Let’s play a little “Good News, Bad News.” Or maybe it would better to call this “Bad News, Good News.”
BAD NEWS: When the phone rang somewhere around 2:40 this morning, momentary panic set in. Phone calls at that hour are never a good thing. In fact, I think the last time we were phoned at that hour was five years ago when one of my production coordinators at projo.com rousted me into action to ramp up our coverage of The Station nightclub fire. The circumstances were considerably less dire this morning. Hello, automated attendant. My 11:45 a.m. JetBlue flight to Orlando was canceled.
GOOD NEWS: The recording provided me with an option to speak to a live operator to reschedule, and I was just conscious enough to ask for an earlier flight, knowing the forecast for today would leave me with few options in the afternoon.
BAD NEWS: I chose a 9:45 a.m. flight that had me connecting through JFK in New York. As soon as I hung up the phone, I realized that was probably not going to work because the storm was hitting New York first. I also realized that getting to Boston well enough in advance of departure would put me right in the teeth of morning rush hour traffic. Mild panic set in, and I could not get back to sleep for another hour.
GOOD NEWS: I got up at 5:30 a.m., and was out the door at 6:30, despite needing to pack a few remaining items, and the computer and printer deciding to take their time with my new boarding pass. Better news: Traffic was as light as a weekend morning. With Massachusetts public school kids and many parents on vacation, plus seemingly many opting to stay home with the storm rolling in, I strolled into the airport at 7:45.
BAD NEWS: While I was standing in JetBlue’s bag-drop line, I got an e-mail on my Blackberry. My flight from JFK to Orlando was canceled.
GOOD NEWS: Apparently the folks in line in front of me got the same message on their PDAs, because I overheard them asking a JetBlue manager what they should do. “Follow me,” she said, “and I’ll have you go direct.” Sure enough, she booked me on a direct flight leaving at 6:45 p.m. “What are the chances of that flight actually leaving?” I asked. “Pretty good,” she said. “The problem is right now. Later should be fine.”
BAD NEWS: After talking to a colleague who had already made it to Florida, he suggested I look around for a business center or frequent flier club to park for the day. Loved that idea! So I went to the Massport information booth to learn my options. “No, we don’t have anything like that here (outside of security),” she said. “But you could try the Kidport upstairs, near the food court. There’s rocking chairs there.” I asked if it was quiet. “It is the KIDport,” she reminded me.
GOOD NEWS: My house is a Kidport too. So at least the environs were no worse for concentration than what I ordinarily experience. So while there were a number of kids climbing in the airplaine replica and sliding down the mock luggage carousel, it felt like home. I grabbed some Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, logged onto the airport wifi, and settled in near an electric outlet, which of course was a premium spot on a day like today.
BAD NEWS: My Blackberry buzzed at 11:24 a.m. My new flight was canceled. My butt was also sore from the rocking chair. The idea was better than the actual comfort.
GOOD NEWS: I logged onto JetBlue’s site, and was able to get myself switched to the last flight out at 8:30 p.m. — still direct, and still to Orlando.
BAD NEWS: It’s 3:47 p.m. The snow is coming down much faster now than it has all day. The plows look as if they’re having a hard time keeping up. The visibility is so poor, I can barely see the taxiway signs, much less the actual runway.
GOOD NEWS: The JetBlue flight status page shows my flight as still being on time. Better news: There’s a Samuel Adams Boston Brewhouse very near where I am sitting. A premium seat near an outlet is a small sacrifice to make for beer. Bonus: The visibility seems to have improved slightly, and planes are still heading out to the runway after their de-icings.
More to come….