Don’t worry! I’m just kidding! So I got to the airport to take my flight from St. Louis to Chicago today at 1:30, and the flight was supposed to leave at 3:30. Apparently, if there’s any lightening within a five mile radius, the ground crew can’t fuel the plane or load the luggage. To make a very long story short, we sat in the plane until almost 6:00. My flight from Chicago to Paris was at 5:55, so that means I get to have one more night in the US before leaving! That’s why I’m sitting at a table in Bar Louie with about fifty televisions, a bunch of people wearing hockey jerseys, and Blondie blaring in the background.
While I was still in St. Louis I used one of the red courtesy phones provided by American Airlines and I called to rebook my flight. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that there was no way I was going to make that flight. No problem, I was able to book the same flight for tomorrow at the same time. I was assured by the gate attendants that American Airlines would provide me with hotel and meal vouchers. However, when I arrived in Chicago, I learned that it’s their policy not to provide vouchers when delays are caused by bad weather. The lady working at the gate was very nice to me, and I was also very nice with her (it’s certainly not her fault). I politely asked if there was someone else I could talk to about the situation. She told me that if she called over her supervisor, he would most certainly say no. She suggested I go to the ticket counter outside of security because the supervisors over there are nicer. I didn’t need more encouragement than that, so off I went!
When I got to the ticket counter I saw a supervisor, and I told him my story. He told me I’d have to talk to a different supervisor about this. I asked if the other supervisor was nice, and he told me that if I flash a big smile and talk with a Southern accent that maybe I’ll have some luck. Indeed, he was very nice, and I’ll be darned if it didn’t work. I got a voucher for a hotel and three meals, and that explains why I’m sitting in Bar Louis at a hotel near O’Hare and not on a flight on my way to Paris. I’ll just consider this evening of hockey, Blondie, and quesadillas a little bonus and a last call for Americana. I do feel guilty though. François and the kids are at home sleeping on air mattresses that deflate during the night (b/c we shipped all of our furniture last Friday) and I get to sleep in a comfortable bed.