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Jun 13, 2007

I've always enjoyed traveling. There's something about it that speaks to my soul. So when my supervisor said she wanted me to travel to Atlanta for a workshop I was elated!

Monday, June 11, I catch a flight from PBI to Atlanta. The flight was unremarkable until we were about 20 minutes from landing. The turbulence hit. As I grabbed hold of the armrests and looked around at my fellow passengers, I could see the looks of concern. I actually became nauseous, and flying has never been an issue for me.

We finally land, (15 minutes early at 5:15 p.m.) then sit, and sit, and sit. Looking out the windows several other plances were also sitting. After an hour we were finally allowed to deplane. I placed a call to my son asking him to check online for delays in Atlanta. Evidently there were strong storms in New Jersey and New York that delayed departures, resulting in delayed landings. A quick stop at the restroom for relief, then another quick stop in the smoking lounge.

Walking through the concourse, finding the signs leading to baggage claim. Walking, walking, walking, continuing to follow the signs pointing to baggage claim. This was my first time at Atlanta's airport, and I was already feeling not quite fond of it. There are trains along side the walkway, but the signs for the trains aren't quite clear. At some point, I determined that I was able to take the train to baggage claim.

I get to baggage claim. No big signs indicating which carousels were for which airlines. So, I start going along the different ones, peering at the small signs looking for my airline. The last carousel was mine (something about Murphy's Law runs through my mind).

Next step was to find the shuttle I needed to take to my hotel. Ground transportation, aha, I think, that's the direction I need to go. Cute images of shuttles in different colors to indicate which type of shuttle for each area. The one for hotels were pink. I make it there, after walking for quite a bit, and scan the shuttles in the area looking for my hotel. No luck. I light another cigarette and wait for more shuttles to appear. After about 15 minutes, I find a friendly looking flight attendant and inquire about the shuttle for my hotel. She informed me that the one I needed had left a little bit ago after boarding soldiers, but another one ought to be along shortly. So, I wait, and wait. I finally asked one of the shuttle drivers about my particular shuttle. He informed me I needed to go to the next area over, as the area I was in was only for hotels around the airport. (I was headed for downtown Atlanta)

Off I go to head to the other area. Walking along there I noticed all those shuttles appeared to be for parking areas. I ask a porter how I might find the shuttle I needed, he didn't know. I find a driver and he tells me I needed to go to the pink shuttle area. Needless to say, by this time I was starting to feel extremely frustrated. I called the hotel, asked them where I would find the shuttle for the hotel. Ground transportation was the answer I received, which was where I was at. By this point my face must have shown some concern, as drivers for several shuttles began asking me if I needed some assistance. After being told by a few that they didn't know where I needed to go, one driver pointed me in the direction of the airport where I exited baggage claim and said I needed to go there alongside the building and find "Link."

So, I headed back looking for something called Link. Aha, I saw a couple shuttles labeled Link. I found my shuttle!

I purchase my ticket and get aboard. We sit there for about 15 minutes, then off we go. My hotel was the first stop. Yea, I think. Finally I can get to my room, get some food, take a shower and get to bed!

I go to the registration desk armed with my confirmation papers, and am informed that "We're sorry, but we are all filled up. We don't have a room for you." I was dumbstruck!! My reservation had been made 6 weeks previously! Well, it seemed that one company decided they were going to stay for another night, resulting in many people showing up not having rooms!!! I was informed they were going to send me to another hotel and would pick me up in the morning to return from my conference. I was not happy, to say the least, but there was nothing I could do other than go to the other hotel.

At 10:50 p.m. I was finally in my room! Four and 1/2 hours since I had landed in Atlanta!!

In the morning I awoke to find a bill under my door. I had been told that the cost of my stay there would be covered by the hotel where I was supposed to have stayed! I get on the phone to the original hotel and was informed that my reservation was only for one night. Uh, no, I tell her, my reservation was for 2 nights! She gave me the number for customer service and I called them. The woman I spoke with was very nice. She listened to my saga, then promised she would call me within an hour. Less than 5 minutes later I get a phone call from the night manager of the original hotel. He informs me that yes, I do have a room for the night, and that I should not have received a bill, and he said he would contact the hotel where I was and make sure they knew the bill was to be charged to them. He said that in order to help make up for the inconvenience he would set me up in a suite. When I inquired as to whether it was a smoking room or not, he said he would make a notation that I would be allowed to smoke in the room. He also told me that if I wished I could take a taxi back to the hotel and they would pay the driver once we arrived.

So, I get ready, go through my morning routine, and go downstairs to check out. Yes, the manager from the original hotel had called and I was given a corrected bill indicating no charge. I go outside, get in a taxi, and end up back at my original hotel.

The conference was great. Entertaining and educational, well worth my time.

When I went to the registration desk I was set up with my room and informed it was a no smoking room Uh huh, I was promised a smoking room. The clerk said yes, there was a notation that I was to be allowed to smoke, and a bell hop would bring up an ashtray. I finally get to my room (if that was a suite, I would hate to see a "regular" room!!)

The ashtray wasn't delivered, so I went down to the gift shop, found an ashtray, and returned to my room.

More to come................

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Posted: Wednesday June 13, 2007, 6:31 pm
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Debbye s.
female, age 63, single, 2 children
Tamarac, FL, USA
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