Can it get any worse?

It turns out the answer to my last question in part lies in getting outside the airport.  Courtesy of the offending airline (I won’t give their name but let’s just refer to them  as UA), I arrange a transfer to a nearby hotel for a few hours, although I later find out from a colleague that I missed out on an exciting opportunity for electronic shopping a short cab ride on I-45 North.  Damn.  The wizened old crone behind the wheel of the shuttle cab is clearly insane, and talks loudly on her cellphone – or to herself – in a thick Texan drawl while speeding down the freeway and making U-turns with just one hand.  Insane but clearly a very skillful driver …

Along with a few other delayed and/or stranded passengers, I end up in dreary north Houston at a hotel with a name that ends in ‘Best Value’.  You know instantly that just isn’t going to be the case … The room is clean enough though, and I have a great view of the parking lot, neon sign, freeway and flyover (maybe a photo will follow just to prove the point).  I catch some fitful sleep, grab a shower, and then head back out to the airport (with a different but an equally ‘skillful’ driver) in plenty of time for the supposed 6 pm re-scheduled flight.  This turns out to be a 7.43 pm departure, then once aboard an 8.15 pm departure, 8.30 pm departure, and so on.  Eventually, our nameless airline decides to cancel the scheduled 9 pm Buenos Aires flight and cram those passengers on to our plane, drib by drab.  The crew is re-assigned and hold baggage is shifted about (apparently – but see later posts), which takes forever.  Passengers are restless and the constant drip-drip of half-baked apologies and false promises of immiment departure begins to grate.  Finally, at something approaching 11 pm (I think – I had given up looking at the watch by this stage), we start to climb into the atmosphere.  So long Texas …

Yours for around $49 per night

The best value in America?: yours for around $49 per night (or in my case for three hours, although at least I didn’t have to pay)


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