a harbinger?

Today is December 26th.  Our packout is tomorrow morning, December 27th, at 8 am.  Our flight to Abuja leaves on Tuesday, December 28th.  And we are stranded in Des Moines.

My flight was originally scheduled this morning at 7 am.  Joey's was scheduled at 10.  Last night I received a late Christmas gift of coal from Delta who called to inform me that my flight had been cancelled and I had been reassigned to a flight leaving here at 3 pm and getting into DC almost twelve hours after my original flight was due to land.  Pain in the ass enough if all you have to do is go to work Monday morning - giant fing catastrophe if you're scheduled to be packed out Monday morning to move to Nigeria for two years! 

Obviously I am freaking out.  Saying goodbye to my family to move to BFE is bad enough and now we are adding travel delays starting in Des Moines - I can only imagine what the next few days are going to be like.  I took Joey to the airport an hour ago.  As soon as I got back to my parents' house the phone rang: Joey.  His flight is cancelled.  The earliest American Airlines thinks he'll be able to get into DC is 10 pm.  TOMORROW.  No big deal, we're not moving to Africa or anything.

Oh, and by the way, if we don't get to Nigeria before the first of the year we have to spend an extra month there.  Our two days in December count for the whole month of December.  So if we don't get there in December, that month doesn't count.

So Lizz and Ashley are on their way to the airport to pick up Joey.  Who is currently working the American Airlines counter on his ticket and making sure with the Delta counter that my ticket is still a go.  Because the people at American told him that no flights are landing on the East Coast today and that mine will probably be cancelled as well.  So I guess we'll see.  When I took Joey to the airport he said that as we begin our life of international travel we should probably just learn to roll with the punches but quite frankly I feel more like I dropped the soap.


  1. Update: Joey just called. I am now rebooked for Tuesday morning. The same day we're due to fly to Abuja. Not really sure how that's going to work. He is rebooked for Monday night. Can someone please just rip off the bandaid?

  2. My suggestion is to just take a deep breath, accept that everything is getting slowed down, and enjoy the extra time with your family and in the U.S.

    Realistically your movers are not going to be able to come either if DC is snowed in. (Most of the moving companies are based in VA, MD or even W VA and have to drive into the city to pack you out.) You should call Transportation today to leave a message (800-424-2947) then again first thing Monday morning, if the federal government is open. (Check the GAO website.)

    As for State's travel agency, you can go ahead and call them today to give them a heads up. Here is the emergency number after-hours number for Carlson Wagonlit: 866-654-5593. They may be able to give you some advice on your trip back to DC as well, even though it's a private ticket.

    I would not worry too much about arriving in late Dec versus early Jan. While it's technically true that arriving Dec 31 gives you credit for the whole month, the rules are flexible. (I arrived at my first post in Feb but left in Nov, 20 months later.)

    Good luck! And welcome to the drama that is the Foreign Service.

  3. Maybe you will not have to go to Nigeria and you can stay home with your family!!??

  4. Melissa - I know that hiccups (even major ones like this) always come at the worst time, but I know that a month from now - heck even a WEEK from now - this will barely be a blip on the radar. You are doing such a wonderful thing by supporting your husband as he follows his dreams, don't let a silly little thing like canceled flights ruin the start of your exciting adventure!

    Stay strong and carry on!

    Love you both! - LC