Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We Miss Connections at Antigua

We left on Monday for the Newark Airport before any bad weather arrived and met unexpected heavy traffic. I guess we didn't figure on the President's Day return home traffic in the afternoon. We still stopped along the way at Interstate Diner in NJ for a late lunch before completing our trip to our hotel for the night. I found a special where you can park your car for free for 14 days if you stay overnight one night. The hotel, the Hilton, offers free shuttle service every 20 minutes right to the terminal.

Our flight was due to leave at 9:15am on Tuesday which is why we stayed overnight Monday since there was a chance of snow that morning. Sure enough, there was a light snow as we left in the shuttle for the airport. Arriving at the airport, we used the Elite service check-in which was much faster. For some reason, Ann received an invitation to join the President's Club which includes no charges for bags, quicker check-in and the use of the Continental Lounge while waiting for the flight. Free WiFi was included along with newspapers, mags, orange juice and coffee, nice.

Our flight was late arriving but not too bad, we boarded at 9:30 instead of 9:15 but then the trouble started. There was two navigation computers on board and the pilot reported that they didn't agree, a no-no. So we sat on the tarmac for 1 hour and 45 minutes while they sorted that out. That delay guaranteed that we would miss our connection with LIAT for the flight to Dominica since we had to fly into Antigua first. Groan!

Sure enough, we missed the flight and went to the LIAT counter to discover there were no more flights out that night! With that we scheduled another flight for 10:00 am the next day at an additional charge of $80. Apparently, Continental Airlines and LIAT do not have a ticketing agreement on delayed flights, it's everyman for himself. To add insult to injury, LIAT charged an additional $60 for our third bag! So we head for the nearest hotel for the night and had a night cap and dinner at the upstairs restaurant. We were the only ones there.