5AM on Wednesday morning. The weather forecasters had been mostly right the day before about the weather. We had snow blowing sideways, thundersnow, and nearly whiteout conditions in the afternoon.
I left early on Tuesday for an off-site meeting and was grateful I hadn't planned to fly out that night, smugly congratulating myself for planning to fly out the morning of the meeting. Late afternoon meeting, easy 2-hour jaunt to a southwestern destination. No worries. Right?
Except with the kind of weather we had in the Midwest and the trajectory of the storm and the cancellations, planes and crews weren't in the right places.
So at 5A, or thereabouts, on the fateful morning, I checked to see if a gate had been assigned because I was deciding what shoes to wear. Thank goodness I had that moment of vanity. I looked. Looked again. The mobile boarding pass looked funky. ORD - ORD? That can't be right.
Panic. Did I mess up the reservation? I've been known to do that. Nope. The reservation was right. So I checked my alerts and my emails. Ahh, there it is. United had canceled my flight around 1A that morning. My original reservation was outbound around 10A on Wed with a return on Thu. My rebooked flight was an absurd out and back on the same day with about 45 minutes in the destination airport. Some problems with that rebooking algorithm.
So, no flight. Swearing mightily and somewhat colorfully, I fired up the laptop and started looking for flights. There. From Midway. Southwest. Blech. Midway. But the timing worked. The fare was exorbitant, but got me to my destination in time. But it was Midway rather than O'Hare. So I called a taxi rather than drive myself and figure out parking.
Nope. That wasn't my worst flight experience, but it certainly wasn't one of my best.