Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Carnegie Mellon; The Pittsburgh Airport

On Monday, I flew from New Jersey to Pittsburgh, to visit Carnegie Mellon. I had no problems getting through security, and my flight was on time. It took me a few minutes to figure out where the shuttle to campus would be, but eventually I got it.

When I got to Carnegie Mellon, I dropped my bags in the admissions office, and then went to an engineering class. I thought the professor seemed pretty interesting, but the other students in the class just looked bored. I met my host and the other girl she was hosting, and we hung out in the dorm for a few hours before going to dinner. Yesterday, I went to information sessions for engineering and science and went to a psychology class (and learned that psychology doesn't interest me).

4:00pm- I left campus on the shuttle to the airport.
5:00pm- I got to the airport at 5:00pm. I checked in, and, before I went through security, checked the list of departures, and saw that my flight was delayed. I figured it would probably only be an hour or so late, but called my mom to let her know. I stopped to buy something to eat (a slice of mushroom pizza from Sbarro- yum).
5:35pm- I got to the gate. Moments after I sat down, one of the airport employees announces that my flight (which was supposed to leave at 6:30pm) is now delayed until 10pm. The flight (to New Jersey) that was supposed to leave at 3:20pm hadn't even left yet. After I'm done eating, I start to read Eclipse/Twilight 3.
6:45pm- The flight that was supposed to leave at 3:20pm boards. Once they're all on board, I ask an employee if she knew why the flights were being delayed. She says there was bad weather in New Jersey, which caused all of the arriving flights (arriving to NJ) to become delayed. Apparently, the plane that I would be flying on was the one I could see out the window from where I was sitting (I guess there were just too many other flights that were going in).
7:3opm- I talked to my mom (on the phone). She was surprised at how delayed my flight was, and said I should keep checking with the employees to see if it might leave earlier than expected. I checked; still 10pm estimated departure time. There's a Ben & Jerry's in the "food court", so I got a scoop of Cherry Garcia (my favorite).
8:00pm- Still 10pm estimated departure time. I called my mom to check in, and she said that according to the airline's website, my flight was now getting in at 10:30pm, but according to the employees, that was incorrect. I have two books, an iPod touch (and free WiFi!), a notebook, and a cellphone, but I'm pretty antsy. I've been sitting in the same seat for a few hours now.
9:20pm- The employee announces over the loudspeaker that it's time to begin boarding.
9:30pm- I gate-check my duffle bag, and bring my messenger bag onto the plane with me. I get settled in my seat (there was nobody next to me, which was nice), and read Twilight 3. The flight attendant says we won't be moving for awhile.
10:00pm- The plane moves! We get to the runway, and we start going kinda fast, but we don't take off. The flight has been pushed back... again. So I hang out on the plane, reading and conversing with other passengers.
10:30pm- The captain tells us (the passengers) that he'll have an update for us on when we'll be leaving in an hour, but he doesn't know yet what time we'll actually be leaving. After a few minutes of reading (and a phone call to my mom to let her know what was going on), I asked the flight attendant if there was a possibility that we would get pushed back even further at 11:30. She said it was a possibility.
11:30pm- The captain announces that there are 30 or 40 planes "ahead" of us (that is, 30 or 40 planes that need to fly to the same airport we're supposed to be flying to), so our flight has been cancelled. The plane is driven back to the gate, and we get off. I call my mom, and she instructs me to book a flight for the next day (4/22- today), and to see if I can get a hotel voucher so I have somewhere to sleep.
11:45pm- The airport employee announces that there is another flight that is going to Texas that needs to be boarded before she can help any of us, so we all wait in line. My feet are tired, and I want to sit down, but I also don't want to lose my place in the line.
12:00am- The flight to Texas starts boarding. Once they're all on board, the employee starts helping people book flights and gives them information about hotels.
12:30am- I get to the front of the line. The employee books me a seat on the 8:30am flight, and prints me a boarding pass (I got a window seat- yay!). I explain my situation (I'm a minor traveling alone; I don't have a credit card) and ask where the nearest hotel is, and if I can get a voucher for it. She says there is a hotel at the airport, and they don't normally give hotel vouchers when it's a weather problem (usually only if it's a problem with the aircraft), but tells me to wait for her to finish booking flights for everyone else so they can figure something out.
1:00am- The employee is done booking everyone else's flights. I explain my situation again, and she gives me a hotel voucher. Then, she directs me to the hotel. The hotel is literally attached to the airport; I didn't even have to go outside. I check in to the hotel and go to my room, where I get ready for bed.
1:30am- I set two alarms (in addition to a wake-up call) to make sure I got up, and went to sleep.

(Note- I do realize that I kind of... switched from past to present tense. Whatever.)


Anonymous said...

Wow! Did you go for the admitted student thing at CMU?

Molly said...

Monorina- yes, I did.