New Orleans: Delta disaster to the Dirty Thirty

HELLO! K. Bendy here 🙂

Apologies for the small hiatus. Life for the KB ladies has been a little hectic. Moving, job personnel changes, outside work obligations, and a new kitten (stay tuned for my next blog about the cuteness). But, without further ado, let me tell you all about my  trip to The Big Easy.

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See ya later QC!

The weekend had been planned out by our friend and her husband, for her 30th birthday. Lots of fun to be had, and sites to see. It was a fairly large group though, so we (my husband and I) decided to go a day early to have some time to ourselves. We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare Friday morning. The gate for our flight hadn’t even been assigned yet. We got coffee and Cinnabon (because airport calories don’t count). Time for our flight to Atlanta, for our layover, to board and still no gate … What gives? We walk closer to the Delta gates to investigate and find a fair number of unhappy people whose flights had been cancelled the day before from the tornadoes in Atlanta. OK, well we aren’t going the same places as these people. We find out our flight has been delayed 45min. Meh, ok fine. We get on our flight to Atlanta after the 45min wait, no problems.

When we deboarded the plane in Atlanta the captain says “Good Luck on your connections”. Huh, that’s odd. Not the usual “Have a great day, thank you for flying with us”. As soon as we get into the terminal at Atlanta we can see something was very, VERY wrong. Our flight to New Orleans had been delayed by an hour, which was actually good since our first flight was late. We wouldn’t have to run around like crazy to catch the next flight. Or would we?

I’ve never seen an airport in this state of chaos before. There are people sleeping on the floors at the gates. The line for the gate agents are 10 people deep at every terminal. The lines for the airline customer service is snaked around 4 or 5 people deep, sticking out into the hall, and then down into the terminals. People Are FURIOUS.

We tried being good patient people. Our noon flight got bumped to 1pm. Ok. Then while we were sitting at the gate, it gets bumped to 3:30pm. Ugh. We go get lunch, and while sitting in the restaurant it gets bumped to 4:45pm. WTF? At this point I’m pretty upset that our whole day in New Orleans is shot, and it’s only 2pm in Atlanta. We walk to the new gate in the new terminal (so much for not walking much), check the web for an update and we got bumped back to 6:15pm!!! I’m on the verge of tears at this point. We go to talk to the gate agent about flying stand by on an earlier flight, and meet one man that had been in the airport for 3 days without his luggage because they couldn’t tell him where it was, and another that lives in New Orleans that had spend the night before in the airport. Not only can the gate agent tell us nothing, but she gets over the intercom to tell the people waiting for the current flight that they found a co-pilot for their flight, but he won’t get there until 7pm at the earliest, and that they are still looking for a Captain.

At this point my husband has the sense to see that we are NOT making it out of the airport that day. He looks up rental car prices, they’re reasonable, we trek over to the Alamo, walk right up to the counter and get a Toyota Corolla, and put the airport in New Orleans into the GPS (where the return rental place is). Our 4 hour travel day, has now turned into an 11 hour day. New Orleans is a 6.5 hour drive from Atlanta, almost entirely on one highway. We get on the way, I rage nap, and the hubby drives.

After a few hours I checked the flight status again. It had been bumped again to 6:45pm. Still, that flight would have gotten us to New Orleans faster than driving, so I’m still a bit pissed. Check the flight again at 6:50pm, and they had CANCELLED it, finally I guess. So, kudos to hubby for making the right call. I end up on hold with Delta for over an hour before I even talk to someone. The rep I got was very nice when I told her I wanted a refund for the first leg of the trip, she said no problem. So, at the urging of the hubby again, I ask if we are still good for our flight out on Monday. “Ohhh no” she says “I can only issue refunds for full itineraries, so I just cancelled your flights for Monday with the refund”. WTF?!?! I just TOLD this lady that we were DRIVING to New Orleans, did she think we were going to drive back on Monday?! Wait on hold again for 30min while a supervisor overrides the cancel, and issues the refund. HOLY SHIT.

We did get to see a fair amount of the South East driving through Alabama, and Mississippi, to get to Louisiana.

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I took this out of spite at the time

We finally get to New Orleans airport around 10pm, drop off the rental car, and get a taxi to our hotel in the French Quarter 45min in the direction we just came. We had a really interesting conversation with our taxi driver, who happened to have lived in Charlotte for 10 years, and still owned property there. Small world.
There were tentative plans to go out that evening with everyone, but between flight delays and day drinking, no one was up for it. To bed to start the weekend with a fresh outlook! At least we made it!!

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The Saint Hotel

After a lovely breakfast in the hotel restaurant with the birthday girl, her husband, and his parents, it was a day of walking around the French Quarter. Our first stop was at the Erin Rose for their amazing Frozen Irish Coffees during their “morning special”. They were as good as promised. There was a music festival going on that weekend, and every block had at least 1 if not 2 stages set up for bands. There was also a lot of street players, and artists. It was A LOT of fun. The weather was beautiful too. We walked to Jackson Square, looked out over the river, and waited in the (surprisingly quick) line for famous beignets from Cafe de Monde.

We walked around the Festival, made our way onto Bourbon Street, stopped at The Cat’s Meow, and landed at Pat O’Brians for hurricanes. We headed back late afternoon for naps and outfit changes before dinner at Sylvain. We walked back down Bourbon Street, ended up at Pat O’Brians again for more hurricanes.

The next morning we had brunch at Antoine’s which was absolutely amazing. We got to tour the beautiful facility, and hear about the history of the building. We went to see the Carousel Bar, had dinner at Acme, went on a walking Ghost tour (turns out Jackson Square was the site of all the executions, oh joy), and had fancy drinks in a cute little bar off the main path.

We made it on our flights on Monday, no problems. Thank goodness.

Overall it was an AMAZING weekend filled with laughter, drinks, and sight seeing ❤ Though, I was really glad to realize I didn’t have anymore flight travel until the late summer/fall. Until I found out I’m flying to Orlando for work next weekend. LOL! So is life 🙂

~K. Bendy

 

 

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