I was flying home from a conference in DC, and I was bookd on the 8pm flight to Atlanta and then the 10:50 flight from Atlanta to Tampa. I arrived at the airport around 6:20, and I see that the 5 flight was delayed and that the 6:30 flight was delayed to 7:15. I am thinking that it is not looking good for the 8pm flight. So, i ask if there are seats on teh 6:30, and I got one. :) Whew.
We board at about 6:45, and they get everyone on the plane. Thankfully, I scored the upgrade, so I am in first class. The door closes and mere minutes later there is an announcment that Atlanta is on a ground stop and that we won't leave until 9:20. OMG...That is 2 hours! They said that we can either get off the plane or stay on the plane, but that you have to make a choice. They were serving drinks, and I discovered that there was POWER on the plane. I either have never known the plugs existed or it was a rare circumstance. I was so excited (the little things make SUCH a difference when traveling). So, I decided to stay. The 2 hours went pretty fast as I got to talk to several people, update some documents for work, etc. Useful time.
Around 9:20, we leave the gate. YEAH! OH NO...another announcement. There is now a ground stop in DC. Seriously? There is a bad storm and it is raining hard and lightening. FUN on a plane - NOT. Around 10:00, we are ready to go again. 30 minutes later, we still haven't taken off. Another announcement. This time, there is bad weather over Virginia where we have to fly. Geez. We FINALLY took off close to midnight. When we landed in Atlanta after 1am, I scanned my ticket on the "Missed your flight?" scanner, and it said that I had to fly to Memphis at 8:30am, and then I would fly from Memphis to Tampa in the afternoon. WHAT? Crazy. As it is now 1:30am and I don't want to worry about it all night, I got in the sky priority line to figure out what is up. When I get to the desk, the guy starts looking at direct flights. He found a direct at 8:45!!!!! WOO HOO! It is now 2:15. I am debating the hotel vs airport bench at this point. I found a hotel in downtown atlanta, but I figured I wouldn't get there until about 3 or 3:30, and it would probably be about 4 before I could get into bed. Since I would need to leave at 6 to head back to the airport due to rush hour, I decided to stay at the airport. I finally fell asleep (WHY do they have the TVs blaring in the middle of the night???) around 4am. I woke at 5. Since the Sky Club opens at 5, I went there. I slept from about 5:30 - 7:30 in two chairs pulled together. I felt much better. Thankfully, Delta gave me the overnight bag that had a tshirt, toothbrush, brush, etc in it. I also got a travel voucher since they didn't get me a hotel. The flight to Tampa was boring (the way I like it). I have had pretty good travel luck, and the Delta staff were all very helpful. So, I hope I have paid my bad luck travel dues for a while!