Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009, 8:04 am

Well, United didn't do us any favors. They knew when we left Chicago that it was very unlikely that we would get into Aspen but rather than leaving us in Chicago (which I would have preferred), it worked better for them to deposit us in Denver. Of course, I can see their rationale; it just doesn't really work for me personally (especially since I just checked the status of the first Aspen-Chicago flight today and it is en route).

Nice morning yesterday getting ready and having one last visit with Brian & Miriam. Saw a last bit of the city on the ride to the airport. I really like London. I enjoyed the energy, the shopping, the parks, the culture. I just love riding around on the buses. I could definitely have spent more time there.

London Heathrow airport is an interesting airport. They don't tell you the gate until shortly before departure perhaps in an attempt to force you to hang out where the shops are. We then dallied too long and had to really hustle because of course we had the furthest gate.

I really despise the whole entry in the US process, especially when connecting to another flight. We waited for an hour to pick up our bags and walk them 100 feet to check them again. In addition, it hasn't occurred to the powers that be to put departure monitors in the international baggage claim area so we had no idea what the status of our next flight was. We weren't supposed to use our phones until we had passed through customs but since it was taking so long I turned mine on and only then did I get the Easy Update message letting me know the status of our Aspen flight. We then had to take a train, go all the way through security (an event that I would have allowed much more time for), go to the furthest gate only to have our flight delayed after we go to the gate.

But for the delay, we probably would have made it into Aspen as there was a window when the winds had calmed enough but the snows had not yet intensified. As it was, we flew all the way to Aspen, circled and diverted to Denver. Given how turbulent it was, I do see the wisdom of not attempting to land in Aspen.

Since we sat on the tarmac upon arrival in Denver due to not having an available gate, I was able to rebook our flight and book a hotel room all before we even parked at the gate.

Got to the Days Inn at 10:45 pm, 20 hours after having left Brian and Miriam's.

This morning, it's snowing sideways here, the first two flights to Aspen delayed until after our departure time and at least one incoming Aspen flight cancelled. So, it's looking like a really long day. Given the weather and my state of jet lag, I refuse to try to drive. Depending on what develops, we might consider the train or we might just sit here.

No comments: