Friday, January 8, 2010

The Saga Ends...

...before it even began. I'm a little disappointed that I don't get to skyrocket to blogging fame by, say, posting detailed accounts of living in Dublin airport for a week.

Who am I kidding? I'm thrilled to be out of there. My 06:45 flight from Dublin to London Stansted took off with only a very minor delay. The passengers burst into spontaneous cheering and applause once we landed. That was the good news. The bad news: The Stansted Express train, my best hope of getting into central London (and then catching the Heathrow Express from there) for my connecting flight, was running only half the trains scheduled. No problem. Train will be here at 8:45. My Heathrow flight's gate closes at 11:00. I can make it, if only just.

Then they canceled the train because of adverse weather--ya think?--but didn't bother to change the "on time" notice posted on all the platform screens. I was one of many hopeful for a little while there, but ended up giving up just in time to catch a coach in to Heathrow.

Thanks to airport employees that took one look at my scheduled departure time and another at their watch before hustling me forward through the queue--plus more than a few sprints through the airport terminal to get me just that bit closer--I did make it on to the airplane before it left. I even got an entire row of three seats to myself.

Now, after some 40-odd hours of travel, I'm back in the States with just a few more flights to get me from Washington, DC to Alaska. Suddenly flying all the way cross country seems like nothing! I guess I'll just have to earn fame another way.

I imagine the saga is still continuing for a lot of folks, though--both in Dublin and moreso in the English airports, train stations, etc. I wonder how they're doing?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dublin Airport opens free WiFi for stranded travelers

The officials at Dublin Airport have made their super-fast Eircom WiFi service available to stranded travelers for free. Nice move, guys... this stranded writer appreciates that very much. Now I can pitch articles amidst the babble of I-don't-want-to-know-how-many people conversing, using said babble as background for my favorite playlist.

Oddly enough, if ever I felt truly blessed and fortunate, this would be the time... stranded in an airport but not lacking for food, water or comfort at all. I'd say this is the lap of luxury... wonder how quiet it will get at night?

Mood indicator: 89% and rising. Time to get to work.

The Dublin Saga

I'm now a proud resident of Dublin airport. While at first glance this may seem unrelated to writing resources or information, it's going to be a grand test of just how resourceful this traveling writer can be.

Actually, all things considered, I'm in fairly good shape. I have enough money (for now) to keep myself fed, I purchased a souvenir wool blanket so I can stay warm, I've got my travel pillow so I'll be comfy when I sack out on the floor... and I have a fourth(!) chance at getting in to London at 06:45 tomorrow morning so that I can catch my flight from there back to the States at 11:30. Given that I'm booked on RyanAir and they don't fly to Heathrow--where my flight to the States departs from--getting from one airport to another is going to be an adventure in and of itself. For now, I'd settle for getting airborne and then touching down safely again.

I've also learned to keep my mouth shut. Everything looked grand--flights on track in spite of the weather--until I mentioned to a friend who'd called to inquire about the flights: I wouldn't mind getting stuck here for a while. I'd much rather be stuck here than in London.

My wish was granted within less than 30 seconds. Flight canceled. Rebook. Flight canceled. Rebook. Rinse and repeat.

So. People are being mostly decent but the airport is certainly crowded enough and with no city buses running (for the same reason the flights aren't running) nobody is going anywhere any time soon. Even if the buses were running, they wouldn't be moving--traffic throughout the city is at a standstill. With some folks starting to show a little grumpy around the edges (who can blame them) and the third flight having turned out not to be a charm, I figured this is as good a reason to ressurrect this blog as any.

So, let the Dublin saga begin. And since I figure I'd better include something writing related, here's a link to commentary by Dave Barry about writing humor.