live with the problems that existed a few hours ago. Fair weather is in my future, I am sure of it.
Colorado, take me in.