A Circuitous Route Home

July 22nd, 2013

This weekend I was in Washington for a reception Saturday night. I think my route home was among the most circuitous I have taken. My original flight on Southwest was scheduled to leave Reagan at 6:55 p.m. By 2:00 p.m., the flight was already delayed till 8:10. This would have guaranteed that I missed my connection in St. Louis. I went to the airport early to see what they could do. Everything else that day to Houston was sold out (there was a flight to Austin, and I could’ve rented a car, but no seats). So I could either way for the flight from D.C., and risk getting stranded in St. Louis (bad weather in the Midwest), or take a hotel in Arlington, and get rebooked the next day. (Same day airfare on United was about $900).

I chose the latter, and picked a 6 a.m. Airtran flight to Houston with a stop in Atlanta. I hotwired a hotel, and got the Crystal City Sheraton (I’ve stayed there a few times before). I set my clock for 3:30 a.m., and drag myself to the lobby where I waited for a cab to the airport. I was so tired that I didn’t even look at my phone (I was planning on checking it in the cab). Out of the corner of my eye, I see the monitor in the lobby that shows my 6 a.m. flight was cancelled. (I suspect the inbound flight last night never made it to DCA).

I called Airtran, which transferred me to Southwest (it’s complicated after the merger apparently), and the only flight out of DCA was at 6:55 p.m., the original flight that I didn’t take yesterday. I did not want to spend an entire day in Washington. So the only other option was out of BWI. At that moment the cab pulled up, and I called an audible and said take me to Union Station. If I was going home it was through BWI. After an hour on the phone (computer delays), they booked me on a 9 a.m. flight out of BWI to Houston, with a same-plane stopover in Raleigh-Durham. I booked it on the 4:50 northeast regional Amtrak (the Marc train hadn’t started running north yet). And of course I missed my stop (a nice hour detour), and wound up in Baltimore’s beautiful Penn Station, where I took the Marc back to BWI. Took the shuttle to the terminal, and three hours later, I boarded my flight. And now I’m home.

I think this may be one of my most circuitous trips home. I was in Virginia, D.C., Maryland, North Carolina, and Texas in a 10 hour span. Though it doesn’t rival 7 airports in 6 days¬†or 6 airports in 36 hours.