Saturday, December 02, 2006

Flying Back From Texas

I was scheduled for a direct flight from Austin, Texas to Chicago on American Airlines.
I'd done the flight to-and-from countless times.
I knew the gates at Austin International by the smell:
Gate 5 = Matt's El Rancho
Gate 8 = the Big Barbeque
Gate 13 = Schlotskey's

Wednesday, Oct 29, 3:30 pm -- my flight to Chicago was canceled. I'd been re-routed through a connecting flight through Dallas/FW which was leaving an hour earlier than I'd planned. I barely made the connecting flight.

Wednesday Oct 29, 4:30 pm. I arrived at DFW and took the new-cute-little-shuttle-tram-thingie across from the C Terminal to the A-Billionth Terminal for my connecting flight to Chicago.

Wednesday Oct 29, 4:35 pm. There were three flights leaving from A-Billionth terminal to Chicago which had all been delayed because the airplanes were ALL sitting on the ground at
1. Oklahoma City, Ok
2. Abilene, Tx (I didn't even know they HAD an airport)
3. Omaha NE (Thank you, JP. It's all your fault)

They were delayed because they were (a) sitting on the ground due to a new ice age pummeling the midwest or (2) tornadoes, hail and lightening pummeling the DFW area

I spend the next ELEVEN hours bothering the gate attendants, sweetly asking if the airplane from each of the cities had left the ground. It was imperative because a MAJOR ICE STORM was due to imbue the Dallas/Fort Worth area by 7:00 am.

Having lived in DFW from 1987 to 1997, I knew that a Major Ice Storm at 7:00 am would impale and immobilize the entire area for the next 48 hours if I didn't get outta the DFW area.

I sweetly bugged several attendants every half hour while reading a horrible novel for which I'd just paid ten bucks. It was titled The Miracle by Irving Wallace, about the "third coming" by the Virgin Mary at Lourdes which would take place in the future. It was entertaining for the trip but went down the trash chute when I got home. I'd read half of it.

The airplane from Abilene left at 12:30 pm. I got my name WHE as number 3 on the list
The airplane from Abilene landed at 12:50 pm. I got a secured seat.
2:30 am We loaded even thought they couldn't get a ground crew to take the baggage off our airplane from Abilene. (I thanked thanked the gate attendant for keep us informed. If I'd had her name, I'd liked to have written a letter of commendation on her behalf -- she was charming, informative, and extremely patient).
There was no ground crew to load/unload our airplane. Thunder, rain, lightning.
3:30 am. We still waited
3:50 am. We took off in wind, lightening and rain. Yay!
3:50 - to Chicago - - extremely turbulent all the way. Yay!
6:30 am - I slumped into my bed.
8:30 am - my nice boss said "don't even bother . . ."


At 4:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's odd. The weather has been cold but otherwise fine, no rain or snow.

Still, it's always nice to see a shout to my little piece of hell.


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