Flying back to winter (Ugh!)

Philadelphia Travel Blog

 › entry 21 of 22 › view all entries

As would be expected, this was a day from Hell! We had a 9:30AM flight and Princess said they'd provide transportation at 7:00. Since yesterday's "7:00 bus" left the hotel at 7:45 and given that it was an international flight, Frank & Pat had spoken to Princess and made arrangements for the 4 of us to be on a 6:00 van. We were up at 4:45 and in the lobby before 5:45. There was a van outside when we arrived in the lobby but it left with only one person at 5:45. A few minutes later we learned that THAT was our van and that Princess had not made arrangements for anyone other than that one person so when he arrived, the van left. A guy showed up a few minutes later who was apparently in charge of logistics for Princess. He was very uncooperative and even rude in reply to our complaints; he's definitely in the wrong business. He was full of excuses and made no attempt at resolution or even apology . In the end, we had the hotel order us our own van at a cost of US$60.

The flight left on time but was full, including a large group of what appeared to be High School soccer players from Argentina. They spent the entire 6 hours to Caracas in the aisles so it was a pretty stressful flight. In Caracas we had to get out of the plane while they disinfected it, then re-board. Things were rather confusing there but eventually we were on our way again.

We arrived in Miami on time and had just under 2 hours for the connection. Immigration wasn't too bad and customs was OK but there was a rather long delay for Department of Agriculture inspection. After that, we found ourselves outside of security and had to get screened again so by the time we headed for the gate, it was getting rather late. I'd noted earlier that we were to get the flight to PHL at C9. The walk toC9 was interminable and as we approached it, I checked the screen and saw that our flight was no longer listed! Checking with an agent, I learned it had moved to D45 and would be 90 minutes late! We walked what seemed like several additional miles to D45 and grabbed a pizza nearby. The terminal was mobbed and the crowd was loud so, given our already shredded nerves, we in pretty bad space. When we finally got on the plane there were further mechanical delays so we didn't land in PHL until after 1:30 AM. By the time we got the bags and picked out way to the airport Marriott and checked in, it was 2:45. Ugh!! Like I said, day from Hell!

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photo by: Ann_Hells