Good Morning Denver! It’s us, Kristin & Kristin, your favorite airport hobos. We awoke this morning in our business cubical hovel. The 4:30am move was worth it. Sleeping on the airport floor is never ideal, but if it has to be done our little cave was probably the best place we could have found to do so. I’ve labelled it below in case you ever want to visit! Warm-ish. Dark-ish. Quiet-ish. And with a pile of garbage cans in front of the entrance as a built in security-ish system. Even with that we were still limited to a few scant and disjointed hours of sleep. Without knowing what was coming I already knew it would be a long day.
We walked the terminal, picking up a McDonald & Starbucks breakfast, then went to wait at the gate for the 9:55am flight to Nashville. You may recall that we were 10th & 11th on the standby list and hoping with all hope that that would be good enough to get us there. The flight boarded…Groups 1+2…Groups 3+4+5…then it was just us desperate standby-ers left. When they started calling names things turned into a bit of a blur. They were hardly giving a person a chance to say they were there before they jumped to the next person on the list. A businessman boarded the plane. Then a lady in absurd purple sweater. Then an elderly couple. Then a young man. And finally there was just 1 spot left and a mother & son duo that couldn’t be split up. The child was not allowed to fly as an unaccompanied minor. Then I heard it: my name. It was as if the heavens had parted and the angels were singing…and then suddenly they were just moving on and calling the next name. Luckily that was KG. I lept to my feet with a super loud: “Here! I’m Here!” KG & I raced up to the gate where they broke the news to us that there was only one seat left (which we already knew). The attendant studied Kristin seriously, “How old are you?” “Um…25.” “Oh ok.” What did they think? I was her chaperon?? I basically shoved Kristin towards the ticketing agent.
“Go! Go! Go!”
“But…but…” she sputtered.
So, in the end about 5 or 6 people made it on to the plane, including…drum roll please…KG! Being that Kristin is attending a conference in Nashville that started with a meeting at 5 that night I figured it would be good if she could actually get to the city. One down, One to go! Go Team Go!
So that left me alone in Denver. Hour 13 in DIA. But I was not without hope…yet…
I set to work trying to figure out how to kill another 10 hours in Terminal B. I mean I could have wandered the greater airport but who wants to go through security if they don’t have to? Step One was make sure I did indeed have a chance to make that next flight. Last night the Customer Service desk lady had told us the standby list automatically rolls over to the next flight each time. So if you were 10th on the list for the morning flight and 6 people snuck on, then you’d be 4th on the list for the evening flight. I wasn’t going to blindly trust this would happen though. I spoke to the gate attendants and they confirmed that the list did roll over and had done so in this occasion. I was #4 for the 7:41pm flight.
There’s not a lot to tell of the next few hours. Mostly I camped out at one of DIA’s many free charging stations. I played on my iPad while my phone charged. Then played on my phone while iPad charged. I also ate. After yesterday’s snack food ‘meals’ I made sure to put away two square meals today. I had a Cantina taco salad for lunch and a pepperoni pizza from Wolfgang Puck Express for supper. They were both delicious…and the pizza was particularly picturesque.
There was one particularly comical moment in my day. I was traveling down one of the moving sidewalks for no particular reason except to do my 40th or 50th length of the terminal. As I passed two young men one whistled. I stopped dead in my tracks and flipped around. This is not the reaction I would typically have to this happening. Frankly I’d normally just keep walking, but the idea of him doing it today was so completely proposterous that I may have over reacted. Whipping around I looked the guy, who appeared to be in his early twenties, right in the eye and said, “Are you serious?” He was utterly taken aback by this dramatic confrontation. “Ummm…” “I mean, you’ve got to be kidding me??” “Ummm…no…you look really pretty…?” “I’ve been here for over 20 hours! I’m still wearing yesterday’s clothes! I slept on the airport floor last night!” “Ummm…ok?…” The poor guy was not prepared for what a struggler I appear to be today. And once again I am ‘that crazy chick over there.‘ Is this becoming a theme on this trip?
As 7:41pm approached I got prepared to go to my next gate. Supper eaten? Check. Devices charged? Check. Bottle of water in my bag? Check. Know which gate I headed to? Check. Flight on time? Nope…Cancelled….CANCELLED! I don’t even have words to explain how frustrated I was. I stalked over to the Customer Service line and tossed my bag down at the end. It wasn’t as long as the night before…but when I say that I mean it was likely to be only a 3 hours wait, instead of 5…so still plenty long.
At this point I texted my mom asking if we could FaceTime while I was in line. It doesn’t matter how old you get sometimes you just need Mom to talk you down. However, we’ve already had an example of my mental state today and I wasn’t about to stop overreacting now. Pretty much the instant my moms face appeared on the screen I started to cry. ‘Hey check out that crazy chick over there sobbing in the line up.‘ I was just soooooooooo tired and sooooooooooo frustrated. (I didn’t count the number of o’s in either of those ‘so’s because I couldn’t decide which I was feeling more.) I ended up being in the Customer Service line for about 3.5 hours (bringing my grand 2-day total up over 10 hours) and my wonderful parents & now-in-Nashville roomie took turns FaceTimeing with me the whole time.
It kept me from going on a Godzilla-style rampage through the Denver Airport. I mean that wouldn’t have been a good idea; it was obviously going to be my new home forever now. I needed to keep it looking good for my various guests. To add to the frustration they also cancelled the next morning’s flight to Nashville while I was progressing through the line. So no getting out of Denver tonight AND no getting out of Denver tomorrow morning. Denver was starting to feel like quicksand: the more I struggled the more it pulled me down to my doom.
Apparently the cancellations were due to ‘weather‘ even though it was perfectly clear in Denver and very nice in Nashville (according to KG). Worst. Explanation. Ever. But the domino effect of the east coast storms meant I once agin was staying over night with no compensation.
When I got to the Customer Service desk the lady helping me was, once again, very pleasant. She also looked sooooooo tired but did what she could to help me. There were no flights earlier than my Thursday one that she could actually book me on, but she could add me to tomorrow evening’s standby list. “Wait Kris!” you say. “Shouldn’t you already be on that list because of the roll-over.” Why yes dear reader, I should have been. But I was not. The Customer Service agent suspected it was due to the two cancelled flights in a row and how standby lists usually don’t transfer until after the time the flight ‘takes-off’ (even is that departure time is irrelevant due to the fact that the flight was cancelled). Because of this mistake I was sitting in 3rd on the wait list, rather than the 1st place position I should have had. How infuriating! The nice lady did make a note of the error on my standby boarding pass and told me to tell the story to the gate attendant tomorrow. Hopefully they’d move me up to first.
While I was having a emotional breakdown in line my mom had taken pity on me and booked me a hotel room at the airport Holiday Inn Express. I needed sleep. Anyone could see it (except apparently the mysterious whistler). I sought out the hotel shuttle and got my first breath of fresh air in 27 hours. Lovely! On the shuttle ride I sat in the middle of the most hilarious couple. This pair of gay men were appalled by my story (and the quality of our shuttle driver…and how early they had to get up the next day…and how cold it was out…lol) and gave the perfect dramatic reactions of horror to make me feel hollowly vindicated.
Being able to climb in a bed was the best feeling. And with the addition of a shower and some privacy I felt like a queen (a really poor & run-down queen with an uber pathetic kingdom but a queen none-the-less).
Nashville Denver adventures tomorrow!
Love & with no Luck,