Monday, April 6, 2009

An awesome weekend sandwiched between awful plane flights

This past weekend I got the opportunity to fly up to New York for Jess' shower and bachelorette party. All I will say about that is what happens in Albany stays in Albany. ;-) Unfortunately I had some airline issues getting there which resulted in me arriving in Newark not at 11:50 am as planned but at 7:30 pm. Here is an idea of how my day went.

3:45 am (central time): alarm goes off. Curse alarm. Hit snooze.
3:55 am: alarm goes off again. Get out of bed. Stumble to bathroom. Remind myself that it is worth getting up early because I will be eating lunch with Jess.
4:30 am: Leave house, head to airport.
5:45 am: Board plane. Discover someone else is in my seat. Wish Southwest would fly to Newark. Compromise and sit in a different seat because I don't care where I sit...I just want to go back to sleep.
6:00 am (supposed takeoff time): Rudely awakened from my nap by a pilot announcing that the armrest in one of the emergency exit rows is broken and will not stay up, and we cannot leave until a mechanic comes to fix it. There are no company mechanics awake at this ungodly hour so they have to call someone in. That unlucky fellow should arrive in 20 minutes. Annoying woman beside me starts complaining. Loudly.
6:20 am: Mechanic is not there. I am not sleeping. They tell me I will miss my connection but I'm confirmed on a noon flight to Newark so I'll still get in by 2:30. Fine, I'll have a late lunch with Jess. I just want to sleep. Annoying woman pesters the flight attendant.
6:50 am: They don't know where the mechanic is. They apologize. I wish we would take off so they would stop making announcements. I want to punch the annoying woman next to me especially since she is going to Philadelphia and my lovely city does not deserve her.
7:15 am: Mechanic shows up, tries to tighten the screw in the armrest and is unsuccessful. Secures the armrest in the upright position with duct tape (I kid you not). I fall back asleep.
8:30 am: I wake up halfway to Atlanta.
9:55 am (Eastern time): My flight from Atlanta to Newark departs on time.
9:56 am: My flight from Houston to Atlanta (with me on it) arrives in Atlanta.
10:00 am: I go to gate agent to get my boarding pass for the noon flight. She gives me a boarding pass for a 2:00 flight. Apparently the noon flight was canceled due to bad weather in Newark. Ok, I'll have dinner with Jess.
10:30 am: Finish my walking tour of concourse C. Settle in to read until lunch time.
11:15 am: Finish book #1. Pay 13 cents for lunch because the airline gave me a $10 voucher. Feel delight at getting a 13 cent lunch AND getting rid of 3 pennies. Resist the temptation to get ice cream from the Ben and Jerry's store.
12:00 pm: Starting to get bored. Take pictures of various random things in the airport to pass the time until I worry security will think I am a shoplifter/terrorist. Resist the temptation to get ice cream from the Ben and Jerry's store.
1:00 pm: Head to my gate. Flight is still on time, hurray!
1:45 pm: Board the plane. Sit. Sit more.
2:00 pm: Announcement that no flights are allowed to take off due to bad weather in Newark. We won't know whether we are allowed to depart until the next update at 2:45. In the meantime, we are supposed to sit on the plane.
2:05 pm: Call Jess. She tells me it is sunny in Newark. Curse silently, then tell my neighbors what she said and we all commiserate. Turns out my sob story is not nearly the worst one; the girl sitting next to me was supposed to fly out yesterday.
2:45 pm: The update comes in. We can't leave. They unload us from the plane and tell us to come back in an hour. At least I can have dinner with Jess.
2:47 pm: Get in line at Ben and Jerry's.
3:00 pm: Finish my ice cream and head back to my gate.
3:30 pm: Realize that despite the fact that I packed 3 books for a 60 hour trip, I may have to buy another book for the ride home. Debate smacking my head repeatedly against the wall but realize there is no free wall space due to all the people whose flights were delayed.
4:00 pm: Board my plane, again.
4:05 pm: Plane does not move.
4:10 pm: Plane does not move.
4:15 pm: They announce that we can't take off after all and will be sitting for 45 minutes again. Jess tells me that it is still sunny and now the radar shows the storms moving even further away.
4:45 pm: They announce we can take off.
4:46 pm: They announce there is still a problem in Newark but we are going to take off anyway and "cross our fingers." 12 hours ago this would have scared me but now I am thrilled.
7:30 pm: Arrive in Newark. Jess is there. It's all worth it!

PS for those who wonder I did buy an extra book but didn't end up needing it...I still have about 100 pages left in book #3.


Erin said...

That is terrible! I'm glad you had a good weekend with Jess to make up for it!

nujoud said...

LOL, I love the minute by minute play by play of the awful flight. Going to Vegas a few weeks ago I cursed United repeatedly for not being more like Southwest. SO I sympathize with the awful service, although yours was clearly way worse than ours.