I'm on my way!
In the DC area our only airline choice these days to get to Grenada is American Airlines. And, from Washington Dulles, the flight to Miami departs at 6:30 am and gets to Miami at 8:30ish am. This meant that not only did I have to get up before the rooster crows, but that I also got to kill almost 8 hours at the Miami airport since the one flight to Grenada doesn't depart until after 5 PM. Groan…double groan…triple groan.
There are now self-checkin kiosks at Dulles that can be used for international travel. Hooray! This moved the lines along pretty quickly. I'm all for using technology to make my life easier. Well, as I was clicking thru the screens to check-in, that lovely machine wanted to know if I wanted to upgrade to First/Business for just a few more hundred $. Whoa! Why yes indeed I will take the First/Business Class upgrades! I've always envied those passengers sitting pretty in the front cabin while the rest of us in cattle class mosey on to the back of the plane, squeezing ourselves into those cramped seats. No way I was going to pass up being able to get a taste of the luxe life especially since I only had to pay for 1 ticket to upgrade since Hook was not traveling with me. (Sorry sweetie! But I had to do it in the name of research!)
Aaaah, it was so nice being able to board before everyone else, and watching everyone else walk past me as I relaxed on my nice, wide seat (the plane seat, that is, not my ass!) The flight from Dulles to Miami left on time and was uneventful. We were given hot towels to freshen up prior to being served a hot breakfast.
And thus began MyMoosie's latest adventures.
Once in Miami, I headed to the Admirals Club and purchased a daypass. I highly recommend this if you have a long layover. The clubs in Miami are very nice and a lot more relaxing than sitting at the gates. They have free wifi, coffee, tea, cookies, computers with internet access, showers, snack bar, and a bar. I headed to the quiet section, pulled some seats together to make a bed, and tried to catch some sleep as I was exhausted from staying up too late the night before. Just before boarding time, I took a shower which helped me rejuvenate for my final flight leg to Grenada.
Our flight to Grenada boarded on time, then we sat and waited…and waited…and waited. The captain soon announced that the mechanics had to check on something on the plane. So we waited some more. Finally the captain announced that we had to deboard the plane as there was a problem with some thingymajig on the plane that is overheating and that they would have to find us another plane to fly. Oh well, just a minor inconvenience…I would rather they be safe than sorry. Luckily they were able to secure another plane for us to fly that evening, and 1 ½ hours later, we were on our merry way to the Isle of Spice. Those of us in Business Class were provided dinner, which was good, as it would have been too late by the time we landed in Grenada.
It took a while to get through Immigration as there was only 1 officer working the Visitors line at first. The Officer was very pleasant and provided a warm welcome. Customs was a breeze, no hassle at all.
It was another early morning start to catch the 8:30am American Airline flight back to Miami. At 6:30am, there was already a long line to check-in. A while later, after having stood in a non-moving line for quite some time, an AA representative started walking down the line announcing that the flight was delayed. I was concerned about missing my connecting flight in Miami, so I quickly whipped out the laptop and started looking for alternative connecting flights. Luckily there was free wifi at the airport.
DrBob and his niece Alyssa, fellow-GTFers whom I had met the previous week were in line next to me, so at least we were all able to commiserate together. Something about misery loves company.
Another hour ticks away and we're still in the same damn spot on the line! Finally we learn that the flight was not leaving until 7:15 that evening! Apparently the flight from the previous night came in late, and unfortunately that cut into the flight crew's required rest time. What the? They couldn't alert us of this the night before so we didn't all have to schlep ourselves down to the airport so early?
I had a mobile phone, so we started scrambling through our papers to find the AA reservations phone number to rebook ourselves to other connecting flights rather than waiting in the non-moving line at the airport. We couldn't find a working Caribbean number for AA, so I booted up the laptop again and used Skype to connect to the USA reservations number. The agent I spoke with confirmed that I have been re-booked on another flight and that I did not have to wait in line at the airport. However the AA agents at the Grenada airport insisted that we all stand in line to get re-ticketed and our bags checked-in that morning as there would be no one at the counter that afternoon to check-in the passengers! Again, What the? The line was seriously not moving!
Over 3 hours later, I finally made it to the counter where I learned that the flight would get to Miami at close to midnight, and that I would have to overnight in Miami. I was not thrilled at the idea of having to get my luggage in Miami, take a cab so late in the night to a hotel in a city that I was not familiar with, and have to wake up early again the next day to check-in with my luggage in Miami. Who knows what crummy hotel they would put us up in…and the lines to check-in at the Miami airport are usually a nightmare. No thanks. I asked the agent, very nicely, if it was possible to take the flight out of Grenada the next day instead. A couple of clickety-clicks on her keyboard and she said yes, that would be an option. Well it was a no brainer, I was staying put in my island home. I don't even care if I have to pay for my own hotel room that night, as long as I was in Grenada , life as I know it, is all good.
AA did send all the passengers off with a voucher for breakfast, lunch, and a daypass at the Grenada Grand Beach Hotel on Grand Anse. They gave me a voucher for dinner and a night's accommodation at Grenada Grand, but I chose instead to head back “home” to Lance Aux Epines Cottages. A big THANKS to Tim at LAE Cottages for giving me the extra night at my Kite apartment. It was so unnecessary, but very much appreciated!!
The next day I finally left the island on the 6:55am flight to San Juan. The flight itself went off without a hitch. In San Juan I lounged at the Admirals Club until it was time to board for my flight to Miami. Yes, this time I had to go from Grenada … to San Juan … to Miami … to Washington Reagan, so it was a very long travel day. Luckily, I once again found myself in Business and First Class on the two flights home. So all was good in Moosie's world.
Oh yeah, don't forget, there is a departure fee in Grenada of $20 US per person, cash only.
Admirals Club in San Juan airport |
Watching the planes from the club