Departure....and flight cancellations...and arrivals

Detroit Travel Blog

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The flight from Manchester to Philadelphia was long and uneventful. The in flight movies ranged from Monsters Inc (Ok, had to have a look as Billy Crystal was one of the voices) but soon got bored. First film I watched was…er…Watchmen…Really good – dark, brooding and worth watching again. Tried Pink Panther 2 –a remake with Steve Martin trying to follow the great Peter Sellers…really, shouldn’t have bothered…dire. Ended up watching Star Trek (the prequel) again –and found it better second time round.


Even the lunch was, dare I say it tasty…some sort of sweet and sour chicken thing – but I was so hungry it just disappeared…I was especially delighted to see it was accompanied by broccoli…


So we landed in Philly, on time, smooth. First stop –immigration. Up to now I thought the person requirement for a US Border Guard was sociopath/miserable/depressed. To my surprise the chap who saw me was actually pleasant…bit spooky being called by my first name by a complete stranger but I suppose they do that for a reason…


And so through to baggage claim (I naively thought the bag would magically be routed through to the onward flight…wrong. So I waited to collect…and waited. About to give up when I spotted the case – it was off the belt and stood opposite me (who did that?). Starting to worry now as less than 1 hour t flight and Philly is a BIG airport.


I’ll explain now before things get complicated. There are 6 terminals at Philly, A through to F. I arrived at A and my Nashville flight was departing from F. You can walk/get the moving walkway between A,B,C,D and E but there is a shuttle bus to get you from A to F (i.e. it’s a LONG way…). So I got the shuttle to terminal F. Made my way to the gate…no plane in sight.


When it got to departure time they announced that the flight was cancelled due to the wrong sort of rain on the runway or something…actually it was a hurricane moving through further south…we were told to go to ‘special services’ to get re-booked. Cue rush for queue….waited in line for a while then US Airways person told all of us for Nashville to go BACK to the gate to get our re-booked tickets…whoopee! Waited while list read out, my name not there (along with a few US so it wasn’t an anti Brit thing…). We were told to go back to special services…cue rush (queue rush?)…this time US Airways person handed out phone number to ring to get re booked…did so (thinking of cost!)..eventually got through and helpful US airways person eventually (after 25 minutes…ouch!) said she had re booked me on a Delta airways flight to Detroit (!!) which connected with a Nashville flight at 9pm…told me to go to terminal A (Delta terminal)….got so far then she said to go back as needed US Airways to print out boarding cards….found helpful person who wrote the flight numbers down…Delta 3236 to Detroit…feeling good now…


Off to Terminal A because…that’s where Delta flies from isn’t it?

So I took the shuttle to terminal A, went to see Delta person…but she sent me to US Airways to print out the boarding card. But they sent me back..a few times bouncing between the two until I found  a US Airways person who printed out my ticket ref….for NW Airlines…but it was due to leave from…Terminal E. So I walked from A to E (yes, through B, C,AND D…I now know Philly airport very well….


Got to E (slightly perspiring given that the flight was due to leave in 30 minutes)…Delta 3236 was listed but no gate. There was a NW flight from gate E4. To cut a long story short, eventually made it to E4 and presented my voucher…blank looks. Persisted and the lass put the magic number into the computer and hey!!!I was on!!


Relax, I thought, downhill from here…how wrong can you be? When we taxied out to take off, the pilot informed us that there were 20 (yes 20 planes-and I counted them!) ahead of us in the queue…eventually took off at 7.40..for a flight of 1 hour 10….I could make the connection!


It seemed to take ages to get down to land at Detroit, and then to taxi but sprinted off the plane at 5 to 9 to find…the gate was closed!! The plane was still there…but the doors were locked. Burst into tears. No I didn’t because I am a MAN and we don’t do that sort of thing….


Off to Delta where a nice person re booked me onto the 10.00 am departure for Nashville…so made my way to airport hotel and booked in ($99 plus taxes). Fantastic room, huge bed, massive TV…and great shower for which a gave many thanks…Feeling more human later, went to hotel bar where the lovely Donna poured me wine and made me chicken Panini. And so to bed, after setting 4 alarms to make sure jetlag didn’t stop me!

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