Grand Canyon Family Trip 2016, Part Eight in Travels with ConnieK

  • Sept. 23, 2016, 1:27 p.m.
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  • Public

I’m usually not in pictures. I’m usually taking them and selfies horrify me. Eldest son’s girlfriend snapped this one of the two of us and I think it captures us perfectly:

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Our final day on our trip nearly did me in. We arrived at the Flagstaff airport at 10 am on the dot, two hours ahead of schedule. Flagstaff is a very small airport. When the American Airlines (I think it is the ONLY commercial carrier there) finally opened their counter, they informed us that our flight to Phoenix was delayed until 1:30. Since we booked through Travelocity, they had to tell us about the change and they did. On my home phone. You know, the one we were taking a vacation from? Yeah, that one, they leave a message on. The cell phones? Not a word.

So we knew we’d miss the connecting flight to Tampa, but things don’t always go as planned. We sat in the observation deck and the kids walked over to the air show. We returned to the airline counter at 1 PM, only to be told that the airplane was just about to land when the landing gear malfunctioned, so they flew back to Phoenix.
Which begs a question. Actually, two. Don’t they have to land in Phoenix with the SAME MALFUNCTIONING LANDING GEAR? And if they only carry enough fuel to get from Phoenix to Flagstaff, as they said when we were flying in, how come they have enough fuel for a round trip now?

After 20 minutes, they decide to bus our group of 11 people to Phoenix. They promise the bus will be there “any minute now”. An hour later, they were right! By that time, I’d taken a Xanax, so I slept the entire drive, avoiding the non-stop talker sitting next to my son. Rebooking was a nightmare. At first they wanted to take us to Miami, then Orlando, and then finally Tampa, arriving at noon. Instead, the kids searched around and found a more direct flight, arriving at ten am. We took that one.

American Airlines agreed to refund the Flagstaff to Phoenix portion of our ticket but they reneged on this later, claiming they DID get us to our Phoenix destination, even though it wasn’t by airline. So next time they can send us by donkey cart? They comped us a $60 food voucher (for our group of 5…we were missing dinner AND breakfast the next day). They refunded us $1000 (total cost was $3K). I thought it should have been $1400 to $1600 since the delay was mechanical. They wouldn’t even comp us the $60 entry for the Admiral’s Club, expecting us to wait 6+ hours in the terminal. We bought it anyway. Seats were more comfortable, the drinks and snacks were free, and the bathrooms were luxury. We sat in there until they kicked us out at 12:30 am.

After starting on Saturday morning, we were home by noon on Sunday, which is when I caught my second wind. I believe by this time, I’d been up for 24 hours, with cat naps here and there. I pulled out an easy supper I’d planned on before leaving, did a load of laundry, put away the packing, sifted through mail & prioritizing, cleared out e-mail, attacked the sugar ants that invaded in my absence, and showered (Lord, did THAT feel good!). We ate dinner and I was in bed by 7. I think I got up around 9 the next morning, so jet lag adjustment was a calk walk.

Despite the grueling return trip, I’m SO glad I did not miss seeing this area! I now have the kids pictures, so expect a few photo-heavy entries to follow.

GypsyWynd September 23, 2016

Great picture of the two of you!
The return trip sounds like quite an ordeal. Funny about Travelocity calling the home phone.

ConnieK GypsyWynd ⋅ September 23, 2016


Eriu September 23, 2016

What a smile! A lovely photo! I love to travel but am NOT patient when things go wrong (I spent 12 hours in O'Hare earlier this year). Still, I love trips and am trying to decide where to go for my next vacation.

ConnieK Eriu ⋅ September 23, 2016

12 hours at O'Hare qualifies for a presidential medal!
We're thinking of either West Coast: San Fran, Redwood Forest, Wine country
New England: Boston, Concord/Lexington, Acadia Nat'l Forest, Salem, Rockport

Shattered September 23, 2016

Oh my! WHAT a nightmare. Glad you finally made it home safely.

ConnieK Shattered ⋅ September 23, 2016

Thanks. It was exhausting.

woman in the moon September 23, 2016

Nice picture of you guys. Sorry about the delays on the way home. Travel is nerve wracking. As if I know. But I look forward to your next trip.

ConnieK woman in the moon ⋅ September 23, 2016

Thanks. I'm going to bore you with more pictures of this trip, unfortunately! LOL!

woman in the moon ConnieK ⋅ September 24, 2016

No, they're all good.
ps You have a great smile.

QueenSuzu September 24, 2016

Very nice picture of you and chuck! What is in your hand? Not such a good ending to a wonderful vacation but you sure do have the story to tell.

ConnieK QueenSuzu ⋅ September 24, 2016

Thanks! I'm holding a walking stick. :)

Ferret Mom September 24, 2016

Freaky about the malfunctioning landing gear.

Looking forward to the photo heavy entries.

ConnieK Ferret Mom ⋅ September 24, 2016

I've been crazy busy, but will try to get to it soon.

Ferret Mom ConnieK ⋅ September 24, 2016

No worries. :)

M September 25, 2016


middle age pearl September 29, 2016

"Technically" speaking that was BS.

GREAT picture and wonderful smile!! You and husband sure looked like you were having a great time.

ConnieK middle age pearl ⋅ September 29, 2016

Thanks! We had a BALL!

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