Friday, November 9, 2007

Traveling Woes

I had a business trip recently that made me ponder if traveling was really worth it.

This is my day trip to Orlando. I was scheduled to leave Chicago at 7:00 am sharp. I woke up bright and early at 4:15 am after one of the worst night sleep in a while. It just so happened that Jack decided the night before to have nightmares all night so I was up pretty much every hour or so all night. I left for the airport at 5:00 am thinking I had plenty of time. I did not take into account the accident that created a horrific traffic jam. I was moments away from the airport. I could see it; I could smell the airplane fuel. I watched my clock tick away- 6:00, 6:10, 6:25, 6:30. I finally pulled into the parking lot at 6:40. I ran to the security line and BEGGED people to let me cut in front of them. As I'm going through security, I can hear them call my name over the loudspeaker. It is now 6:55. I look at the gate assignment and it is far. I decide it is time to take off the 4 inch sling back shoes and make a run for it. I am running at top speed through the airport with my shoes in one hand and my laptop thumping against my hip with every step I take. I finally get to the gate and the door is closed. I beg the gate agent to open the door. After a quick call to the plane, they agree to let me on and I plop into my seat. I'm winded and sweating like a stuck pig at this point. I look to my left and say to the man sitting next to me, "Well, at least I don't have to worry about working out today".

Cut to me getting off the plane in Orlando. The plan is for me to meet a co-worker who is flying in from Texas at the airport and we will drive the rental car to the meeting. As soon as I'm walking off the plane, my cell phone alerts me of a new voicemail. Uh oh, I think to myself as I call the voicemail. Just as I suspected- "Hey Jen. Bad news. I missed my connecting flight in Dallas and I won't be able to make it to Orlando today. I can join the meeting by phone but you are going to have to go it alone." Ugh. This SUCKS!!!

Cut to after the meeting and I'm back at Orlando airport to catch my flight home. I had some extra time so I figured, I'm in Disney central! I might as well stop at the Disney store and get some gifts for the kiddies. $50 later I'm at my gate waiting to board the flight. Things are looking up for me. I got my upgrade to 1st class! As we land back in Chicago and taxi to the gate, I look under the seat for my belongings. I see my Disney bag has slipped under the feet of the person in front of me just out of my reach. I figure, I'm in no hurry. I'll grab it as I exit the plane. As I get off the plane and go to grab my bag from the seat in front of me, it occurs to me that the package is GONE!

The person in front of me took my package. He was an older gentleman, early 50's perhaps. I am stunned at this development. A first class passenger taking a clearly marked Disney bag filled with Hannah Montana and Cars toys???? I run off the plane. I ask the gate agent to make an announcement to see if he will come back. I didn't check any luggage because it was just a day trip for me but now it is 11:00 at night and I am tired and mad. I run down to the baggage claim because I know what he looks like. If I see him, I plan to confront him and shame him into returning my belongings.

Sad to say, I never found him... or the Disney bag for that matter :(

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