Apple Chronicles: Delayed in Detroit

After almost a week in California, I’m finally done with work and I can start my much-awaited vacation on the other side of the continent, New York!  It was a Thursday and we woke up to a wet and foggy day…

It was that time when the leaves were turning red and a bunch of other colors…

This is part of a series

I’ve enjoyed very good dry and cool weather for the past five days so I was surprised when I woke up to rains on the day I was checking out.  At the back of my mind, I’m relieved that this happened when I’m leaving as I won’t have to get wet.  I don’t really like walking in the rain especially when the temperature is quite low.

Surprised to see everything outside was wet…

While the rain wasn’t particularly strong, I did notice that the fog was getting heavy on my way to the airport.  I didn’t particularly pay notice to this but it was really noticeable by the time we were crossing the 11-kilometer long San Mateo–Hayward Bridge, approaching the airport area, as you can hardly see the incoming planes on their way to land.

Another airport, another security screening, another double checking of my bag.  With so many airport security checks that I’ve past through for the past two weeks, I think my carry-ons have gone through screening twice in almost all of them.  The first time was because I didn’t place my laptop out (because there was no sign anywhere that you should), but afterwards always about one thing: food.  Who would’ve known that carrying food these days through airport security (at least in the US) will make your bag go through secondary manual checks.  And mind you, these are all domestic routes!  By the time I finally got through, I was already hungry.

Had a burger at Perry’s for lunch…

And because I’m always eager to check my gate first before anything else, I realized that the area where my gate was only had very few options when it comes to eating.  And as I didn’t really want to go through security checks again, I just picked the one that had the line to enter.  My feet were already tired from carrying me and my bag’s weight so I was so looking forward to get seated.

The weather unfortunately had some unwanted results for everyone flying out from SFO that day—flight delays.  My flight to New York got (initially) bumped 30 minutes later, but I have a 30-minute layover in Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) so I was concerned and talked to a personnel of my airline, Delta.  She was assuring me that we’d still be able to catch our connecting flights and we should not worry, but then I again, I was highly skeptical.  Eventually, we left around 45 minutes later than the original departure time.

Until next time, San Francisco!

There are times you wish you were not right, and this was one of those times.  I was right that I’d miss my connecting flight.  By the time we landed, my plane to New York had just left.  And I found myself in a practically closed airport as we arrived around 10 PM, local time.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport: still looking as good as the first time I saw you almost nine years ago!

It’s my first time to miss a connecting flight and it happened so far away from home.  Like with all other affected passengers, I went to Delta’s booth for some solutions to our predicament.  As no more flights to available were available that night, I was booked on one of the flights the following day.  For the meantime, I was booked at a nearby hotel in Romulus: Wyndham Garden.  It included breakfast and shuttle services between the airport and hotel.  Now, I’m forced to find my way out of the airport, find the hotel shuttle terminal, and board the correct shuttle.

Finding the hotel shuttle terminal was pretty easy.  Waiting for the hotel shuttle though was a different story.  It was 1°c outside, and for some reason out hotel’s shuttle felt like it took forever to arrive!  I’ve seen countless hotel shuttles pass by but none bearing our hotel’s name.  Fortunately, I wasn’t alone so I just remembered who were going with the same hotel as I am and watched out if they’d be riding any shuttle.  It’s very easy to get impatient when you’re really tired and it’s practically freezing and you’re waiting for something that you’re unsure when would come.  After what I think was half an hour, a shuttle bearing our hotel’s name came in, and we were able to get our ride.  And boy, we really did fill up every seat in that mini bus!

The rooms are big but quite dated, but this will do for the night.
My curse: I never get to use the tub!

Our hotel was just a few minutes away from the airport and kudos to the check in staff as it was probably the fastest hotel check in I’ve ever had!  I just presented the paper coming from Delta and she immediately gave me my hotel key card.  At this point, all I wanted was to get in my room, get warmed up, and take a quick shower.  My body clock was still in California time (three hours behind) so I wasn’t that ready to sleep just yet.  And the food that kept me from going through airport security quickly became useful as I had something to eat.

Detroit, Michigan is the first place I’ve visited outside Asia way back in 2009.  It holds a lot of firsts for me as it was my first international flight, the first place I saw snow, and where I had my first domestic flights outside the Philippines!  After nine years, who would’ve expected that I’d be back in the same airport?  My history of international flights coming full circle—I really am getting old!

Taken 2009 inside DTW when we arrived in a now defunct 747 plane.

The following morning, I had the chance to take a better look at my hotel as I went to get breakfast.  As Detroit can get really cold in winter (it dropped to -1°c that night and it was just November), the hotel made sure that guests can still do something indoors by having an indoor pool.  I didn’t check if it was heated as I didn’t really have much time to spend until I had to go to the airport again.

Wish I had more time to try the pool, but it’s a bit too cool to think of swimming anyways!
Approaching the airport…

Thankfully, there were no more surprises when I arrived back at the airport.  Sure, my bag with food went through manual security checks again, but I didn’t mind as at least now I’m just two hours away from officially starting my vacation!  New York, here I come!

This time I got to use the airport indoor tram to quickly get to my gate.
Waiting for boarding… finally!
4H 32M

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Apple Chronicles:

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