Long Day Is No Child’s Play

December 16, 2007

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

I was traveling home from Madrid to Houston this summer with my children, ages 9 and 7. We woke up at 6 a.m. in Madrid. Once at the airport, we realized that airlines weren’t labeled on the outside of the terminal, and we had to wander up and down the terminal to find ours (no signs inside, either).

We ended up packed onto a 757 for the all-day flight to Newark. Flight attendants were surly and the plane was uncomfortably full. Delays on the Madrid tarmac meant that when we got off the plane, we had only 1.5 hours to clear immigration, get our bags, clear customs, then recheck our bags before our next flight. We sprinted and sweated through it all only to find out that our flight to Houston had been delayed for an hour. We were initially happy to relax a bit, but as we checked, our flight kept getting pushed later and later. Our flight that should have left at 5 finally boarded at 10, which I should add is 4 a.m. Madrid time. The kids and I had been up for 22 hours.

We got to Houston at 1 a.m. local time, and apparently the airport had already sent home all of its baggage handlers, because our entire flight sat in baggage claim until 2 a.m. waiting for luggage! What a day!

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