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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Miami airport cements it's hideous reputation

I love going to Texas because my husbands family is really cool and I get to eat great TexMex food every day.

This trip was unexpected for me. I ordered tickets for husband and daughter so they could visit with his grandparents for her first visit and after telling my boss, he decided to give me an extra week vacation! In my quest to use miles and thus spend as little money as possible, I had to fly out separate from them and out of the Miami airport which worked out since we were both returning to the Miami airport. Oh the joys of using miles. Almost free trip, really annoying trip agenda of leaving from Fort Lauderdale and returning out of Miami. I dropped them off at Fort Lauderdale at 2:00pm, hung out in Fort Laud for an hour and then headed down to Miami to find parking in the off-site to save money. Got through the airport a grand 1.5 hours before my flight!

I had to spend the night in Dallas because the 2nd flight into husband's home town didn't leave until the following morning.

The trip was only for 3 days and baby did surprisingly well with her grand and great grand parents. If you've read my previous blogs you will realize this is nothing short of a miracle.

Friday, Dec 5th - Coming back baby did well on the flights and our connection was smooth. We arrived into Dallas with one hour to jump on the next flight. After collecting our car seat and carry on, we got on the train and went from terminal B to D. Arriving at our next gate, we dropped the car seat at the entrance to the flight and settled in with baby.

Upon arriving in Miami at 8:30pm, we are the last to get off the plane and do not find the car seat waiting outside the door. Someone tells us to collect it at the baggage claim belt.

9:30pm - no car seat to be found!

Panic sets in, cannot drive anywhere without it.

Leave husband with sleeping baby and rush around airport looking for American Airlines baggage claim office. Stand in line until 10:00pm to file claim. They suggest someone can help us get a loaner car seat. We are taken to storage room with lost luggage and shown a room with car seats that have little signs on them. The lady doesn't speak much English, I'm regretting 8 years of working with Latin boss and not taking time to learn Spanish. She basically tells me there are no options. I look at her in total disbelief and say I'm not leaving the airport without a car seat and that she must take me to her manager. She acts like she doesn't know what I'm saying so I push harder, take me to your manager. She finally takes us back to the baggage claim desk and goes inside to talk to her manager and comes out with a beat up broken dark blue car seat for toddlers - baby is 5 months old.

Beaten down and worn out, we take it and depart for the car lot where I left the car. I have to call them to pick us up. The lady tells us "just stand in the middle, the driver will stop". I try to tell her this airport is huge and she should take down the exact number stop we are at but she hangs up. The guy passes us, parks far away and as we are struggling to reach the van he takes off. I have to call back and I hear myself screeching that the driver left and they need to send him back to baggage claim 24. They try to tell me to calm down but I'm completely hysterical at this point. I look back at husband and baby, she's sleeping, he's tired and I have to wonder why I bothered to save a few dollars and put my family in this stupid predicament of standing in the center lane in the dark dusky Miami airport parking lot smelling fumes.

11:00pm - we finally arrive to the car lot. I stand at the counter with my head in my hands waiting for them to find my paperwork and keys. They keep picking up boxes and searching frantically, finally someone finds the keys on the desk in a pile. I pay and they send me outside for someone to collect the car. I tell my husband they are bringing the car from an off lot and he points at the car in front of us and says "isn't that our car?", just as they come back from the other lot to realize it's right there and they still pull it up for us. Weird.

12:00am - we get home and I finally feed baby. She hasn't fussed the entire time and hasn't eaten since 6:30 or 7pm. It's the oddest thing. She should have been furious with us by now but thankfully she was a peaceful baby in the calm of our little storm.

ps - Tuesday, still waiting for them to find our car seat :(


Anonymous said...

That's awful.

Traveling with a baby is the worst thing. You are so lucky that the baby was good through the experience.

At least the trip was cheap right?

Greasycog said...

At least the visit and food was good.

R. Molder said...

Hi K - the trip was cheap and the food was awesome! If you ever come to S. Florida, use the Fort Lauderdale airport!