Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Omaha...

So last week I was in Chicago for a training. The timing wasn't good, because we were going to move the following weekend from our apartment to a duplex, but I really needed to attend this training for work. On Friday, it wrapped up a little early, so I hurried to the airport to try to get on an earlier flight. Well, United wouldn't let me select the earlier flight at check-in, so I thought I'd get through security and see if I could talk to someone at the gate.

Well, I couldn't get on that earlier flight because it was cancelled. Bad weather in Chicago. So, I pony up to a bar with a glass of wine and my laptop to get work done before my flight.

Long story short, my flight gets cancelled too! Crap crap crap. I've got to get home! Our apartment was maybe 30% packed when I left, and the movers come Saturday morning at 8am! KK needs me!

So I'm waiting in United's customer service line, which is a mile long, and I catch wind of a phone number to call for assistance that will take less time. I call the number and learn that the earliest they can get me to Omaha is 6pm on Saturday. Um, no. There are no other options: no flights to Des Moines or Kansas City, nothing. Crap crap crap. I have to get home!

"Anyone want to take a road trip to Omaha?" I asked half-jokingly in the customer service line.

"I do!" one lady said. My first impression of her was a non-threatening one, and the thought of having someone to help me drive was very appealing.

So the United person transferred me to a car rental agency, and I started to book a car. The agent asked, "How many people will be in the car?"

"How many people will be in the car?" I asked the line.

The answer ended up being four. A young couple had joined us.

With a rental car locked and loaded, the group of strangers, led by moi, started on the road to Omaha around 9pm. We all found all sorts of things to talk about. The solo gal who lives/works in Omaha, and the couple was from New York City and had a wedding in Omaha on Saturday. No one was overly weird or unpleasant.

Seven hours later (4am), we dropped the couple off at their hotel in downtown Omaha, returned the car to the Omaha airport, and then I drove my new Omaha friend home so her husband didn't have to wake up and get her that early. I made it back to our apartment a little after 5am, and I packed and packed and moved and moved until 4pm that day. Then I crashed.

That experience is probably the closest I'll ever get to hitchhiking (the idea has always intrigued me, but I'll never ever do it). Here's to a spirit of adventure! I'm just glad KK didn't have to deal with the movers alone. It wouldn't have gone well, and it wouldn't have been fair to anyone involved.


  1. Sounds like a fun adventure. How interesting that we've both been screwed by United in the past week. When I finally got home from my international trip (no small feat), they still hadn't found my luggage. It's been over 2 weeks since they lost it and they won't even take my calls. No offer of help. No apology. No compensation. Nothing. Never again, United, you soul sucking, luggage stealing, irresponsible, rude jerks. (How do I really feel??).

    The crowning glory on my situation was that it was a plane that was delayed in Chicago that started the whole problem to begin with... and now I wonder if it was your plane :P

    So glad the move worked out and that you didn't drive 3 axe murderers to Omaha with you! :)

    1. CHICAGO!!!! The common link! :) I had the exact same thought when I read in your blog that United was the culprit. Le sigh.

  2. So glad you made it home safely! What an awesome idea. I was screwed by Delta this past weekend and a rental car didn't even cross my mind (not that I could have made the painfully long drive alone)...awesome work, and now you can relax!!

  3. Oh my gosh! That amazing! I wish I had that kind of initiative and sense of adventure! When I get stuck at airports I usually just uselessly cry, haha. And I love your GIFs!

  4. I love this story so much!! Such a sweet wife you are! And you definitely have a heart for adventure and community organizing. :)