Monday, December 29, 2008

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Saturday Afternoon Around 4PM. Local Podunk Airport In Michigan. Seriously, they've got like 4 gates. Po-dunk.

American Airlines Chick: Your flight to O'Hare has been canceled. We have a shuttle van leaving at 5:30PM.

Me: I won't make my connecting flight to LAX.

AAC: Let me see what we have flying out tomorrow.

Super Librarian muses, waiting until tomorrow will only make matters worse given the reports of numerous passengers already stranded at O'Hare thanks to Friday night's pea soup fog.

Me: Hey, what about surrounding airports?

AAC: There's a United flight leaving for Orange County at 8:05PM.

Me: I'll take it.

5:30PM, On The Shuttle Van to O'Hare.

Super Librarian kicks herself for not having a book light for Sony Reader. Her Man asked her if she wanted one and she stupidly said no. "I don't read in bed anymore and when I fly, there's a reading light on the plane." Super Librarian did not take into account shuttle vans.

6:45PM, O'Hare Airport.

Hordes of people, but Super Librarian gets checked in. Um, no seat assignment on boarding pass. United Airlines Chick who takes her suitcase tells her to ask the attendant at the gate.

7:00PM, O'Hare Airport Security.

Oh joy. Super Librarian has been pulled out of the line to get searched. She must look like a particularly menacing Super Librarian. Still, even getting patted-down by female TSA officer (settle down boys, she's wasn't all that cute) she makes it through O'Hare security faster than LAX's a week before. Super Librarian says "thank you" and is nice to all the security people because she is sure they've had people screaming in their faces all day.

7:10PM, At The Gate Waiting In Line.

Harried United Gate Dude: You don't have a seat assignment because American Airlines booked you on an overbooked flight. Take a seat, and I'll call your name.

Super Librarian calls Mom. Mom now officially worried her precious daughter will be sleeping on bench at O'Hare over night. Calls Her Man. Prays to various gods.

7:45PM, At The Gate.

HUGD: Passenger Super Librarian to the podium please.

Super Librarian does happy dance! We have a seat assignment! Weeeeee!

8:05PM, Boarding The Plane.

Super Librarian continues to do happy dance! Exit row seat! Glorious leg room! Sweet, glorious leg room!

9PM, On The Plane.

Super Librarian freezing ta-tas off because plane is really bloody cold! Puts on winter coat, zips it up, pulls the hood up and digs out her gloves. Can't read, too cold. Super Librarian looks like a jackass, but she doesn't care. She's cold! Freezing! She contemplates starting a fire in the cabin using cheap airline pillows and in flight magazines. Hypothermia sets in and makes her sleepy. Takes a nap.

10:30PM, Orange County Airport.

Super Librarian calls Mom. Mom can now stop worrying. Super Librarian calls Her Man. Come get me! Gets luggage, Her Man arrives. Takes pity on wilted Super Librarian and hits Taco Bell drive-thru. Couldn't get food at O'Hare because had to wait at gate for seat assignment.

Home sweet home.


Kati said...

Welcome home, Wendy! Sounds like many, many of my trips. Glad you made it back safely, even if you froze your booty off.

Nikki said...

So glad you made it safe and sound, if a little cold and grumpy. I would be extremely grumpy and maybe even a little pissy if I couldn't read on the shuttle.

Tracy said...

So good to hear that you got home ok. Don't you just love airports???

Podunk! lol Let me tell you - the one in Huntington, West Virginia (when I went to RAW) was about as podunk as they come - 1 gate and only small planes can land! lol

little alys said...

Welcome home to the OC!!! We missed you to the snow. :D That sounded mighty exciting...all that waiting, time crunch, more waiting...hypothermia. >_<

*makes note on book light for Super Librarian*

Janicu said...

Hmm, American eh. Same airline that cancelled my sis's flight, then delayed the next one so missed the one after that, had to stay overnight, morning flight delayed so missed one after that.. then finally got to destination, 3 days later.

Debora said...

ohmygosh, Wendy! I've never flown before, and after reading your blog, I never want to!

Welcome home! I'm glad you made it back to So.Cal and back to Your Man safe and sound!


sula said...

heh, sounds like you had quite the adventure. hope you are enjoying being home sweet home. :)

nath said...

Yay Wendy! You made it home!!

Seems like traveling this holiday season was hell for everyone!!

How long is the flight usually?

Shaymless Aymless said...

Glad you made it! Its one of the reasons I don't fly during the holidays (any of them). Glad I can drive to see the parental unit.

Lori said...

Welcome home!

Amy said...

Welcome home! LOL I love the Super Librarian Chronicles.

Wendy said...

Kati: In the immortal words of My Man, "Well at least the plane wasn't too hot." Good point.

Nikki: I used to live and die by a book light when I was in college - but since my reading in bed days are over, I foolishly thought I didn't need one. Wrong-o!

Tracy: And you probably have to walk out on to the tarmac to board that small plane right?

Alys: So cold on that plane! I'm sure I looked like an idiot, but I was freezing!

Janicu: The joys of flying over the holidays. Bleck!

Debora: Flying isn't so bad really. It's flying over the holidays that are a PITA. Unfortunately I'm stuck. My folks like me home for Christmas, and I like being home for Christmas. Wonder if I can convince them to start celebrating the holiday in July? LOL

Sula: Very happy to be home - but dang, now I seem to be getting a head cold. Dagnabit!

Nath: It was the wacky weather. Snow, freezing rain, fog....geesh!

Aymless: That's a good policy! I hate flying over the holidays, but if I want to see family, I'm pretty much stuck.

Lori: Hiya Lori! Did you have a happy Hanukkah?

Amy: It was a bit of a saga wasn't it? When I called My Man from Chicago he said, "You sound entirely too calm." To which I replied, "What is me dissolving into a puddle of tears going to solve?" Um, nothing. Like everyone else traveling I had to put on my big girl panties and deal :)

Anonymous said...

DH and I took the train from Virginia to Boston with our baby and toddler. We didn't want to drive and face getting stuck in severe weather, and good call to avoid air travel during the holidays, as my toddler was sick and subdued (yay!) but would've been screaming with ear pain upon take off and landing. Plus, juggling carseats, diaper bags and luggage for four humans, when the two smallest have the most gear, and can't do any portage, frankly sucks. Aside from no reserved seats so a little drama trying to sit together, and the heat broken on full-on (yes, naked baby in a diaper only and still too warm is worse than bundling up and looking silly) for a while, the train was good. Although Amtrak is notorious for being late (not always their fault, freight trains own the tracks and have priority) we were only about a half hour delayed, and the train was FULL. Others have caught on that air travel is hell and driving in weather and traffic makes grown men weep.
Does Podunk have a train station? It might take several days, but the Southwest Chief has some amazing scenery. Just saying.


Liza said...

Glad you made it home safe and sound. It seems like I'm always on the hot planes. Guess the super cold planes are just as bad.

Wendy said...

e: Podunk just renovated their train station, and I hear it's quite lovely. I'd love to travel by rail, if only to see the scenery!, but yeah - it would take several days.

Liza: I've been on "too hot" planes before, which is an even more unpleasant experience. I was on a "hot" flight one time where pretty much everybody on board ended up getting sick!