(Or, why all airports should have free WIFI)
Just as you hit the top of the Ambassador Bridge joining Windsor to Detroit, you get this welcome message.
The first time I received the message, I thought it was from the US Border service until I read it in the entirety. So, Mr. Canadian, you’re not at home any more and it’s going to cost you to get connected.
Ever the cheapo, I elect not to buy the bundle and I figure that the hotel and conference centre will have free WIFI anyway, so I just make a mental note of it and decide that I’ll pay as I go anyway.
One of the things that I did a long time ago in the category of “just because I could” was to route my text messages to Google Hangouts. It made sense at the time since I was forever getting messages from here and there so having them all appear in one spot made sense.
For my return trip from Grapevine, I left the hotel and arrived really early at the airport. It’s not that I didn’t want to miss the flight, I enjoy strolling through airports. I figure that I’d grab breakfast and then wander around the stores looking for some sort of a deal for takehome presents for the family. DFW is a big airport but it differs from DTW in that Delta is in this one little offshoot of the airport unlike the miles and miles of walking that Detroit offers. I never pay much attention to these things on arrival. Perhaps I should.
I had a wonderful breakfast at TGI Friday’s and then do a little stroll and check things out. I buy a couple of things (Rattlesnake eggs and Armadillo eggs that in another life would be jujubes.) In my stroll, I noticed that there was another plane at the gate headed for Detroit but it looked packed. Plus, I’d already checked my luggage. It’s not a problem; they have free WIFI at DFW so I’ll just do some reading and maybe start a few blog posts based upon my learning from the conference.
Without a word of a lie, I had just connected to the WIFI with my phone and put it back in my pocket, opened my iPad, when I heard the Google Hangout message from my phone. What does Cyndie want now? Oh, oh yeah. I check it and there’s a message from Delta.
That’s kind of cryptic but the word cancelled does make the heart beat just a bit stronger. The message came from a numbered account, not a name so I decided to go to the Departure Board to fact check. Yes, it was cancelled. So, I went back to the message and it’s still cryptic. It appears that I have a choice of flights. How do I choose which if I’m “rebooked”.
I happened to be sitting in front of the departure gate for Cincinnati so I went to the gate attendant for some clarification. No, I don’t have a choice; I’m booked onto two flights. The one at 1:25 takes me to Atlanta and then I wait a while and the 7:05 flight takes me to Detroit. This isn’t exactly the way I wanted to see America. Then, he looked up and saw the Detroit gate at the end of the terminal. Now, I’m glad we’re in a small terminal. He said “Are you ready to go now?” Absolutely.
A few taps later and I had a boarding pass for Detroit. Then, the million dollar question “Will my luggage arrive with me?” “No, it will go to Cleveland…”
You could see the look on his face when he realized that he shouldn’t toy with the feeble minded. “Yes, it will.”
With a hearty thanks, I’m off on a trot to the other end of the terminal. A two minute walk?
I’m checked in and ask again about my luggage. I don’t know why I’m worried; it’s not like I’m a fashion plate with fancy clothes to lose but I did have a new can of shaving cream. “Yes, it will be there”.
So, I board and have a nice flight home. Despite the last minute booking, I end up on an exit row with the great leg room.
Upon landing in Detroit, comes the real test. Did my luggage arrive? Not only had it arrived but it was the third bag on the machine. It also had a RUSH tag on it! How impressed am I that it all fell into place. I’ll be certain to give Delta all the kudos when I get the request to evaluate my experience. It couldn’t have been better.
I think back and I’m just so grateful that the airport offered the WIFI. Without it, all of this wonderful experience wouldn’t have happened.