Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Happy New Year (And Surviving Holiday Travel)

First, let me wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.  Lots of things will be going on, and we plan on being involved.

Now that my travels for the holiday season are over, let me regale you with my version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

First it is important to know that I visited Sault Ste-Marie, MI for the holidays.  All the way up on the upper peninsula of Michigan approximately 1-1/2 miles from Sault Ste-Marie, Ontario, Canada.

Further clarification also needs to be made about air travel to that mecca of the far north.  Flights to "The Soo" are limited. Daily there is  one flight each way between Minneapolis/St Paul and one flight each way between Detroit.

So, on 12/23 I left KCI and arrived in Detroit (DTW) with 30 minutes to catch the connecting flight.  Virtually an impossibility when going from concourse A to concourse C (long walk, under the runways).  Because at my age I am not as spry as I once was and have difficulty walking extended distances, I booked a wheel chair.  We got to the gate just as the plane was pulling away.  There goes the only connection from Detroit to "The Soo" for that day. 

The only other connection to the Soo is out of Minneapolis substantially later that day.  But, ya gotta get to Minneapolis.  Well, the folks at Delta rebooked me to MSP and from there to CIU (Chippewa County International-"The Soo").  Well, turns out the flight into DTW that was supposed to go to MSP was a little over 2 hours late arriving.  We were supposed to wait for an approximate 30 minute turn around and then on to The Soo.  Well, that turned into an approximate 1-1/2 hour turn around.  By the time I landed at MSP I had one hour to get to the gate for the flight to CIU.  The airport at MSP is much bigger than DTW and I was having to go to gate A4 from G14.  Suffice it to say, with the wheelchair I made it with about 15 minutes to spare.  That flight took off on time, original ETA 11:30PM.  We had a good tail wind, no bad weather then, and actually got in about 25 minutes early.  Because of miscommunication between my two sons, the one that wound up picking me up was about 15 minutes later than the original ETA, meaning I sat in this itty bitty airport for about 45 minutes.  No, there is no public transportation there.

How about the return on 12/30?  Now we have weather problems.  Plane out of The Soo needed to be deiced multiple times.  Short story: four hours late for take off.  Needless to say, the flight from MSP to KC was long gone.  Got rebooked and had one hour to make the gate change.  This time, at MSP, was a little closer, from B concourse (which in reality is actually further away than A) to D concourse.  Made it with 30 minutes to spare (thank you wheelchair).

Sidebar:  The weather in The Soo was so bad the day I left that my one grandson who had what would have been a 4 hour drive home made it in over 8 hours.