28 Sept 2014
Our last day in Chicago and we’re sad to say good-bye. My Dad suggested we try Carson’s, a place famous for ribs; which he loved when they visited Chicago a few years ago. Facing another big meal was a challenge but we agreed to take one for the team! This one’s for you Dad!

My phone buzzed as a notification arrived from Tripcase, our travel app: ‘Your flight tomorrow is cancelled. Contact AA for more information’. Okay…

What ensued next can only be described as an automated phone system vortex, as I struggled to make my accent understood. I gave what I hoped was a generic American accent my best shot; which seemed to work until:
“What is the surname of your booking?” 
I answered.
“I’m sorry, I’m having trouble understanding you. Let’s try that again. What is the surname of your booking?”
I answered again, a little more slowly and loudly.
“I’m sorry, I’m having trouble understanding you.. Etc
I answered again and again, frantically searching for a recognisable local accent.

On and on, four times, eight times, how many different American accents could I imitate? I was lost. Finally we found ourselves on hold waiting to speak to a person, although I was losing hope of ever being understood again. 

For an hour we shared nursing the handset, waiting and listening to the same five bars of music and info-messages on short-cycle repeat. Meanwhile David looked into our travel insurance policy while I googled to see if I could work out why the flight was unceremoniously cancelled. Turns out that a few days ago, a disgruntled FAA employee sabotaged the Chicago area air traffic control servers. Chicago’s airports were in chaos with hundreds of flights cancelled and a back log of passengers stranded. Uh-oh. 

But long story, short, we were eventually ‘re-accommodated’ as they say here but we had to fly via Charlotte, North Carolina. Fine, fine, we’re not in a hurry, just happy to have  flights. 

By now we needed a drink, to celebrate, to say farewell Chicago, and to see the city one last time. It was a warm evening so we wandered the streets looking for the perfect bar and decided to return to Howells & Hood, with their extensive beer menu. And this time we kept a lid on it- don’t want to fly with hangovers! 

7 thoughts on “GOOD NIGHT CHICAGO

  1. Ribs abstinence my son….never. whats wrong with a world wide research project. He needs help here Carol.
    Love to you both, keep soldiering on in spite of adversity.
    Love ya blog Carol……..This is Dad Pickie by the way.


  2. The dramas of travel. Lucky you got it sorted in time. Waiting an hour on the phone sucks. Not understanding you sucks too. How do people with non English accents fare? Love the night shots of Chicago and Carsons ribs yum yum.


  3. OMW That sounds like Africa; not being understood and then holding onto a phone for hours. Glad you got sorted. I look forward to your next adventure.


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