Well I’m finally in Denver.
I had to set out at 7:30am yesterday morning to be at Manchester Airport in time to check-in. I was given a ten minute warning when the Taxi driver rang from Headingley to confirm my address. And ten minutes later… he still hadn’t arrived. Absolutely appalling navigation. Eventually we were on our way and after tailbacks caused an accident on the M60 near the Co-op Pyramid, we arrived at the check-in desk. Luckily there was still a long queue to get checked in. Unluckily this didn’t give us much time to get breakfast.
The flight, after some delay, took off just after mid-day, only to have the in-flight entertainment system give up with a loud bump and an alarm sound. After flying on for a bit, the captain decided to err on the side of caution and took us back to Manchester, where we were met by three fire engines.
We had a bit more time to look round the shops while the engineers inspected the systems and decided if the plane was safe. Eventually it was decided we could go, minus the in-flight entertainment, and we took off again a little after 4pm, now running 5 hours late.
I have to say something about BMI, the standard of service was much better than on the US airlines I am used to. Maybe they were trying to make up for the delay and lack of in-flight entertainment I don’t know. With the lack of music and video to distract me for 8 hours of flying, I managed to get through two thirds of Life of Pi. Luckily I have a few books with me with a view to Bookcrossing those I finish.
We finally arrived in Chicago after midnight UK time, so we were already tired. Immigration and Customs went surprisingly smoothly, and we were told we would be put on Flight UA959 to Denver, and we would receive our boarding cards at the gate. Chicago O’Haire airport is a vast sprawling place with 5 terminals, and is not well loved by anyone I know. We eventually made our way to the gate to find the gate for flight 959 was not yet open but there was someone on duty on the gate for flight UA263. After enquiring as to what would happen with our luggage we were assured everything was fine. The flight to Denver was uneventful, the Air-traffic control channel lulling me to sleep for half of it. And when we arrived- guess what- yes, our luggage was an hour and a half behind us.
Still we were given meal vouchers to spend during our wait, even though the only place open to spend them in was a Dominos Pizza concession.
After picking up the hire car we arrived at our hotel at half midnight, over 24 hours after I’d left home. I’m going to be so tired and grumpy later.