Thursday, March 12, 2009

My crazy adventures on my NY interview trip

I just got back today from a trip out to NY to interview with the same company at two different sites. I got my itinerary last week and noticed that I had only 45 minutes to make my connection from Detroit to Newburgh-Stewart which is a pretty dinky airport in Upstate NY. I also wasn't scheduled to get to NY until 11 PM which is pretty late considering I have to get up early the next morning to interview. I contacted the travel agent to discuss my concerns...crickets. My fears were realized as my Salt Lake City to Detroit flight was delayed by nearly 30 minutes. I had to hustle in Detroit to make my flight and didn't even think about my luggage which had all my clothes and other stuff. I waited for my bag in Newburgh and then heard these fateful words, "All luggage is out on the carousel." Unfortunately, mine wasn't so I went to the gate and the agent there told me the earliest I could get my stuff would be about 2 PM the next day. That meant I wouldn't have my interview clothes for my first interview. I told the agent that I was driving to Albany the next night and needed to get my stuff before then. No problem was the answer.

It was about midnight at this point and I had to hit up the 24 hour ghetto Wal*Mart for toiletries. Those who know me well know that I hate Wal*Mart, but this was no time for principles. I checked in to the hotel and tried to get some sleep. I showered the next morning, but had to put on the same clothes. I drive to the interview and explain the situation. It turned out to be a good ice-breaker and no one was that concerned. Unfortunately, my allergy meds were in my bag so I was zoning out a bit. The daylight saving time switch and normal time difference hurt as well - to the tune of four hours. My bag was expected to be delivered in the early afternoon. I didn't get a call by 4 so I called the airport. Oh, my bag had just landed. I mentioned that I was leaving the site around 5, but was told there would be no way to get my bag by then. I said I could pick it up at the airport on my way to Albany and would be there after 5. At no point was I told to be there by a certain time. I wasn't able to get to the airport until just before 6, but found the NWA and Delta counters deserted. The US Airways people paged and paged and the security woman told me my bag was back there, but no one was authorized to give it to me so I would have to come back at 9. Fuck that.

I drove up to Albany pretty pissed off and checked in. I called the Newburgh airport and they said that the understanding was that I would pick the bag up in Newburgh that night even though I mentioned three or four times during my conversations with NWA agents that I would be in Albany that night and needed to get my bag before I drove up. The dude was apologetic, but said that I wouldn't get my bag that night. So there's another night and interview day in the same stanky, travel-stained clothes.

I called Newburgh early the next morning and spoke to the supervisor. She claimed she was there until 6, but that's bullshit. I was there from 5:50 to 6:30. I think she was there until "6" which is the same thing all of us believe when we duck out early. She also informed me that anyone at the airport could've given my luggage. I damn near had a heart attack due to rage, but was able to keep it together. She said my bag would have to be flown from Newburgh to Albany through either Detroit or Atlanta and wouldn't arrive until late that night. I said fuck the heck and had them just to send it back to SJ. So...I interview at another site in my same stanky clothes. People were understanding, but my allergies were killing me.

I flew back to SJ today without incident and picked up my luggage. I called the customer care number, but got an automated system so I filed a report through their web page detailing what happened and requesting my $15 bag fee back plus some more money for not having my bag during my trip. I understand that I had a tight connection in Detroit and wasn't really upset about that. It's the fact that they couldn't be arsed to make sure I got my bag before I had to drive up to Albany that pisses me off. I know the economy is tough, but there should be at least one person with authority on duty all day at the airport.

We'll see if I get either job or if I get any money from NWA.

1 comment:

Marilu said...

I've been a bit out of loop but oh my god!! I hate air travel in the US, but that is a horrible experience.. :/

Did you get your bag back in the end?