Welcome back, readers. Here's Cyndi!

Thanks for joining in again today. Hard to believe, but my story isn't over.

I want to once again THANK the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers for inviting me here.

I also want to thank Maureen Child for donating books to the cause and for being so supportive of me as a writer.

Yesterday and today, I'm giving away copies of Maureen's latest Silhouette Desire HIGH SOCIETY SECRET PREGNANCY.

While I've got your attention, I'll also recommend her King Series (also from Silhouette Desire) and Demon Dusters Series.

I've also a couple of ink pens as surprise gifts for the WORST travel story from yesterday and today.


The plane was late arriving in Dallas (sound familiar?) so we’re late boarding. Didn’t care. I had a seat. The plane configuration was 3 seats across 18 rows for a total of 54 passengers. There were 53 of us and I had a row to myself. Great or what?

We were sitting on the tarmac when the Captain came wandering down the aisle talking to people. Not a good sign. “Why isn’t his fanny in the driver’s seat,” I asked myself. He was personally telling each person that the warning light on one of the brakes was showing excessive wear and not suitable for landing. We could get in the air just fine. There could be a problem stopping on the landing. Not a good thing, I thought.

Maintenance came and confirmed that the brake had to be replaced and that would take 90 minutes. So to save time (ha ha), American Airlines brought in another plane for us. We all disembarked and found seats in the original boarding area, B-9. However, on the overhead speaker, the gate attendant informed us that all Savannah passengers should move to Gate B-8. So once again the luggage-wheeling horde rose in mass and scurried to the next gate. There, we were told it would be at least 20 minutes, so given my experiences so far, I decided it would be wise to check on my condo reservations and, while I have the phone out, check with ALAMO to see where I would pick up my car.

The call to the condo was fine. Someone would be there until 9 p.m. to check me in, but I could make arrangements if I would be late. I told her no, that I should be there about 5, which was later than scheduled on the “new earlier flight” but still earlier than my original sucky schedule.

I finally found a telephone number to call ALAMO. When I gave the nice lady my confirmation number, she informed me that my reservation was for Sunday February 26, not Tuesday February 28. I frantically scanned my reservation confirmation, and she was right. I made my car reservation before I finalized my flight arrangements. American Airlines could only fly me on the 28th and I forgot to redo the car. So, I asked her to make another reservation for today. It cost me about $15 more, but, what could I do?

Shortly after I completed the new (and improved) car reservation, we were called to re-board our new and improved aircraft. Since I was on the last row and hauling a laptop and all kinds of stuff for this retreat, I got on early and straggled to my seat. We finally taxied out for take-off only 90 minutes late. The Captain announced that we were third to take off and we got in line. I noticed that the plane began to turn in a direction that would return it to the terminal. No way. We couldn’t be going back. But, WE WERE.

It seemed that when the pilot turned on the #2 engine for take-off, the oil gauge showed only 6 quarts (or liters, I forget) and we had to have 8 for lift-off. We were returning to the terminal so maintenance could put oil in engine #2.
As we sat in a hot airplane watching a service truck pump oil, a couple of the passengers asked for something to drink (i.e. booze). Sorry, American Airlines didn’t have liquor on planes that size. Another passenger asked for a pillow or blanket. Sorry. American Airlines took all the pillows and blankets off the planes.

On the original “new and improved early schedule”, I should have landed in Savannah a little after 4 p.m. As we pulled away from the gate after our oil fill, it was now 5 p.m. CST, 6 p.m. EST. I finally landed a little after 10 p.m., right when my original scheduled would have put me in Savannah. At least ALAMO had a car for me.
I woke at 5 a.m. on Monday and got to the airport so I could throw myself on the mercy of the AA desk to get me home. There was only one guy in line, so I jumped behind him. The lady at the terminal was not an AA employee. She was with another (and unnamed) airline but she knew how to use the system. Bless her. She gave me the last seat on the plane and swore me to secrecy! No one here will tell, right? The flight home was blessedly uneventful. Anyone else have a good travel story?

Tell me about it and you could win a free book from USA Today Best Selling author Maureen Child (www.maureenchild.com). . I’ll choose two winners from people who comment to this post. If you haven’t read Maureen’s books, you’re in for a treat! Not only is she a wonderful person, she’s a wonderful author. I highly recommend her for your TBR list


Let the stories commence!

Cyndi Cynthia D'Alba
(www.cynthiadalba.com) http://cynthiadalba.blogspot.com/

11 comments

  1. Sandi // August 8, 2008 at 12:50 PM  

    Cyndi, your travel stories are truly awful. If I had as much trouble as you, I doubt I'd fly anymore! I've had three traveling nightmares, but none of them involve airplanes. My biggest nightmare actually involved my parents and my two sons. We'd all spent a vacation in Hilton Head and were driving separate vehicles back west. My dad daringly headed into Atlanta early in the morning and wound up in a traffic jam for EIGHT hours!! My boys (aged 11 and 15 at the time) never had to "use it," but their grandfather says they really got to do some serious bonding that day! My husband and I sympathized with them over our cell phones.

    My second worst travel experience was during the same trip. While coming home, my husband and I decided to spend a night in New Orleans since the grandparents had the kids. This was just a few months before Katrina hit. We took a long walk downtown and discovered we'd walked into an area that had been cordoned off by the New Orleans SWAT team! A police officer kindly told us to get back. While we watched, a man wearing a sci-fi bomb suit went into the federal building, searching for something. Folks, that just doesn't happen in small towns like where we're from! Needless to say, we spent the rest of the night in our hotel room watching the news. it turned out the "bomb" was someone's sack lunch.

    My third worst experience was when my hubby and I took his sister to Graceland. We're not particularly fans of the King, but she is. So we had no idea what we would find that day. Well, when we arrived we discovered the day was Elvis's 60th birthday. The place was packed with die-hard Elvis fans. Someone had made a birthday cake. There were cameras and reporters. People dressed as Elvis and Priscilla. And folks were crying everywhere!! My husband and I stuck close to each other, feeling like foreigners in a Third World country. Ever since that trip, I always do research online before I travel to a new place!

  2. Keri Ford // August 8, 2008 at 4:31 PM  

    Glad the return trip wasn't as troublesome! What a mess.

  3. Donnell // August 8, 2008 at 6:15 PM  

    Cyndi, all right. Your travel story beats mine hands down. You should give the prize to yourself ;) What a comedy of errors. I'm just glad you came home in one piece, pocket book sort of in tact. :)

  4. Arkansas Cyndi // August 8, 2008 at 6:47 PM  

    Maybe I should tell the one about when I was driving a 42 ft motorhome and towing a jeep and my husband gave me wrong directions and I ENDED UP IN NEW ORLEANS IN 5 PM TRAFFIC instead of Mississippi. Actually, it's funny now. Then, not so much

  5. Mary Marvella // August 9, 2008 at 12:41 AM  

    Cyndi, Thanks for sharing with us Thursday and Friday. We can announce the ladies who get the free books and let the know.

    Been gone all day! Have a great day Saturday.

  6. Mary Ricksen // August 9, 2008 at 3:05 PM  

    The worst experience I've ever had while flying, happened to me when I was 15.
    It was my first flight ever and I was alone. I felt really mature in my new dress, touch of makeup and high heels. Now let me tell you about me and high heels. Not. You'd all laugh at me.
    The sound of the propellers scared the hell out of me. I looked out the window for the gremlin that could be there, (yes I'd watched the William Shatner episode on the Twilight Zone. I didn't see him so I sat back.
    The flight was at night and relatively uneventful. Unless you count the couple hundred feet we dropped from turbulence, that left me stomach up there.
    It was when we landed the nightmare began. I was so shy. My father a high positioned government employee for Immigration and Naturalization stationed asked his friends in the airport to look out for me.
    Now remember it's like 9:00pm at night in a pretty good sized airport, and it was mostly empty. My plane was loaded, the plane before had trouble so they had to take the next plane, which was mine.
    As we approached the terminal I noticed several black ominous looking cars parked at the gate. There was also about ten black suited men there.
    We landed and everyone looked out the windows a bit anxious. What's happening, was whispered by all the concerned passengers.
    After about ten minutes the men boarded the plane and the loudspeaker came on. "Mary Mongiello," (of course they butchered it), "please come to the front of the front of the plane." I got up, everyone looked at me as if I was a criminal. I shook with fear as I walked the isle. "Are you Mary?" they asked. "Yes," my whisper barely audible. "Come with us." I looked back to see the faces of the other people, from surprise, to fear, to pity, razed the faces in the seats.
    They escorted me to one of the cars, directed me in to the back seat, they were so straight faced.
    When I got to the terminal I was brought directly to the Immigration area, where I was greeted with a small party of bored men my fathers friends. They took me to dinner, and treated me like a princess. They were so glad to have something to do they made me late for my next flight. I nearly cried. But as the plane was called back from the runway and I got to it via blazing sirens, I was mortified.
    They lowered the back entrance and I strode in to the stares of another load of people. For a shy person it was like an intervention.
    I never think of flying without remembering that embarrassing day.

  7. Beth // August 9, 2008 at 10:15 PM  

    Difficult to compete with such an awful story, however, on our way home from the Nationals, we had the dickens of a time finding the San Francisco Airport, then got delayed repeatedly and consequently stuck in the Atlanta airport for hours and on our last leg of this very long journey home we sat in front of a man who talked nonstop for almost two hours and guess what? He's a frustrated writer--shared his stories blow by blow.

  8. Mary Marvella // August 10, 2008 at 12:33 AM  

    Sandi,thanks for sharing. You made me laugh!

  9. Mary Marvella // August 10, 2008 at 12:36 AM  

    Mary, that must have been a great story to tell your friends. Such a young VIP!

  10. Arkansas Cyndi // August 10, 2008 at 10:37 AM  

    Mary Ricksen - I LOVE your story! I had had to have a plane door "re-opened" to let me and my husband on (we were headed to Costa Rica). We had great seat (bunkhead, exit rows). Someone had already claimed our seats, figuring, I guess we weren't coming. They gave us hard glares when we made them move! LOL

    Thanks for sharing your story

  11. Nightingale // August 10, 2008 at 11:35 AM  

    After reading your misadventures, I need a drink!