Monday, October 12, 2009

A Series of Unfortunate Events - Part 3 (I Love the Evansville Airport)

I just love the airport in Evansville, Indiana. Before I had ever taken my first flight, I went and sat in the airport in Evansville and watched planes taking off and landing while sitting in a rocking chair and gazing out the floor to ceiling window. All that was missing was my fuzzy slippers and perhaps a slanket. When my mother dropped me off in Tampa she commented that gone are the days you can stand by the window and wave to your loved one as the plane pushes back from the gate. In Evansville you can still do this. But Evansville is probably one of the few airports left in the country, if not the world, that you can actually still do things like that.

My very first flight in 2006 was on a Comair Delta connection from EVV. I had purchased a very large and very red suitcase from AAA. This particular suitcase had a small metal seahorse riveted on the front. I stood at the large window watching the ground crew load the luggage. Being my first time flying I got to the airport about 3 hours early which turned out to be a bit unnecessary in an airport the size of Evansville. But I did not care I was excited. My flight was to Cincinnati and the plane had not even arrived on the tarmac yet. So when I saw my big red suitcase with the small metal seahorse going up the ramp and into the cargo hold of a plane I immediately became concerned. I turned to someone in the vicinity and asked them where that plane was going. Atlanta was the reply.

I took off running down the hall that led back to the Delta counter. I told the agent that I just saw my suitcase being loaded onto a flight to Atlanta and I was going to Cairo via Cincinnati. She got on the radio contacted the ground crew who dispatched someone to go look for it. They had to do a bit of digging and the Atlanta flight was held up, but they found it. Back in the gate area people came up to me and told me I was very, very lucky. Evansville is the only airport where you can actually watch your luggage being loaded - thus preventing the disaster of arriving at your final destination with lost luggage.

I have some other stories about the Evansville airport as well. Like the two times I spent the night alone locked in the closed terminal - once by accident and once on purpose. But I think I will save them for another time. This story is about things going wrong on my last trip and my arrival in Evansville triggered yet another misfortune.

I had reserved a car with Budget car rental. I was surprised to find them no longer in the terminal but I was instructed to call from the courtesy phone and a shuttle would come pick me up. I got my bag from the carousel and stepped out to wait for the Budget shuttle. I enjoyed the cool August afternoon and the soft breeze. Not quite sure what happened with the weather there. I always remembered August being sticky and miserable in Southern Indiana, but I guess after emerging from Cairo's desert heat and smog, I felt as if I were in Antarctica. I decided to turn on my phone and SMS my husband to let him know I arrived. Just as the phone was starting up the shuttle van arrived so the smsing would have to wait. The new budget office is on 41 just a few miles North of the airport. Actually they are now occupying the office that was previously occupied by PMI Personnel Management - a temporary employment agency with whom I had previously worked. (Note to self: If you move back to Evansville there is one less place to apply for a job.)

Now, I'm not telling you the location of Budget Car Rental because I care that you know where they are. I'm telling you because, the one or two people from Evansville who may happen to read this will understand, that this particular location has horrible cell phone reception. Especially if you have T-Mobile, which I do. Just as I was stepping out of the van, my phone let me know that I had a voice mail which meant that someone had tried to call and my phone did not have enough signal so it went straight to voice mail yet had enough signal to tell me I had a voice mail...You get what I'm trying to say. We can put a man on the moon in 1969 complete with video and voice calls to and from space, but we can't get a phone call on Highway 41 and Mt. Pleasant Road in 2009. I let the other gentleman who had ridden from the airport with me go in and get started on his car rental and I stayed outside and listened to my voice mail message. Here is the gist of what I heard:

Hello. This is ______ from Expedia calling. We need to speak to you as soon as possible regarding your hotel reservation in Evansville, Indiana. Please call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

So I called. I was told that Studios Plus was in an oversold position and they could assist me to change my reservation and -------- (and then the call got dropped.) The thing that I hate about calls getting dropped when you are on a customer service call like that is, whenever you call back you always get a different operator and end up having to repeat your life story to them all over again. I called back and was on hold so I stepped back inside to try to deal with my car rental. No sooner did I do that and the call dropped again. I told the Budget employee who was waiting ever so patiently for me that I needed to make a call and would be outside for a while.

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Stay tuned for the next installment....

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