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Travelling fun

January 10, 2009

OK. So here’s my story of the year (thus far)…

I show up to the airport at 5:45 am to check in for my series of flights to get to my interview (on Monday). Yes, it’s Saturday, but I figured it best to give myself a day cushion “in case” something happens in one of the cities I’m traveling through. As soon as I step in the line, the guy working the counter asks if there was anyone who had checked-in online. I didn’t because my intinerary had me changing carriers mid-trip to make it to my final destination. The guy behind the counter keeps asking because, get this, the plane had reached it’s weight limit restriction (and everyone else that wasn’t already checked-in was going to have to be re-routed to their destinations.

WHAT! How can a plane with ticketed passengers be at a weight limit restriction PRIOR to all ticketed passengers being checked in? (If anyone has an answer, I’d love to know… I have a few theories myself)

So I get up to the counter (after one guy has managed to force his way onto the flight… because he ABSOLUTELY HAS to make the flight… and he’s got his golf clubs with him…), and they want to put me through Minneapolis to Cleveland. But I won’t make flight #3. So they get me on American (which I’d rather fly anyway) to get to Cleveland (CLE). Now I’m going through O’Hare (ORD) and I have a 10 minute connection in Cleveland, should everything go smoothly. Fine. I’ll take it.

So I’m now on leg #1 (of 3) and somehow the in-flight magazine I’m reading manages to spill my almost empty coffee cup in my lap. I should have know from these two things how my day is going to go. Fortunately, the flight is virtually empty and I can make it through about a third of the cabin without anyone seeing me with a liquid mark on my pants that looks like I have urinary incontinence. So I try to dry up as much as possible, and take a couple of handtowels back to my seat with me to help the drying process.

We land ahead of schedule at ORD… good omen, right? Nope. Our gate is still occupied because they are de-icing the plane that was there. Chicago got hit with a snowstorm overnight – that apparently they weren’t ready for. (In this modern day, how do airports of all places seem unable to turn on The Weather Channel or at least check their website? SERIOUSLY?! Everyone doing the travelling is checking, how about the people managing the getting there.)

So now we have to wait on the taxiway for our gate to be available. Which takes around 30 minutes. So now I just have to make the flight from ORD to CLE and all is good.

YEAH RIGHT! One of the pilots for our flight was delayed getting into ORD and then that flight also had to wait for their gate. Of course. So the ORD-CLE flight was delayed over an hour which killed my ability to make the connection in CLE, unless they too are having weather problems.

So the pilot makes it, we board, we go through the safety briefing that no one cares about. We go through the 30+ minute de-icing process. And, you guessed it… another delay! The runway at CLE was just barely landable, so they decided to delay us an hour or so to try again. And we de-plane. And we re-board. And make it to CLE 4 hours late.

On the bright side, my connecting flight from CLE to Lewisburg, WV (LWB) was cancelled so I didn’t miss it. Even though if I had, I’d have a spot on the flight tomorrow (Sunday). I made sure of that before I’d even left the check-in gate in Tulsa.

So now I’m going to spend the evening hanging out with my family, in Cleveland. And that’s the story so far…

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