Friday we didn't have convention passes so we decided to roam the City a bit. Downtown is one area we wanted to discover more of. There is a mall that is about 4 or 5 stories that we always visit and next to our hotel was the "Fashion Valley Mall." Fashion valley was like an outdoor version of the Houston Galleria with stores like Louis Vuitton, Scotch and Soda, Hermes, and Tesla. Both were fun to walk.
Our flight to SD was scheduled in two legs, HTX to Oakland, Oakland to SD. We got to the airport at 5:00am to ensure we didn't miss our flight... because that happened last year. Sitting in the lobby it came time to board... The flight was boarding supposed to begin at 6:10, but at 6:10 we were notified the flight would instead be DELAYED until 12pm.
We had already been there since 5am, waiting until 12 would not be cool, we were landing early to relax before the Wrath of Con. The Wrath of Con had other plans. Obviously with this delay we wouldn't make the connecting flight so we were told to sit tight until they put together new flights. THEIR SOLUTION WAS PUTTING KYLE AND I ON DIFFERENT FLIGHTS! He was put on a direct flight there at 10am (last seat on the plane) and I was told I could be standby but my flight assignment would be at 5pm, arriving in SD after a layover AT 10PM. For my trouble I was issued a $200 voucher and Kyle got $100.
I WISH THIS STORY ENDED HERE... But it doesn't.
I went to grab food since eating in Oakland wasn't a thing anymore and walking back, chicken nugget in mouth I heard my name over the loud speaker. I went to the desk and they told me I was on standby and needed to board immediately. I grabbed my stuff and said "bye" to Kyle super quick... boarded the plane on literally the last seat next to a sweet older couple and said... "Excuse me... do you know where this flight is going?" The lady said Las Vegas and I panicked. I quickly asked a flight attendant if she knew my itinerary because I was not given a boarding pass and she was prompt in telling me that I was flying to Vegas and would land at 10am, at 11:20am I would connect to SD.
I slept most of the flight and upon landing I found my gate and saw my flight was DELAYED until 12:20. I texted Kyle because at this point he was mid-air on the way to SD on his assigned flight and I wanted him to know where I was.
SO I WAITED.
At 12:20 I was informed that the flight status was unknown and they would let us know further information when it was available.
AND THEN IT HAPPENED. The Southwest terminal in Vegas was getting more and more crowded and people trying to board flights before mine were being told they needed to be manually boarded-- meaning writing down the names of everyone boarding. We were told all systems were down.
Shortly after they told us all ground transportation was at a halt, across the country no Southwest flight was allowed to leave until further notice. GIRL LEMME TELL YOU I ran to that counter so fast and asked to get my money back so I can fly spirit. I said I was not here for her delay and asked how long it would take. She said anywhere from 2-6 hours. I was livid. She couldn't help me because her screen was blank. The website didn't work, you couldn't book flights, check in, anything.
After being grounded for about 3 more hours they slowly lifted the ban. Then an announcement was made. "Excuse me Gate 22 is now boarding for San Diego you might want to head to that gate to see if you can get on." I popped up like a AED was applied to my chest and ran like a running back to gate 22. To my surprise, not only was it boarding to San Diego, but the flight I was waiting for the whole time was no longer listed. It was cancelled with no notification. I was already in line and maybe number 5 so I didn't panic too much. Ya girl was getting on this flight. I periscoped the whole thing because at this point the ground stop was national news and I swear I'm a reporter. They let me walk on with my hand written boarding pass and I was on my way.
Ya'll, THIS ISN'T EVEN WHERE IT ENDS.
I land in SD and not to my surprise... my luggage did not make it. The lines were so long and it looked like a madhouse, it was almost 6pm and upon landing I saw Southwest cancelled almost 200 flights. I went to baggage claim to find my luggage and they said the status was unknown. The system was up but some functionality was not 100%, including tracking my baggage. I shuttled to my hotel, met up with Kyle, who also didn't have his bags... and we made out way to Fashion Valley Mall to buy all the stuff we needed for that night and the next day. I had all my outfits planned, purchased last minute toiletries, and it wasn't there.
MY BAGS WERE LOST.
Thank GOD for Zara, I found the perfect shirt and we ubered to target to get last minute toiletries. We said we are on vacation. This is not a big deal, Comic Con day one is tomorrow it's gonna be fine.
Comic Con day 1 came, Kyle's bag came at 10am. My bag email said my bag came at 11, all I wanted to do was change so I rushed to the hotel but guess what? MY BAG WASN'T THERE. After holding it in that whole day and a half, I finally cried. Kyle had already changed into something comfy and I was just there burning up and wanting the fun things I already bought for the day. Walking around in sandals hurt I just wanted my Adidas NMDs.
Major shoutout to Jill the concierge at Town and Country. She called Southwest and sent me to my room, and 45 minutes later she notified me the driver still had my back and just dropped it off to her.
PRAYER HAND EMOJIS.
I could change. I could put on comfy shoes. I could have all my toiletries. It was amazing.
Southwest gave us bother extra vouchers because this drama was extra and I was super pissed.
But yes, day two we didn't have convention badges so we literally walked the malls, then went to the room and took a day to relax!
We needed it. Just being disconnected was needed.
That night we walked Gaslamp. It was a chill day. Much needed after our Southwest experience and pushing through day one of the con.