Well. Well. So far I have been pretty lucky travelling around, I guess. I've never had a flight cancelled or delayed. I have never been stuck at an airport. My travelling plans have never been interfered by giant ash clouds or similar. Really lucky, I know!
This summer though - when I decided to fly with Delta Airlines - the travelling gods turned on me. And this is what happened:
We decided pretty late to hop over the big pond to visit friends and family in Canada and attend a wedding in NYC. The best choices we had for flights were with Turkish Airlines (really cheap, with a layover of about 9 hours in Istanbul, yuck!) and with Delta Airlines (affordable, direct flight Venice - New York JFK, airport change to La Guardia and from there to Ottawa). So we went with Delta - a direct flight from Venice, which is only a three hours car ride from our little mountain town sounded pretty sweet to us!
Our first flight was delayed one hour (ok, no biggy). We made it to JFK and from there to La Guardia in time for our connecting flight to Ottawa, checked in in no time and were just hanging out at a little airport restaurant, watching the opening ceremonies for the Olympic games in London. Then, an hour before boarding, our flight was cancelled. Back to the Delta counter, we met the girl who had already done our check-in - really nice, really helpful and sympathetic. She told us, that the flight was cancelled due to "flight traffic problems", cause there had been a storm on Tuesday (it was Friday?!).
Anyways, cause it was "out of the Airlines control", they wouldn't reimburse our expenses for the overnight stay in New York. The Delta-girl felt so bad for us, that she called a hotel and did a reservation with a little discount from her private cell phone. Saying goodbye, she tried to console us, saying: "You know, it's a hard night for me, too. I have to be at a date in 10 minutes, and I still have to get ready!" Yeah, but really: Thank you Delta-girl, you really made us feel a little better.
We made it to the hotel, slept for good eight hours and got our connection to Ottawa the morning after (which was delayed, too) with unbowed optimism.