Competition Weekend Begins

After many hours of travel, I’m finally in San Luis Obispo. My journey actually took a rather unfortunate turn even before I left.

As I was checking into my flight online last night, there was a message saying that my flight from Seattle to Salt Lake City (SLC) was going to be delayed by 90 minutes. Well, this was no good since my connecting flight from SLC to Santa Barbara (SBA) would be gone by then.

I called up Delta and talked to a service representative about what my options were. I basically had two options:

  1. Fly to SLC and catch the 9:30pm flight to Santa Barbara
  2. Fly to Los Angeles (LAX) and get picked up there

I decided to fly to LAX since I didn’t want to fly in so late to SBA. Unfortunately, the LAX flight left over an hour earlier then the SLC flight and I had already spent at least 45 minutes on the phone with Delta. Thus, I only ended up getting 3 hours of sleep.

Woke up and left the house at 4:50am. When I got to the airport, I took a look at the flight board and saw that there was a 6:00am flight to SLC that would allow me to make my original connection from SLC to SBA. After vigorously asking several different gate attendants, it seemed that the flight to SLC was indeed completely full (no doubt because there was a plane load of people trying to do exactly what I was doing).

So I flew into LAX on an Embraer ERJ-145, which I thought was kind of odd because usually 737-type planes fly that route. As I as getting off, I overheard a girl talking to her dad about her flight to SLC being delayed and how she was going to San Luis Obispo (SLO). This obviously piqued my interest, so I asked her how she was able to get a ticket. After talking with Delta for over an hour, she was able to get a ticket from LAX to SLO on American Eagle, who are apparently codeshare partners with Delta.

I thanked her for the information and went to find a check-in reservationist at the Delta counter. After presenting my case to the reservationist, she was baffled why the person who helped me with my arrangements last night wasn’t able to figure out that I could get all the way to Santa Barbara on American Eagle.

A short time later, I found myself on a flight to the Santa Barbara Airport on a Saab 340 turboprop, arriving only 10 minutes later then I would have if my original flight had worked as planned.

I’m now sitting in on the floor of a restaurant that’s being remodeled. The management at the local Holiday Inn Express has graciously allowed us to use the space as an impromptu work area.

The competition starts tomorrow and you can watch it live (kind of) at http://www.facilities.calpoly.edu/campusprojects/EngIV_Web_Cam.htm

You can also check back here or at the official CSM NERDS website