Sorry for the absence, we had a busy few weeks and there has not been much time to write!
I think I mentioned that D and I had planned a trip to Pittsburgh mid-June. This post is specifically about our travel mishaps, I will post soon about our actual trip!
This was our first time actually leaving and flying out of Doha. We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, got through security, and got to our gate, all with plenty of time. That all went pretty smoothly. The flight was good – its just long! Luckily, they feed you twice, and you can get up and walk around as you need to.
Once we arrived in DC, we had to go through customs, declare anything we were bringing over, then re-check our luggage, and go through security all over again. This was no picnic – DC (Dulles airport) was very disorganized and busy, since it was a Saturday, so the security line was long. Luckily, we had a 6 hour layover, so we were in no hurry. (It was still a PITA though!).
So we arrived in DC around 4 PM, and our flight to Pgh was supposed to leave at 10 PM. When we picked up our boarding passes, it all ready said our flight was delayed until 10:30 PM. Dave and I were frustrated, but decided to wait out the 6 and half hours to see if the flight would be on time-ish, lol.
Yeah, it wasn’t. Let’s just say the delay time kept getting pushed back, and it ended up not coming to DC until about midnight. D and I had been up since 5 AM, which is 11 PM Pgh time, so we had been up at this point almost 25 hours. I had actually reached a point of exhaustion I never knew was possible! I was emotional, exhausted and just generally grumpy.
Thank goodness my brilliant husband had suggested we stay at the airport Hyatt Saturday night – since we ended up not arriving in Pgh until about 1 AM, then we still had to collect our luggage. We got to the Hyatt, and they said they did not have the room we requested, and asked how an upgrade sounded! So that was pretty awesome. The rest of the travel – not so much!
I think in the future, we have certainly decided we are just going to fly the Doha -DC flight, then just drive the 4 hours from DC. It will save us SO much more time to do it this way! We could have been to Pgh hours earlier if we would have driven when we arrived at 4, so that’s the plan from here on out!
Traveling on the way back was not too bad, although way more crowded than we expected on a Thursday afternoon. Our flight was supposed to leave at 5 PM, so we got to the airport about 3ish. We get to the United check in desk to a large line of people – so we waited, and then the security line was much longer than I had ever seen! I think it took us about an hour overall to get through all of it (checking luggage, boarding passes, security, etc).
Naturally, our flight was delayed, and we ended up leaving about an hour later than originally scheduled. Again, if we had driven to DC, all of this would not have been an issue!
Our flight back to Doha is an overnight flight, and honestly, it just felt long. I couldn’t sleep because I could not get comfortable, so I tried to occupy my time with movies and tv shows, but then my eyes would close! Again, we had been up for about 24 hours by the time all our traveling was done, and our body just can’t handle that! So it was a tough flight, and we were so relieved to get back to Doha, where the Al Maha service zipped us right through customs, picked up our luggage for us, and got us a taxi.
Now we have a week to readjust to the Doha time zone, before leaving in a week for Scotland! That will be another long day of traveling, since we have some long layovers, but at least the flights are much shorter! 🙂
More to come on the actual Pittsburgh trip soon! 🙂