Fast forward to Monday night, we're starting to get a little worried because Wilma got to a Cat 3 and we were getting conflicting reports on whether that airport would even be open (we were thinking not). So Monday evening we give Delta a call.
First of all Delta's automated system is the biggest pain in the ass. I know most of these things are put in place so that customers with simple questions can go through the automated system and not speak to a rep, but given the circumstances I wanted to speak to a live person. It took about 12 tries of me shouting "HELP" into the phone (that's the keyword you use to get a rep) before I finally was transferred to their queue to speak to a CS rep. I hold for a good 15 minutes before I get to speak to someone. I explain that I have a flight scheduled to leave Tuesday at 2pm from Newark, NJ to arrive at PBI and I wanted to check the status of the flight given the weather situation. Everything was booked under my name so I give her my name and stuff so she can look it up. I was visiting my mom who was also staying in NYC at a different hotel with her employer so I didn't have the flight info with me. The lady says she can't find anything, my last name is not that common but it's not super difficult either. I make sure to spell it out for her as well as my first name and she says she still can't find anything. She keeps checking and starts suggesting that I may need to call back with a flight number but then asks for the other passenger's name. I give her my friend's name and she finds it and tells me the flight is still on schedule. I think it's a little odd but figure "whatever" and decide I'll double-check when we get back to our hotel in Newark. (about a half hour bus ride away).
We get back to the hotel and I have all my flight info with me. I shout "Help" into the phone another dozen times so I can speak to a live rep. 15 minutes at least and I'm on the line with another rep, she asks for my name first and finds my flight info right away! I explain the reason I'm calling and she tells me that the flight is cancelled but says she can reschedule it for the same day. She gets some info from me and then gives me the details on the new flight. It's scheduled to leave EARLIER than my previous flight and arrives 15 minutes later. Oookay... If I'm not mistaken the whole cancellation is due to Hurricane Wilma and possible damage or power outages at the PBI airport, so I have to ask her is this all going to be fixed in the 15 minute difference that we have in arrival time? She explains it was also cancelled due to problems in the Newark airport though I didn't get an explanation as to what type of problem. She said they couldn't have too many flights leaving at the same time from the Newark airport and tells me it will be okay. Alright then. We pack and since we don't have to be at the airport that early I decide I'll call again just to be sure before we leave the hotel the next morning.
Tuesday morning I try calling again, say "HELP" for what seems like the millionth time and then wait to speak to a rep and wait and wait and wait. I still have last minute packing to do and want to make sure I didn't forget anything but that's kind of hard to do when you're holding your cellphone. I leave it on speakerphone for a good half hour and still NOTHING and I keep checking it all paranoid-like because they go through long stretches where there's no hold music and no one talks or anything. Finally I give up and hang my phone up, not wanting to waste the battery.
We get dropped off by the hotel shuttle and go to the Delta counter so they can re-issue our boarding passes as they girl on the phone told us to, we are then informed that the flight is cancelled and that all the other airports are closed in the vicinity. He says they can cancel it and give us our money back and that's about all they can do. When asked why I wasn't told this over the phone so that I could make preparations the clerk just says "I don't know, it's been all over the news that PBI is closed." WTF?! He tells us we should go home and come back tomorrow. Well thanks buddy but I don't really have a "home" here I just checked out of "home" and "home" wants to charge me $150 to stay another night there, which is well above the rate I was getting.
As a last ditch effort we ask if we can fly into Orlando (about 2 1/2 hours away from PBI) and they get us a flight. Beautiful, so our flight takes off really late, so late in fact that we miss our connection but they are nice enough to hold the flight and bus us over to the plane that's waiting for us. We arrive in Orlando at 7:30 and wait by the baggage claim...and wait and wait and wait until there's only like 3 bags rolling around none of which are ours. We go to the baggage services for Delta and they inform us that our bags were put on another flight which will arrive there at 9:15. So Delta made sure they could screw us one more time before we finally got home. We ended up getting home very late between the flight delays and waiting for our luggage.
So thanks a lot Delta! We'll be sure not to fly with you guys ever again!