It all was going too smoothly. I called the airline the night before and despite the repeated winter storm warnings, our flight was not cancelled. I called again in the morning despite the fact that it was snowing outside but the flight was still not cancelled.
So, we got up at 5:00 am, got our things together and headed to JFK airport. We waited in line for an hour to get our bags checked in and to get our boarding passes. Amazingly, still no cancellations. We were thinking that this might happen. We might escape New York's wintry mix - a cruel final blast of ice and snow that took place just 36 hours after we experienced 70-degree weather in the tri-state area. We spent a half-hour getting through security and scarfed down breakfast in just enough time to get to the gate as the boarding process began. Maybe we would get to Vegas after all!
We boarded the plane, stowed our belongings, buckled our seat belts, fired up the ipods and Nintendo DS and we're looking forward to the warm weather, the gambling, the NCAA games, our dinner reservations, and possibly seeing some friends who would also be there. They even de-iced the plane and got us to the runway. But alas, it was not to be! First, the pilot took us back to the gate and had us de-board. That's when it did not look good. We had been on the plane for a couple hours so getting us off was the only thing they did right. Afterwards, we all sat around at the gate. They said they weren't cancelling the flight and it was "indefinitely" delayed. What the hell does that mean? We were held hostage. Our bags still on the plane having been checked in. Dreams of going to Vegas dashed but still remained on the off chance that they might fly. But we all knew as time went on and the weather worsened, the chances of going to Vegas got slimmer and slimmer.
U.S. Airways just handled it poorly. We all get that they can't affect the weather, but there was little communication. We relied on each other or word-of-mouth to find out what was going on. Three to four hours later (out of a total of about 8-9 hours wasted in the plane and at the airport), it was clear that we weren't flying. We waited in line to find out where to get our bags and how to get re-booked but upon getting to the desk, the clerks walked away! What are we, invisible? One even said she would be right back, but never returned. Absolutely terrible customer service. Finally, we said "Fuck it, let's just get out of here." We went down to baggage claim, got our bags and waited in line. Ice pellets barraged almost as mercilessly as the entire day had. We waited for quite some time before we got into the cab and headed home.