Wednesday, June 20, 2007

No, I Don't Want to be Your Neighbor

I have a newfound, intense dislike for Mr. Rogers.

For our friends overseas who may not be familiar with Mr. R, he hosted a children's program in which he would take kiddies into a world of make-believe. He was pleasant, kindly, and now, he has just insinuated himself into my dreams.

Along with a few extremely rude snorers.

It wasn't JetBlue's fault. Last night there were no flights to New York. I watched the sign as first they were all delayed, then later cancelled. Delta... USAir... Continental. JetBlue. Hey, that's me!

By the time I got to the gate, there was a massive line of people. What were they waiting for? Re-booking on the morning flight? Refunds? Will someone please give out information? There's a plan.

No information was forthcoming. I tried the phone. Huge wait there too. Tried the internet... there were lots of flights in the morning, all booked solid. If I returned my JetBlue ticket and connected through Boston, I could get home by noon. Except I've been trying to get a tax appointment for weeks, and this is my last chance before I leave town for three months. And the hair appointment at noon--my student colorist only has class on Wednesday.

There's always another way. But as I waited... and waited... all the other ways were evaporating.

By the time I got to the front of the line, a girl was tearing up. Her flight to London was leaving now. She'd been trying to get to New York all day. The man in front of me was emotional. "My wife is sick! Who will take care of her tonight?"

There were no flights going to New York. None.

While waiting in line, I checked Amtrak. Nothing until tomorrow morning. Greyhound? There was one leaving at 11:15. Eight hours home. Then commuting home. I'd be home by 8:30. How to get downtown to the bus station?

I got my money back from JetBlue and tried one more thing, as the masses collapsed around me. "What do you mean there are no flights to Puerto Rico for two days?"

The poor JetBlue rep lost it and called the police. The thugs in question looked puzzled. Were they upset? Sure! Had they expected their comment that there is no rain in Puerto Rico and that was an airline fabrication to go so wrong?

The police came as I used Mobissimo to find them a different flight. "You'll have to connect through Boston to get on tomorrow night's flight out of Newark. $500 each."

Meanwhile, I'd booked myself a 5:45 a.m. flight to Philadelphia. A train up would take an hour to Newark. Maybe I'm manage to show up showered and with a pile of tax documents, sheepishly shoving it at my accountant along with complicated international taxes.

Now, where shall I sleep? Did I see a children's play area? The one with the eternal loop of Mr. Rogers playing on the monitor?


Anonymous said...

I saw Mr Rogers on Tom Snyder once, many, many years ago. He was hilarious, with an utterly filthy sense of humor.

Which makes one kind of worry about his neighbors.

Brett said...

I love the Pittsburgh airport, it's like a mall and has a great video game room.

Sara Kocher said...

I got tossed of a plane in Pittsburgh once, at about four am (not just me, the whole planeload of us, due to some kind of mechanical problem with the plane). I remember it as one of the most uncomfortable places I've ever slept. And that was without Mr. Rogers. He's great guy and all, lots of good memories there, but I don't want to sleep with him.