I am not a happy traveler. Even the smoothest of trips leaves me with frayed nerves and a head cold. This was not the smoothest of the trips. Changing planes rarely is--either the connection is too tight or you're left waiting forever for the next flight.
Toward the end of the bumpy ride from Newark to Dallas-Fort Worth, the flight attendant announced the gates for connecting flight. Albuquerque was not on the list. When we deplaned we found out why: Flight Cancelled. We made our way to a customer service desk where we were put on stand-by for the next flight, which was about an hour and half later and given boarding passes for the flight after that, sometime in the late afternoon. Our luggage was lucky; it made on to the next flight. We sat down to wait while the chaos swirled around us, but once we figured out that we were numbers 44 & 45 on the stand-by list, we looked up the gate where the flight we had boarding passes for would be and took the Skytrain to another end of the airport. We hunkered down there, but I could see that since the flights that were going out of that gate were all delayed, they weren't going to be able to get our flight off from there, so I consulted the board and sure enough, without telling us, they had changed the gate. Off we went down another soul-less corridor to arrive at our new gate with presumably a half hour to spare before boarding. But that flight didn't board on time. Reason: American Airlines couldn't cobble together enough crew to get the flight off the ground. What was the most amazing to me was that American Airlines is honest enough to admit their level of incompetency instead of making some bland excuse like equipment problems or radar predictions. So, about 2 hours after we were scheduled to board our already very late flight, a rather frazzled-looking flight attendant showed up and we were off to Albuquerque.
And as Paul McCartney once sang: "On the way the paper bag was on my knee/Man I had a dreadful flight."
We wound up in Albuquerque about 5 hours later than scheduled, miraculously retrieved our bag (which was not "locked up" as they said it would be at DFW, but was out mingling with all the other suitcases with no parents), got our rental car and drove the 66 miles to Santa Fe, arriving just after dark.
The only saving grace of the day was seeing two Great-tailed Grackles on the tarmac as we taxied from one side of DFW to the other.