So I am returning to Cornell from winter break, and my flight back to Ithaca consisted of three parts: Austin to Charlotte, Charlotte to New York, and New York to Ithaca. My carrier would be US Airways, for all three, on Friday, Jan 21, 2011.
The first segment went well; I haven’t ever encountered a problem at the Austin airport.
Charlotte to New York was delayed by at least an hour. The plane came in 20 minutes late, and after “deplaning” (a term used by the airport announcer!), inspection, and boarding, we were stuck on the runway for 30 minutes due to “air traffic” at New York La Guardia.
The shock came when I got to La Guardia: I found that the New York to Ithaca flight was canceled. No big deal, right? I go to the US Airways “Special Services” desk, and they tell me that the next flight to Ithaca would be Sunday at 5 pm. Seriously? Perhaps more reassuring was a flight from New York to Syracuse on Saturday morning, and I took a ticket for that. Only two big issues with it:
- It was actually a New York to Philadelphia to Syracuse flight, and because of snow, there was a chance that Syracuse would be canceled. That would mean a chance of being stuck in Philly, which is farther than New York.
- Syracuse is not Ithaca. I mean, it’s like 60 miles away, but that’s still pretty far.
Then they don’t provide me with complimentary hotel lodging. It’s like a nightmare kinda—I have no clear way to Cornell, and I don’t have a place to stay.
Eventually I booked an airport hotel myself, and they did give me free shuttle service.
When I got to the hotel at around 10:45 pm, I talked with some people (via the Internet), and Linda pointed out the bus from New York to Ithaca, which I had used before but had completely forgotten about. We decided this would be much more direct than taking two flights and then still having to find ground transportation.
So this morning I woke up at 5 am and took public transit from La Guardia to the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan, and departed at 8 am. I’m on my way to Ithaca via Shortline bus as I speak—it has free wifi! Looks like my New York to Philadelphia and Philadelphia to Syracuse tickets will remain souvenirs.