Mylie and I arrived at the airport at roughly 4:00 pm on Tuesday the 16th. We checked in our bags and made our way through security without any problems. We were excited that our flight did not leave until 6:30 pm because it gave us time to do a final check over on all the directions and small things we might need for our trip to Scotland. We approached our gate only to find out that the flight was delayed for an hour. We were so happy about our trip the delay didn’t bother us at all.
Two and a half hours passed and we hear over the intercom that our flight is going to arrive at a new gate so we had to relocate to the new gate. As we approached the new gate location we hear a voice on the intercom saying that there is a problem with the plane, there is a light burnt out on the control panel so they need to replace the light before we can take off. Mylie and I started to worry about our connecting flight into Edinburgh, so she went up to the counter and inquired about if we would make the connecting flight. The Delta employee said, ‘She was sure we could make the connection.’ Eight o’clock rolled around and we are still sitting in the Norfolk airport, stress starts to set in because if we don’t get off the ground by 8:30 pm we will miss our connecting flight to Scotland.
8:45 pm came and we hear the announcement, ‘We are sorry but this flight is now canceled due to problems with the aircraft.’ Mylie raced up to the counter and became the first person in line. Mylie explained to the Delta employee that we had a connecting flight out of JFK airport and need to get to Scotland. The woman looked at the computer for a few seconds and responded, “We can put you on a flight for arrival in Edinburgh on Dec. 19th or we could issue you a full refund for your tickets.” Today was the 16th and they said the only flight they had that could get us to Scotland was on the 19th -Three days later! One major problem with this outside of it being three days after our plans to arrive was we had an appointment with the registrar office on the 19th to fill out our paperwork to get married. Scotland requires that you fill out the paper work three days prior to the wedding ceremony, among other ‘odd’ rules for getting married. If we did not attend this appointment we COULD NOT get married.
Mylie explained to the Delta employee that we were getting married and have already invested money into this event and there is no way we could arrive in Scotland on the 19th. The Delta employee offered to give us a refund and when she saw the flames flare up in Mylie’s eyes, the Delta employee offered to make a phone call to see what she could do for us. Hours and hours passed, and Delta kept telling us fly on the 19th or get a refund.
Frustration was building in all of us, Mylie, me and the Delta employee. We were not leaving until we found a compromise to get us to Scotland in a reasonable time. I found it hard to believe that there were no planes flying to Scotland before the 19th and the Delta employee was not doing anything to release this disbelief. One of the Delta phone conversations went like this, “Hi, this is (insert Delta employees name) at Norfolk, I am requesting a tracker. I have a couple here who is getting married in Scotland soon and their flight was just canceled, Yes, No, the flight was canceled due to maintenance problems. I see we have a flight here but the seats are in business class, what?, No, oh, we can’t do that? No, I don’t see any other flight leaving for Scotland. Ok, thanks” She hangs up the phone and looks at us and says, “We can offer you a full refund.”
We did this dance until 12:30 am, then she said, “We can fly you into Amsterdam tomorrow morning then you can fly into Glasgow from there, arriving in Glasgow on the 18th.” After eight hours of sitting in the airport, we finally reached an agreement so we said, “YES, we will do that!” Then the Delta employee gave us a Seven dollar food coupon for any of the shops in the Norfolk airport and booked us a room in the Holiday Inn. So that night, 8 hours later, we sat in a hotel, 20 minutes from our apartment in Norfolk, still in Virginia, shocked by the events of the day and realizing that we had originally planned to fly into Edinburgh so we need to switch our rental car to the Glasgow airport and cancel our room that we had reserved in Ullapool, Scotland. Luckily, Scotland is five hours ahead of us so at 4:00 am, we could call the rental car and the reserved room to cancel and switch everything. After all the details were taken care of and we had everything canceled and switched over, we went to sleep.
We woke up a couple hours later to catch the shuttle to the airport, we got to the gate of our departing flight only to hear the voice over the intercom say, “Attention Customers on flight 5594, we are sorry to announce but this flight is overbooked and we need volunteers to give up their seats.” Did I mention, when we checked in and got our boarding passes, we did not have seat assignments? – We did not have seat assignments, so we were waiting to see if there was going to be room for us on this flight. Something the Delta employee forgot to mention last night.
After the announcement, Mylie and I stared at the counter with anticipation, waiting for someone to approach the counter to give up their seats. Seconds felt like hours, no one came, the Delta employee made a second announcement, then several people walked up and so did Mylie. She was last in line and when she approached the counter she said nervously, ‘I need to get a seat assignment’ There was a pause, the woman behind the counter said, “what is your last name?’ Mylie told her and the Delta woman typed it into her computer screen. The woman looked at her screen, then her face went sad as if she was about to say, “No, I am sorry, I don’t have the assigned seat for you.” The woman looked up from her computer screen and looked at Mylie and said, “Here are your tickets, enjoy your flight!”
RELIEF! We are leaving Norfolk!
One hour and 55 minutes later our plane landed in Atlanta, GA. As soon as Mylie and I got off the plane we raced to the monitors to check the flight status for our Amsterdam flight. It read in big letters, “ON TIME” Mylie looked at me and smiled with a sigh and I said to her, “Lets go get something to eat while we wait three hours for our connecting flight.”
The rest of the trip went without a problem and we arrived in Glasgow.
I will post more tomorrow after the wedding.
I am running a couple of days behind on this travel journal because I have not had internet access until today, but don’t worry, I will bring everyone up to speed.