Saturday, February 17, 2007

If I could turn back time

I probably wouldn't have come to Pittsburgh this weekend. Delta Airlines is the newest member of the Wrath of Anandi club. My flight from Seattle to Cincinnati was an hour late and the Delta ticket agent told me there were 11 people going to Pittsburgh so they would "probably" hold the connecting flight. "Probably" should have been my indication to request a refund and just go home.

Of course, they didn't hold the flight, and put us up in a crappy motel in Kentucky. (Believe me, the website is way nicer than the property itself.) Because, kids, the Cincinnati airport is in Northern Kentucky. Betcha didn't know that.

The only redeeming quality was that the Drawbridge Inn had free wireless Internet access so I could check my email and vent my spleen to anyone who was on IM late that evening. Oh, and I met a guy named Joe who was on my flight and used to work for Microsoft so we chatted for a while.

After a fitful night of sleep in that crappy room with crappy pillows and no pajamas since Delta wouldn't give me my checked bag, I woke up super-early to go to the airport. My reissued ticket didn't have a seat assignment so I wanted to make sure I got a spot on that next flight. The "customer service" agent I called (after waiting on hold for 22 minutes!) curtly told me I was on standby and I "might" get on that flight, or I'd just be put on the next one. 3 hours later. Like I have nothing better to do but wait around at the airport after spending a night in Kentucky for no good reason.

Grrr. After 3 gate changes in the space of an hour, some not too bad French toast, and another 30 minute delay, I finally got to Pittsburgh and was even reunited with my checked bag. So I picked up my adorable (cheap, no power) little Chevy Aveo rental car and puttered my way to the fabulous Omni William Penn Hotel downtown.

The hotel is very old, and very ornate. The lobby area reminds me very much of the Fairmont Olympic (which was formerly the Four Seasons) in Seattle, with its comfy seating and bar service so you can people watch and drink your snooty drinks at the same time.

I had a very cozy room at the corner of the 16th floor, so it had two windows and a gorgeous view of the city. The first order of business was a nap to make up for the night before.

Yes, I know I'm high maintenance. I like expensive things - staying in top notch hotels while working at Deloitte ruined me. But if you ever find yourself in Pittsburgh and want a treat, stay at the William Penn. It's lovely and relaxing and will make you forget about the crappy experience that is air travel today.

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