Monday, March 05, 2007


Today I flew back from Chicago to Virginia. And I say "today" because it took me all day. Got up at 6 something this morning, headed off to the airport a little before 7:30am, and then got promptly stuck in Chi-town traffic. My friend Teri who was driving me, wonderful woman, was not having a happy morning. We moved a couple miles over twenty minutes and I was beginning to rearrange my luggage so I could carry everything on board, check nothing. That didn't stress me out (well, when I realized I'd have to leave my hair stuff behind if I carried my bags on, I did get a bit annoyed). But, lo and behold, we made it in time for me to check my bag and make my merry way through security.

Only to find myself waiting... apparently, my flight was delayed 2 hrs and 45 minutes. Not that they announced that delay, or changed the departure status of the flight from "on-time" to "yeah, right." No, no, heaven forbid you let your passengers know what's going on; heaven forbid people looking at the clock that reads "9:30," knowing they should be taking off by now but hadn't heard anything, let alone boarded, would have a clue about what's going on. Also, heaven forbid you tell people WHY there's a delay - "is it a weather problem in Philly?" "uh, it's a problem here." What the gate agent doesn't say is that it's an airline computer problem, one that apparently has left lots of people stranded over the weekend.

I managed to get a new connecting flight out of Philly to Richmond, and went to eat lunch - for by this time, it was close to lunch time. Mid bit of tuna, I hear "all rows, all passengers, for Philidelphia." Ack! I jumped up, looked at the time (I should have had an hour and 15 mins to spare), quickly grabbed my stuff and got on the plane. Only to find someone sitting in my seat. Only to find I was on the wrong flight to Philly. Apparently, an earlier flight that had been displaced was heading out (with tons of empty seats). Why they didn't offer this flight to us later flight people, I don't know. But since I was already on (since I had already discovered this secret other flight!) they let me fly out on it. This flight was excitingly delayed when the computer problems that messed up boarding made trouble for the pilots - they couldn't seem to get the weight balance info from the computer. Joy!

Made it to Philly no problem (well, except for the wind shears that made me want to lose what little of the tuna sandwhich I had scarfed down). Got on the plane to Richmond - it looked like I'd make it by 5:30pm, too late for meetings at church but maybe I could make it home before it got dark. We got on the plane and sat... and sat... and sat... The pilot came on the speaker and said something to the effect of "Sorry folks for the delay, but the aft cargo door is open. I don't know why, don't know who's working on it, but we're trying to get it taken care of." Oh, such a vote of confidence. After 20 or so minutes, they managed to close the door and then of course 40 minutes later, we were off.

Landed in Richmond, YAY!, too late to drive back in the daylight - and with the dramamine I didn't want to drive in the dark - but I could get my bag, get my ride, get some more work done, and crash. One flaw in that plan - the airline had lost my bag. So here I sit, in my friend's pjs, with a newly bought toothbrush, hoping they find that piece of luggage - I have cute shoes in there!

And the amazing thing to me about this whole day - I actually stayed patient. Didn't get fiesty or ornery with a single one of the people who told me "delay. delay. lost luggage." Didn't stress out, panic something was going especially wrong. Nope, I was pretty calm and cool throughout the day. And this, my friends, I chalk up to that great vacation, that wonderful sabbath, the needed rest. Life's problems didn't bother me (and trust me, I'm not a good flyer, it scares me and anything out of the ordinary usually increases that anxiety). Nope, I was collected and mostly unphased. Yay! Lets see how long this lasts (aka, lets see how long it takes the airline to bring back my shoes, I mean, luggage).

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