Bad American

Hello my MARtians, I must say how wonderful it is to be back home in Connecticut. It seems that in just over a short week the gardens at my home, Rosebrook Gardens, have flourished with lush vegetation and emerald green new growth. That said, two of my favorite flowering plants, the clematis and peonies, are loaded with buds. The majestic boxwood and decorative trees on the property have also come into their own. Isn’t Mother Nature aMARzing?

Sights so beautiful and natural make me extremely happy, especially in contrast to my experiences while returning this week from a business assignment in California. You all know how positive I am about life, work and the pursuit of happiness, but even Mar Jennings has a limit. Let me explain.

I might be famous for Life on Mar’s, but when it comes to travel, I know how to make the most of planet Earth. When the universe sends me unexpected curve balls I try to graciously accept the journey and make the most of it. However, when American Airlines cancels a flight at midnight (which was scheduled for 11:30pm), makes no announcement, and then only gives notice via e-mail (while everyone is sitting in the terminal already, waiting for a flight we were told was merely delayed), I become upset, disappointed and somewhat irritated. I spent a restless 5-hour night at the local Hilton Airport Hotel without any of my person items. The good fortune was that I was able to get rebooked on a Delta Airlines flight the next morning, and arrived safely home.

My luggage, however, was less fortunate: it sat in limbo. After endless calls, e-mails and text messages, it arrived – two days later. (There was even an unnerving period where the luggage was in neither AA nor Delta’s systems.) But let me ask you: have you ever just looked at something and noticed that something was wrong? My gut was right, as items were missing from my suitcases. Polo shirts, pants, belts and shoes. Truth be told, I try not to get emotionally attached to “things” but I can’t help but feel somewhat violated.

I’m a proud American, but it doesn’t mean I can’t recognize a Bad American when I encounter one. Sadly, American’s policies made it impossible for all the good employees there to provide the expected level of service. Regarding the lost luggage and missing items, American Airlines seems to be passing the buck to Delta, but knowing where and when the theft took place will be impossible to pin down. Needless to say, reports have been filed and everything is replaceable, so I will return to focusing on positive and see the glass as half full.

My photo shows me at a happier time, kicking back in the American Airlines lounge before I discovered my flight was cancelled. Luckily, it’s only one of the photos that remind me of the terrific and happy week which preceded it – after all, those are the most valuable memories.

So, what are your crazy travel stories?