Ultimately it wasn't just my flight that got canned! It was all flights to Chicago that got canceled, along with a number of flights to other destinations. Once I was sure that I was screwed out of my flight options with United I called my Corporate Travel Monkey's emergency line to get something rolling and see if I could get out on another airline. It wasn't long before we discovered that it didn't matter if the airline was United, American or "other," nobody was getting out of La Guardia if they were waiting for a plane to arrive. Why? Because nothing was landing! There was just no way for me to get out of LGA tonight. So, knowing that I was going to be stuck for the night and seeing the line to the ticket agent in front of me growing by the pico-second I had to make a choice. I got the travel agency moving as fast as they could to book a flight out tomorrow. I knew they had to rush because getting re-booked was what everyone in line was trying to get done. Once the flight was secured I had the travel agent race the other eleventy-humpillion displaced travelers to a hotel reservation. I was assured that I had been successfully booked into the Crowne Plaza Hotel, La Guardia. I went outside to wait for my shuttle bus and, after 35 minutes and an upset phone call from me, I was directed to where I was supposed to meet the bus. And there it was! I felt like an idiot but at least I was an idiot on his way to the hotel.
By the time I arrived the hotel was completely oversold, probably due to the same cancellation that took me out of play tonight. There were some very angry individuals in the lobby. I wasn't sure what to expect, after being burned by the seemingly opulent hotel in Manhattan that turned out to be actually quite disappointing. It seems that my worry was all for nothing: this is a much nicer hotel than what I stayed in during the week and it seems to be approximately half the cost to boot. To put things in perspective, the bathroom alone in this place is about the size of the entire room at the hotel from during the week -- and it doesn't have any sinks held up by metal rods. It has really spacious layout and an alarm clock that works! And pretty art on the walls. I also found a CD left for me on the bed. SLEEP SOUNDLY, it invited me. With the Sleep Advantage CD. Sure enough there's a CD in there with advice for good sleep and soothing sounds as well as lots of tips inside the CD jacket. There's even an included drape clip! There's also a little bag (that reminds me of the Crown Royal bags used to protect the bottles) that has complimentary ear plugs, lavender-scented linen spray and an eye mask. AN EYE MASK!! It's like something out of the movies. Either this is incredibly cool or I'm sleep deprived. Maybe it's a bit of both.
I guess it's good to have a corporate travel monkey.
I ordered a skirt steak and four beers from room service just now. I think 4 is a good number for starters, I can always order more if need be. I have about zero desire to move outside this bed right now, let alone the room so I dunno how they're going to give me my food when it arrives.
Oop, food's here. I'm going to go enjoy a well-deserved meal. And beer. Mmm, beer.
Time keeps on slippin'