Monday, February 21, 2011

An actual travel post

Last Thursday and Friday, I went to LA to sing in the semi-finals for LA Opera.  It was a whirlwind of 48 hours.  So here, friends, is my first actual travel blog :)

Got to the airport at 9:15 Thursday morning only to find out my connection flight from San Francisco to LA had been cancelled the night before.  (Because of RAIN apparently...)

And so begins the worst travel experience of my life.

They put me on stand-by for two other possible flights, both of which I was unable to get on.  Duh.  So they finally got me on a flight to Washington-Dulles at 4:41 PM!  YES, that is a whopping 7.5 hours later.  God bless the Boston airport for having free wi-fi :)

Finally made it to D.C. and was scheduled to leave for LA around 8 PM.  But alas, it wasn't in the cards.  I went to the gate to check my carry-on bag since the flight was full, and I simply didn't want to deal with the thing on the way to LA.  When I spoke to the agent at the gate, she looked at me with a puzzled expression, and said, "Hmm...someone already has this seat."


Yes, friends, United had double-booked my seat, so I was, once again, BUMPED.  I guess it was silly of me to think that having a boarding pass with my name on it and a seat number somehow meant that I had a seat on the flight...silly Adam.

I won't go into details about how rude the gate agent was to me.  I was perfectly polite with her and trying my very best to be patient, but she was in no mood to play nice.  So I ended that conversation receiving a whopping $125 voucher for my next flight.   Ha.

When I finally boarded a plane to Los Angeles, it was 13 HOURS after I got to the airport that morning.  13 HOURS, and I didn't even leave the time zone!!!  I finally arrived in LA around 1 am (4 am Boston time), and I was picked up from my wonderful friend from high school, Hema, who now lives in LA.  SHOUT OUT to one Hema Kathiresan for being one helluva host :)

So all in all, it took me 19 hours to get to LA as a result of, as I suspect it, a flight from San Fran to LA that was undersold and, therefore, canceled due to RAIN.  Ha!  These airlines, I tell you...

Anyway, this blog is not meant to be a place to rant and whine about my life as a stingy traveler.  There are MANY plus sides to this trip, and here are some of them:

-I got to go to LA, even if it was only for 24 hours.  I haven't been since I was 6 years old, and I must admit: I love California.

-I did receive $125 off a future flight (score one: Stingy Traveler!), and I'm planning on getting a little bit more from United when/if they respond to my very strongly worded letter about their customer service and flight management.

-As it turns out, I did not actually have to pay for this trip at all.  The generous Opera Institute at Boston University managed to round up the funds to fully pay for my trip to LA for this audition (score two: Stingy Traveler!!).  I am SO THANKFUL for this.

-And finally, it was a pretty successful audition.  I did get called back and had a pretty great coaching with a member of the LA Opera music staff before I boarded a red-eye flight Friday evening to get back to Boston for two tech rehearsals Saturday afternoon.  So we'll see what happens!  It is out of my hands at this point.

...but is ever actually in my hands?  I managed to sing well after 19 hours of terrible traveling, and I can't say that I have any other explanation for this other than divine intervention.  Someone must have been smiling on me...


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