Last week we set off on what we thought was a one week trip to Utah. My husband had a tradeshow to attend in Salt Lake City for three days. During that time I would explore the city, write some blog posts, and relax. When the show was over we were going to set off for four days in Moab visiting Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.
Did you notice all of the first paragraph sounded like what was supposed to happen? Well, that’s because this trip did not go according to our well thought out plans at all. Like not in any way.
Our trip when off the rails pretty early into the trip. We woke up on time, and set off for the Tampa airport for our flight to Dallas, then on to Salt Lake City. We checked in and were told everything was on time and good to go. That was the last time the trip went according to plan.
By the time we got upstairs and through security we had alerts on our phones from American Airlines that our flight was delayed an hour. Then another hour. Then another hour. This happened several times to add up to a five hour delay out of Tampa. The delay was caused by a ground stop in Dallas as the result of rain, hail, and tornadoes in the Dallas area.
During the five hour delay we were re-scheduled on the last flight to Salt Lake City from Dallas for the day since we were obviously going to miss our original connecting flight.
Once we landed in Dallas we received more alerts from American. Our re-scheduled flight was cancelled. There was a delayed flight to Salt Lake City that had not taken off yet. We ran to that gate and joined the standby list with 130 of our fellow travelers from other cancelled flights to Salt Lake City.
The flight was delayed in 30 minute segments as we waited for a crew to arrive. The flight was cancelled when the crew expired — and still hadn’t arrived. A crew expires when they work more than a set amount of hours for a day.
Now, we got online with all of the ticketed passengers for this flight and our 130 standby friends to get an alternate flight to Salt Lake City. We were the third flight of the day from Dallas to Salt Lake City to get cancelled. You can imagine the selection was slim since the first two cancelled flights of the day took the Sunday and Monday offerings. We were left with Tuesday. This was Saturday.
After booking the Tuesday flight it was off to baggage claim to try to retrieve our bags for our three day layover. No luck. We were told since it was so late and disastrous day the bags wouldn’t be up until Sunday morning.
We quickly rented a car and booked a hotel. Luckily the hotel had welcomed a few other stranded travelers so had toothbrushes and toothpaste out and ready for us when we checked in.
On Sunday morning we were back at the Dallas airport to get our bags. No luck. In fact, they had no idea when or if we’d get our bags because if the system saw we had a flight booked to our final destination “soon” (which no one could define for us) it would reject the return request and send our bags to our final destination.
After an emergency trip to Target for some essentials, clean socks and the such we decided to enjoy our time in Dallas — more on that later!
We made one more stop at the Dallas airport baggage claim on Sunday night to see if our bags made an appearance. We were told one of our bags was going to Salt Lake City that night, but no one could tell us what was happening to our other bag.
I called American’s baggage line to get some help. After an hour of being on hold or talking to agents I confirmed nothing — not even if one of the bags was on a plane to Salt Lake City at that time.
On Monday morning I looked up our bag tag numbers on the American website. It said both our bags were in Salt Lake City somehow. I called the American baggage line and confirmed this was true.
We had another day in Texas — again more on that later!
Finally it was Tuesday! We were off to Salt Lake City. We made it there! Our bags were waiting for us in baggage claim. We were told at one point there were 600 unclaimed bags from Dallas in the Salt Lake City airport baggage claim. Wow!
After this our trip pretty much went according to plan. When we were in Moab we saw a sticker that said “Adventure Begins Where Plans End”. That defines this trip for us. It was an adventure! Look for future posts on what we saw and did in Dallas as well as our time in Utah. It was an awesome adventure!