Yesterday I travelled to the Bay Area for the Team LIVESTRONG Challenge. I flew Delta through Salt Lake City and was supposed to arrive in Oakland at 11:00 where I'd get my car (booked with a free rental coupon), drive to my hotel in Pleasanton (booked with points) and get a good night's sleep.
That was the plan. The reality was that my plane was late into SLC. Instead of boarding at 9:15, we boarded at around 9:40. Oh, and then unboarded at around 10:00. Why, you ask? Because the pilots for the plane were not going to arrive until 12:40! So around 12:50, we reboarded the plane, and finally took off around 1:20 local time (12:20 west coast time).
We finally arrived at Oakland at 2:30ish, a mere 3.5 hours late. But wait! It gets worse! I get my bag and head out to the rental car shuttle. This is when the shuttle driver informs me that the rental car center is closed and all the rental company people are gone for the night! He offers to drive us over anyway just to prove that we are screwed, and on a desperate hope I go.
While I'm riding over, I'm trying to figure out what to do: I can sleep in the airport then get my car the next morning. I could take an $80 cab ride each way out to Pleasanton. I'm thinking how I really don't like any of these choices when we pull up to the rental car center and I hop out to see for myself that no one's there. As I'm bumming out at the Avis counter, trying to come up with a reasonable plan, the cleaning lady points me down to Hertz and tells me they are open. With little choice, I rented a car from them.
Long story short, I got to my hotel at 3:30am and had to pay $45 for a rental, but at least I got to sleep in a bed. Let's hope the rest of the trip is better than the start!