This one was particularly memorable.
The first leg of my 7pm flight Detroit -> Chicago -> Munich -> Genova was delayed due to storms in NY where the plane was coming from. This meant missing the international flight, so United changed my itinerary to Detroit -> Chicago -> Copenhagen -> Munich -> Genova with an arrival delay of just 4 hours. So far so good.
Next, SAS cancelled the Copenhagen flight before I made it out of Detroit. Back into the queue for the service desk.
To cut a very long story short – skipping the calls to United, Lufthansa, and the travel agency – by midnight my only option was as follows :
1. Go find a hotel at my expense
2. Be back in the airport at 5am
3. Fly to Houston (economy, middle seat, 4 hours)
4. Layover 4 hours in Houston
5. Fly to Newark (economy, middle seat, 4 hours)
6. Layover 2 hours
7. Fly to Milano
8. Hire a car, and drive to Genova Airport to pick up my car
Unfortunately the Newark -> Milan flight was delayed 8 hours, so I spent a total of 28 hours and two flights across the country just to get out of the country.
Made it home about 36 hours late.
United we stand, divided we fall…