(This post is for those of you who keep up with my life via blog rather than through Facebook.)
My grandmother passed away in Illinois on Tuesday morning. I booked a flight through United--I was supposed to fly from Charlotte to O'Hare (on a flight operated by US Air) and then from O'Hare to Peoria, IL, on Thursday morning. My dad would pick me up and drive me to where I would be staying with an aunt and uncle before the funeral on Friday morning.
I got up at 3:30 a.m. on Thursday to make the drive to Charlotte for my 7:40 a.m. flight; after arriving, I found out that my flight had been cancelled. The US Air people, who were very nice, spent an hour finding a way to get me to Peoria. The best they could do was to get me on a flight that arrived in Atlanta shortly after 10 a.m. I would have to wait until nearly 9 p.m. for a Delta flight to Peoria.
Thankfully, I was able to fly standby on a flight leaving Atlanta around 3 p.m. My dad took me back to the airport to pick up my luggage, which was supposed to be arriving on my original flight shortly before 10 p.m. (Central time). The flight was a bit late, and then it took an hour after the flight's arrival for the luggage to start showing up at the baggage claim. Mine didn't show up. I began to remind myself of God's sovereignty and goodness, while simultaneously berating myself for packing two of my CPA review books, which caused me to have too much stuff to cram into a carry-on.
The airport baggage person sent us to the Delta ticket counter, where we found that the Delta people had already gone home for the night. My dad finally stepped behind the counter to find a baggage problem phone number. I called and spoke to a gentleman whose first language was apparently not English; he was able to look up the whereabouts of my luggage in the computer system and told me that it had been scanned in Peoria at 10:47 p.m. Too bad it was nowhere to be found.
So my dad and I made a midnight Wal-Mart trip to find me some important stuff such as a toothbrush, deodorant, and an outfit to wear to the viewing and the funeral. We managed to make it back to my aunt and uncle's house before 1 a.m., and I was thankful to get to bed fewer than 24 hours after having gotten up.
My dad and I drove to the airport (again) the next morning--after trying to call an airport phone number which nobody answered. We walked in, and I saw my luggage sitting in the office behind the Delta ticket counter. My stuff had apparently been locked in the office all night. They gave us my luggage without making any apologies, and we hurried to the funeral home, where I changed from my Wal-Mart outfit into my own clothes and made it to the viewing almost on time.
I was very thankful that I'd purchased only a one-way ticket so I could make the 12-hour drive home with my dad. He didn't hide my luggage from me.