Houston We Have a Problem

Trip Start Jul 06, 2006
Trip End Aug 01, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Thursday, July 6, 2006

I'm writing from the Ramada Inn "Limited" in Houston. Limited must mean no bar or restaurant or remote control for the three channels I get on the TV. Or working air conditioning. At least there's this free computer in the "computer center', a brown stucco room with a small desk and one computer.

My flight arrived on time to the chaos that is the George Bush International Airport. I pushed my way through crowds of the large and toothless, the tanned and siliconed and the meek and terrified to find my gate, which had no indication it was going to Oaxaca. People moved from gate to gate as their boarding locations changed. One woman had been there for twelve hours trying to get to Austin.

My flight was moved three different times, to three different gates, some of which were so packed people couldn't move. Sometimes there were obscure destinations and departure times on the signs, and usually Oaxaca was not one of them. We just had to trust that we were in the right place.

The flight attendant for our flight said they didn't have a plane for us (?!?). After waiting for 5 hours, they told us the flight was cancelled because of a curfew in Oaxaca.

I am on standby for tonight. This means a day at the airport - or here at the lovely Ramada- waiting to maybe go tonight. The best part is that Continental won't pay for my hotel room.

One woman from my flight told me she had her room paid for. When I asked the kind folks at the counter, they told me she must be on a different flight. I said no, she's also going to Oaxaca; I spent hours moving from gate to gate with her. The kind folks at the counter said she probably had her room paid for because her plane wasn't delayed coming in from Portland. I should have expected This kind of reasoning from GEORGE BUSH International Airport. My head exploded.

The kind folks at the counter told me nobody had been given a voucher. We had a sweet "yes they were - no they weren't" volley for a minute or two before the KFs ATC said the flight was cancelled due to weather and therefore there was nothing they could do. If my head had not already exploded, it would have at that moment.

So it goes. My adventure begins here in Houston. I'm off to the 24 hour breakfast place next door to see how long I can stay there without them kicking me out.
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