May 16, 2007

Stranded in New York

Tonight, for only the second time in the 10 years or so that I’ve traveled for business, I got stranded. I was to depart New York tonight on a 6:00pm flight out of LaGuardia. I heard that storms were coming, and I was worried because my experience is that LaGuardia is a horrible airport when dealing with bad weather. Newark seems to do the best for the NY region with tough weather.

My 6:00pm flight was delayed to 6:40pm before I even left for the aiport. On the way to the airport I got three additional delays on my Blackberry pushing it back 20 minutes each. By the time I arrived at the airport I was looking at an 7:50pm departure and other flights were being canceled. They then delayed” my flight until 7:00am the next morning, which I found humorous since 13 hours, overnight, hardly seems like a delay. The cherry on top was when they then canceled my 7:00am delayed” flight and rebooked everyone on regularly scheduled flights the next day.

This was bad enough, but on top of it there are no hotel rooms in the entire city of New York. None. Seriously, I’m not kidding. No rooms. The closest I came was a $900 room at the Four Seasons that ended up getting booked while I was on the phone with the guy debating if $900 was at all sensible for a room to sleep one night in, getting up at 4:00am for an early flight out. I decided no, and the room got taken anyway.

I planned to have a fun time with it, and head into town with no hotel room. Ya know, make lemonade and all. I know there is a Starbucks in Times Square open all night, and I figured I’d just connect there and stay up all night drinking espresso. I was seriously worried about the 2:00am to 5:00am period though. I knew I would get pretty tired.

Then I got a voicemail from friends in New York. He’s on Twitter, and saw my flailing desperation. I had considered calling them but I was still clinging to the romance of braving New York all night. I quickly opted to take the couch in their apartment and that’s where I write this. I’m getting ready to wind down and sleep a couple hours before heading out.

It’s amazing how much ruckus a blustery storm can bring.

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