What a tiresome trip getting here. A huge part of it is very much my own fault. Not a morning person to the fault, I push the limits of how late I can check-in at the airport. Three weeks ago, I checked in at 20 minutes prior to departure, with checked bag, and got on. My bag met me at the airport as expected. So, yes, I push limits, especially with small airports.
Ladies, do as I say but do not do as I do. I, again, pushed my limits this morning, getting to Dulles. Big mistake. Dulles is a big airport, they do NOT make exceptions. Even if my flight was delayed over 30 minutes and with that adjustment I was at the airport well over an hour prior to departure time. No indeed. With a ski bag and a big rolling duffel, United was not letting me check into my flight although I technically could make the flight.
There's another lesson: If you find yourself in that situation, be flexible and be polite. That, I did. The attendant did put me on standby for a later flight which got my luggage and me through security. Did not make the first flight but was automatically rolled over to the following flight. Not only did I make the second plane, I got business class seating. Well, can't complain now, can I?
Once in Denver, the customer service agent was very confused about my tickets and how I got to Denver (my original itinerary put me to Chicago O'Hare). A short but honest explanation got an understanding nod and a seated ticket.
Total travel time since departure from home to settling into hotel: 15 hours. But I got here. I had to remind myself this is a vacation. That I was in no rush. And that made the trip, which sleep-deprived, a whole lot smoother.