Air travel by doesn't always FEEL faster than sailboat...

Planes, a bus and an automobile... Look out Altea!

5/9/14  5:10pm local time  Currently sitting in Gatwick airport.

I had a pretty cush itinerary to get to Spain for 2 weeks.  I was to fly out of Savannah at 12:15 and head for Dallas.  There I'd take a 5:40p flight to Madrid, followed by a break for a couple of hours, then a 1hr flight right into Alicante, with a 1pm arrival on Friday.  That's just shy of 24 hours of travel. 
So if you're paying attention, you saw that this post starts out with me at the Gatwick airport.  That's in London.  You'll also notice that's nowhere on my itinerary...

Mark drove me to the airport Thursday morning, via Panera for a light brunch.  I got to the Sav airport at 10:15a.  Savannah is really quick to get through, even for international flights, so I had plenty of time to relax and wait for takeoff. 
We boarded the plane.  I packed light, so I only have a personal item and small carry on suitcase.  I dropped the suitcase at the bottom of the ramp for Valet as it was a small plane.  Everyone boarded and sat down.  Everyone was immediately told to get all of their belongings and de-board the plane - including retrieving the valet bags. 
We had a delayed start due to tornado warnings in Dallas.  We ended up leaving somewhere post-1pm - after adding additional fuel for the expected circles we would have to make in Dallas waiting on our turn to land.  The Dallas airport had pretty much shut down and all flights were being delayed.  There was even a report of a tornado on the ground and people in the area hanging out in basements.  This means I wasn't worried about missing my connection. 

We made such a long circuitous route to Dallas that we ended up using all that extra fuel we'd picked up in Savannah and had to land in Lafayette, LA.  We sat there for a couple of hours - sequestered in a tiny corner of the airport with only 1/2 full vending machines and bathrooms.  Since none of us were even supposed to be in Lafayette, we couldn't leave the area, as we didn't have appropriate paperwork/boarding passes to get back through security.  By this time most people were getting pretty cranky.  Ok - one guy was getting pretty cranky and just annoying everyone else.  We eventually re-boarded - all of our valet bags had been removed again, so everyone was just toting them around during the diversion.  The 1 hr flight turned into 2 1/2 - and the pilot came on to announce that we were being diverted yet again - again, for fuel.   Turns out he's never had to divert a plane twice in one flight.  We were just flying around in the air with nowhere to land.  We were told we'd have to land south of Abilene to refuel and then get back in line to land in Dallas.  We actually made it to Dallas shortly after - with no diversion.  But by then, I'd already missed the later flight I'd arranged when I was hanging out (doing yoga in a corner :) ) in Lafayette. Apparently international flights are immune to tornadoes, as both of my possible flights took off pretty much on time... Urgh. I finagled my way into a short ticket line to see what hotel I'd be staying at - from what I could tell there were no more flights out of Dallas to Madrid. 

Turns out there was a 9pm flight to Heathrow with a connector to Madrid and then on to Alicante.  And I made it!  I got to the gate at 9pm and soon realized that it was not going to be on time, contrary to the boards.  So I hustled it on over to a bbq joint and picked up a veggie plate.  They weren't really prepared to feed us on the "short" flight into Dallas, so I'd had a can of tomato juice for lunch.  When we re-boarded in Lafayette, they found a couple of boxes of granola bars and passed those out. 
A couple of hours later, the flight attendant decided to open the bar, and was practically given a standing ovation.  So granola bar/tomato juice for lunch and baileys on ice for dinner ;)

While the veggie plate left a lot to be desired, at least I had something more than Baileys and granola in my gut.  We eventually boarded last night - around half an hour late.  That half an hour was just enough  to make me miss my connecting flight in Heathrow to Madrid.  In fact, think I could've made it if they'd just let me make a run for it.  But, no.  I was directed to the ticket counter yet again.  I was given a bus voucher, a UK$10 food voucher and sent on my merry way to a 45 minute bus ride to Gatwick.  And here I sit - waiting on my direct flight into Alicante with a 10:15pm arrival.  Not as convenient as my original arrival time of 1pm, but at least I don't lose an entire day as I imagined I would. 

I've already scarfed down a Mediterranean Platter (Gatwick's airport food puts other places to shame), thanks to my food voucher, and am sitting around waiting to board - wondering why I didn't charge my phone better last night so I could at least entertain myself right now.

I'm really thinking it would've been easier to just sail the boat here  ;)

5/9/2014  11:30ish PM

I made it to Alicante!  Let the two weeks of playing with my sister and her family begin!!  :)


  1. I'm ready for you to come back! I even found some tapas places (they weren't open yet when you came, I guess more places here are seasonal than I realized)

    1. Well, I guess I'll have to come a different season each year so I can check 'em all out! ;)


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