Today was an extra day in Detroit. I was stranded for the day because of some major weather in New England. So I was booked on a flight for 9:45pm tonight. Thankfully, Lisa Gilpin and her team authorized me to stay anohter full night so that I would have a room to stay in and work in for the day. And I did a lot of work. this morning I banged out posts from the past four days and set up videos from all the press events that I attended in the past four days as well. It was great to be able to stay in the room and just work without the distractions of anything. I had no internet other than my phone so I wasn’t constantly distracted. I was still engaged but at intervals. It was good. I made the best out of my time.
I also went to the movies, I hadn’t been to a movie on my own in a long time. A very long time and while I love attending movies with Allison I really miss just hitting up a mattinee when the day was done. It was so nice to be able to do that. I went and saw True Grit.
I now want to see the original movie and read the original book because it was a very compelling story and it was so well acted by all involved. I loved the interaction that young Mattie had with everyone in the movie. She was so direct and abrupt with everyone but so educated and knowledgeable. I was worried for her a few times but she was one tough kid. Jeff Bridges gave another amazing performance, he always does. Matt Damon was very good as a Texas Ranger and even Josh Brolin as the man that they were chasing was also great in the movie. I liked the story very much and had a great time watching it.
I also spent some time int he Ren Center, home of General Motors. This is a phenomenal building but it is a pain to walk around. You can’t get to anything directly either. the floors have spokes like wheels on them and there are circles everywhere. On the bottom floor they have a display of some of the GM vehicles. I walked around and took a bunch of shots.
Eventually it was time for me to take my ride to the airport. I was picked up by a lovely woman named Pam and she took Zane and I to the airport. Zane is a New Hampshire guy who runs the site GM-Trucks.com, Great name and he gets tons of hits every month. We talked about affiliate marketing and how there are often people who feel the need to express how much of a guru they are. If you have to say it out loud then you are not that thing. I think there was a candidate for the learnings of unguru.me in the crowd.
We got the the airport, my flight was all set and I sat and waited. Around me I heard horror stories from people who had been stranded for 5 days in the same clothes. I really felt for them and was confident that I was all set and was getting out on the flight.
Well, that didn’t happen.
First the agent asked ofr one volunteer to get a $400 voucher and take another flight. Then the agent said that they needed 15 people to volunteer to go on another flight. No one volunteered so they started with the bottom of the list and pulled 15 people out of line. I’m writing this at 1:00am on Wednesday night so you can guess that I was one of those lucky folks.
I immediately started tweeting about the situation. I started with a few tweets that there would be 15 people pulled out of line. when my name was called as one of the lucky 15 I tweeted to (@DeltaAssist) this is the the offical twitter handle for Delta to help. I got a response very quickly and spent the rest of the time while I was in line getting set up to be on the 9:45pm flight tomorrow night. It is not ideal but they were making everyone else go on the flights on Friday.
I seriously contemplated pulling people together and renting a car to drive home. The drive would be 14 hours and with shifts of people drivng we could have made it quickly enough. There were no takers. I half jokingly asked Lisa gilpin if Chevy needed a car driven from Detroit to MA. She was great and looked into helping me as well. She is awesome. I made calls back and forth to my dad and to allison. I feel really awful because we told Eva that I’d be home when she work up. this is going to devastate her and will make it so much harder when I have to come home tomorrow late night and go right to work and not see her first thing in the morning. That is going to hurt me big time as well.
So I wait in line, I tweet and I get help from DeltaAssist. It is not ideal but it is the best that can be done with the weather issue. Then I get to the counter. this is where things go downhill.
At the counter I learn that because I did not volunteer to give up my seat that the voucher I receive will only be $200. That is a kick in the teeth because not only are they punishing people who didn’t willingly give up their plans to see loved ones, go on scheduled job interviews or attend other things near and dear to them but they are giving us money towards going back on an airline that has already wronged us. Apparently there was something about the weight limit and so they could only fly out with 35 passengers and the luggage of all passengers including those who were kicked off.
Some people got food vouchers and hotel vouchers. Some people were put up at a Days Inn and I was put up at the Hyatt Regency. That sounded good and what sounded even better was that it was off site from the airline but only a mile away and there was a shuttle every 35 minutes. This was what the gate agent assured me when I got to the counter. That was a bald faced LIE. There is no shuttle from the airport to the Hyatt Regency. The Hyatt is in Dearborn over 30 minutes away from the airport and considerably more miles than… say, ONE.
Luckily I met a great guy named Alex who was behind me in line. He convinced the Marriott driver to take us to the Marriott so that we could catch a cab from there. We ended up getting a car from the Marriott and thank goodness for Alex because he not only expensed the car ride and took care of me but he then gave me his food vouchers for the next day. He was taking the early flight out. Me… not so much.
We got to the hotel and there was a nother line, luckily this was a short one and we were able to get our rooms quickly and get settled in. I figure that I would write about everything while it was still fresh in my mind. That way I could clear and go to bed with an empty head. I’ll pay for Internet access tomorrow and work from the hotel and hopefully tomorrow I’ll fare better trying to leave for home.
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