After being in a hotel in Memphis all week, I looked forward to my own bed on Friday night. But 34-minute connection in Houston made me nervous. When a late afternoon meeting fell apart, I high-tailed it to the airport, where I asked if I could be wait-listed on an earlier flight.
The answer: “You would have had to be checked in by 4:08 for that flight.”
My phone told me it was now 4:11. The flight was scheduled for 4:38. “So for the sake of three minutes, we can’t even try?”
Nope. Then I said I was concerned about missing my connection and asked what the options would be if that happened.
No more flights out of Houston until 6:30 a.m.
“So if I miss the connection, I should expect to spend the night in the airport.” Talking to myself more than him.
“Anything over 30 minutes is a legal connection, ma’am.” This good news delivered with a smile.
I shrugged. “Legal and likely are not the same thing. Are you sure we can’t try?” Delivered with a smile as well.
Thankfully a more seasoned agent stepped in and said the aircraft had not even arrived yet. There certainly was time to get me on it. I was feeling pretty smug.
So I got to Houston with about two hours between flights, which turned out to be good since it took 38 minutes (not 34) to deplane, get my bag at the jetway, and change terminals for the second flight. That only made me feel smugger about my Memphis triumph.
Then my phone buzzed. The 8:59 flight was delayed until 10:22 p.m. Then to 12:06 a.m. Then to 1:18. Then cancelled. The rush to the service counter was thunderous. Forty minutes later, I got rebooked—on my original flight, 24 hours later.
Thus, the nicely discounted hotel room in Houston, with a courtesy late check-out time. I slept late, I carried my breakfast back down the hall from the lobby to eat in bed, and I am thinking hard whether there is any reason to get out of bed in the next three hours. (Well, except to go out to the pool.)
I was trying so hard not to be traveling for my day job on a Saturday, to have Saturday for getting back in my home groove, to have Saturday to do things like write blog posts, to get ready for a busy Sunday.
But maybe this buffer day, feeling pampered and rested, was not such a bad thing after all. Whatever work there is to do at home will still be there tomorrow. But for today, I have a perfect excuse for not doing it.