I am the alpha and the omega
August 13, 2004
Committee Law
1. A committee is the only life form with 12 stomachs and no brain.
2. A camel is a horse which was designed by a committee
3. If more than one person is responsible for a miscalculation, no one will be at fault.
4. A committee is twelve people doing the work of one.


I know that I did not put a part one on it, but, since I left you guys hanging by a thread last time, I thought that it was my responsibility to continue. This is going to be big.

First, a little geography of the Chicago O' Hare International Airport. There are four terminals in the airport. Terminal 5 is the international Airport - where the Air India Flite landed. United Airlines - my connecting flite services in Terminal 1 and American Airlines, which I finally came in services in Terminal 2. Terminal 3 doesnt come into the picture at all. All three are connected by a train system which runs every four minutes

I land at Chicago Airport, Terminal 5 at around 2:45 pm, local time (same as in Austin) (Errata in the last post - I had mentioned the time as 2:15 pm. That was the actual time it was supposed to land). By the time, I get to the Immigration queue, it was 2:45 pm. And what is ahead of me is this huge market place of people waiting for their immigration. We were lucky in one sense that ours was the first flite of people in that queue.
Inspite of being served by 8 officers, it was a long wait. My chance came at only around 4:15pm. No problem there, luckily, and was granted stay for the duration of study.
Then went to baggage. It was a big hassle. For those going now, I advise you to tie some very colorful and easily spottable ribbons or laces, because, in that huge mess of baggages, it IS very difficult to spot them. And also, get a trolley ready. It may be difficult to spot one there. And finally, also Pray.
My baggage came through that little hell-hole only 45 minutes before the connecting flite and I still had Customs to clear.

Finally managed to heave the baggage through to the Customs. Luckily, it was hassle free, inspite of me carrying pickles and loads of snacks. (I did not declare anything on the Customs form).
It was around 5:15 when I finished customs, thanx to the huge queue there for the boarding pass, and then managed to get to UA counter. There, I didnt know where to tag it and all, and in the big hurry I was in, got totally confused. Luckily, the Transit security guys directed me properly. And told us where to go (Terminal 1)

Terminal 5 -> Terminal 1
So. I hopped on to a train to Terminal 1. Reached at 5:20. And at the UA counter - there was again a huge queue. No amount of pleading did help. And when we reached the end of the queue - it as 5:45pm. And I had missed the flite by 9 minutes.

Now begins Part II.

The person at UA told us to contact the AI guys to set things rite for us.
Terminal 1 -> Terminal 5
So. off we went to Terminal 5 to the AI counter. And they managed to put us up at the 9 pm American Airlines flite to Austin.
Terminal 5 -> Terminal 2
Then hurried to AA counter in Terminal 2 and got the boarding passes for that flite.
Very Good.
But what about baggage?
AA said that it was not their responsibility to transfer the baggages from UA.
We were dumbfounded.
And in this running around, my friend had lost one important book somewhere which contained his credit card details, calling card details, phone numbers and stuff.
Terminal 2 -> Terminal 5
So we shuttled back to Terminal 5 and it wasnt there :( (He still hasnt found it)

Finally decided to go back to UA to figure out what to do.
Terminal 5 -> Terminal 1
The people there were gracious. They said that the baggage would come on their next UA flite to Austin, the next morning. No extras required. (And Rash, thats how the extra weight problem wasnt there for me)
Terminal 1 -> Terminal 2
So shuttled back to Terminal 2. On some phone booths there, made calls to my uncle (who was in Maryland) and then home (but that surprisingly got cut). It was 8 pm then.

So we hurried to security check. And there, I managed to lose my little book containing all my contact details. I didnt realise it until half hour before the flite departure. I hurried back to that place, and they reported that they hadnt seen such a book.
Then it was announced that the flite was delayed by half hour. And around 9 pm, one of the Transit security guys who found my book came by to the place where I was seated and gave it to me.
My joy knew no bounds.
I still wonder how he had found me.
Finally, I landed at Austin at 11:55 local time.

From the time I left home - at around 8:15 pm IST on Wednesday, to reaching a seniors place in Austin at 12:30 am Central time on Friday Morning, it was one of the most longest and most tedious journey I had ever had - about 38 hours, I think.

I was only thankful that I didnt suffer from jet-lag.

Posted by satosphere at 5:53 PM


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