Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Stuck in San Antonio

I came to San Antonio to cover the Final Four for, but like so many folks, I'm stuck here due to American Airlines being grounded. Actually, it's only their Super 80 planes that are grounded, but that's all they fly out of here.

The airport was very full yesterday with people trying to leave, but at 3:30, AA announced it was canceling all of its flights. All they were willing to do for me was was rebook on another of their flights the next day, but not only were many of those full, but they were on the same type of plane.

Some people waited hours (yes, plural) at the AA counter in the hopes of getting rebooked and perhaps a hotel room for the night. I wasn't going to wait hours, only to have to do the same thing again today. I did manage to get my flight refunded over the phone though.

So, my brother-in-law worked the internet at home (I had no access myself at SAT) and got me a reservation on Southwest and a hotel room here, so if everything goes well, I'll get home sometime tonight.

Meanwhile, here in San Antonio, internet access has been difficult to find. My hotel is near the airport, but in a light industrial area, so even finding food meant a long walk.

Today, while making that walk, I went about a mile and a half before finding a Denny's (as if I didn't have enough of that this week - our hotel was right next to a Denny's). I had no luck finding places with internet access.

After giving up, I started the long walk back to my hotel thinking one of my favorite phrases, "could be worse, could be raining," when - you probably guessed - it started raining.

Fortunately, there was a car dealer nearby, with a rental car company inside. It turned out to be relatively cheap to rent a car for a few hours and drop it at the airport, so I did. Now, I could check out of my hotel and search for internet access.

I drove a little ways before finally coming upon a McDonald's. That's perfect for me because I can access the internet there for free. However, it didn't like my id and password, so it took a half hour on tech support before we could figure it out and get me online.

So, to review, rating the degree of difficulty of some of the things I did this month while covering the tournament from easiest to hardest:

  • Getting into Canada without proper documentation
  • Getting my credential to get into the Final Four
  • Getting out of San Antonio (although this has not actually happened yet, so it could fall down the list)
  • Finding internet access in San Antonio

    If you would like to read some of my other coverage from the NCAA tournament trail, you can go to's Hangtime blog for my off-day adventures, and the Posting Up blog for my in-game coverage.
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