Thursday, May 31, 2007

Maui or Oakland. Which would you choose?

Thank you Aloha Airlines... we arrived at OAK at 8:30 this morning, two hours in advance of the scheduled departure for our non-stop flight to Maui. As we've got Davey, we wanted to get there early and ensure getting a bulkhead seat. I mean -- on a a 5-1/2 hour flight, where do you change diapers, exactly? I figured if we have bulkhead seating, we'll have extra floor space for the purpose.

Anyway, they check us in but there aren't two bulkhead seats together. So we settle for a window and middle seat in row 5. So at least we're closer to the exit when we arrive at our destination. Only then are we told that the flight is delayed. Indefinitely. Uhm. Okayyy. So we wander around the airport for the two hours prior to the scheduled departure. 7 minutes after the flight was supposed to leave, they announce that all ticketed passengers for the flight should go back to the ticketing counter (back out through security). I stay in the gate area with Davey while Mark RUNS to the ticketing counter to find out what's what. They say that there are still mechanical problems and to go back to the gate in two hours. Meanwhile, they give out $10 vouchers per passenger, which can be used at any of the vendors in the terminal. We never ended up using them... anyway, two and a half hours later, they announce that the flight has been canceled. All passengers should go to baggage claim area 1 and get their bags and then go to the ticketing desk. I take Davey and go to the baggage claim to grab our bags while Mark runs to the ticketing counter, to get as close to the front of the line as possible. He was 15 people back or so.

Anyway: There were no more flights to Maui from the Bay Area today. The very best possible to get there today would have been to get to LAX and then Delta had a flight from there. Aloha wasn't encouraging that, as there wasn't a good way to get to LAX from OAK -- they said the only way was to take Southwest, which will not check the baggage through. So if we took them, we'd have to pick up our luggage at baggage claim at LAX and then go check in with Delta and go through security again, etc. IF we could make it. They suggested that we take a Hawaiian Airlines flight out of SFO tomorrow, which has a stop-over in Honolulu. We didn't like that option because, "What about our car which is already parked in pre-paid long-term parking here, in Oakland? And when we return from Hawaii, we'll be returning to OAK... so really what should we do for ground transportation?"

Hmmm.... said the agent. "How about a flight out of Sacramento? We have two non-stop flights to Maui from Sacramento in the morning." We said that sounded interesting, but again, our car's already in long-term parking in Oakland and how are we expected to get to Sacramento? Okay, they put us up at the Oakland Airport Hilton. Tomorrow, at 7am, a shuttle will take us to the Sacramento Airport, where we'll board our flight to Maui. We extended my trip (as well as Davey's) by a day, to make up for the lost day. Mark will still fly away from Hawaii on Friday, as planned, but instead will be flying direct to Orange County instead of to OAK, as he was going to fly down there on Saturday morning anyway, for a big car show.

So here we sit, in lovely Oakland... vacation spot of the stars.

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