I must first say that I should not have been in the situation I found myself yesterday. This meeting in Fort Worth did not have to be scheduled a week before Christmas. It could have been last week, two weeks ago, or some other time. I didn't schedule it. And I know it could have been much worse - I could have been traveling with kids.
Yes, I found myself in the 7th ring of hell at DallasFortWorth airport yesterday. I had a direct flight to Greensboro at 1:20. Weather was fine there and in Gboro, but my flight was delayed and had gate changes 5 or 6 times until about 4:30. And then they announced the flight was cancelled due to mechanical difficulties. It's a little regional jet with about 36 seats, but when those of us on the cancelled flight arrived at the gate where rescheduling was taking place - there were about 100 people in line in front of us and two flight attendants working the desk. 20 minutes went by and about 5 people were helped. I began to wonder if I could get home that night - certainly there were enough flights going somewhere, but if it took 2 hours to get my flight rebooked...
Then an attendant told us we could exit and go to the main desk to rebook. (which of course meant going back through security, but hey, if it sped things up by an hour or two...) About 15 of us took off. I walked 12 minutes as fast as I could (and I had already walked rather quickly for some of those gate changes). If I walk at that pace, I can make a mile in 15 minutes. So, I found myself at the main desk out front. She said she would book me on the 8pm flight to Gboro - the following night! I explained (hopefully calmly) that I wished to get home that night and would take any flight which would connect me to Gboro. She found a flight to Philly that left in an hour. I was tired and not enjoying the prospect of being stranded without my bag in either Dallas or Philly. I made my way rather quickly to the gate, only to find out that flight had been delayed so long that I would not make the connection to Gboro. (Did I mention that most of the monitors in DFW were not working properly, so that we were always having to ask attendants for correct info?)
So there I stand, thinking, I'll be stranded in Philly. Then I happen to overhear someone mention a flight that was leaving in 5 mins for Philly at a gate in that same terminal, but at the other end. I took off. I got there about 2 minutes before they closed the door, and they did have 2 empty seats.
Once in Philly, I had just enough time to get to the new gate, get a fizzy diet coke (which was dinner - they don't even give pretzels on American anymore), call hubby, and then get on the little connector to Gboro.
My luggage did arrive in Gboro this morning on one of the full flights directly from DFW. Thank heavens for that.
Just pure luck, good ears, and fast feet got me home last night. Thank heavens. And I sure hope all those people not in good health and traveling with kids get where they need to be.