On my first flights since 1980.

My original itinerary:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

3:45 PM EDT: Depart Paxon School for Advanced Studies.

4:15 PM EDT: Arrive Jacksonville International (JAX).

6:28 PM EDT: Depart JAX on Continental 1819.

8:01 PM CDT: Arrive Houston George Bush Intercontinental (IAH).

9:15 PM CDT: Depart IAH on Continental 1428.

10:10 PM MST: Arrive Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX). Meet Aabrock, rent car.

Sometime before 11:15 PM MST: Check into Best Western Suites in Phoenix. Go on to have a great weekend and celebrate the union of Captain Patton and his beloved Theresa in Holy Matrimony.

My actual itinerary:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

3:45 PM EDT: Depart Paxon School for Advanced Studies.

4:15 PM EDT: Arrive Jacksonville International (JAX). Notice that takeoff has been delayed until 6:50 PM EDT.

5:05 PM EDT: Notice that takeoff has been delayed until 7:15 PM EDT. Receive voicemail from Dr. Hmnahmna about thunderstorms in Houston that may delay my flight.

5:20 PM EDT: Take Tylenol PM in anticipation of motion sickness.

5:55 PM EDT: Notice that takeoff has been delayed until 9:13 PM EDT.

6:15 PM EDT: Notice that takeoff has been moved back up to 8:15 PM EDT.

6:28 PM EDT (original scheduled takeoff time): Notice that takeoff has been delayed until 8:30 PM EDT. Fear of flying replaced and surpassed by anger at delay.

6:30 PM EDT: Teeth are tingly from the nighttime medication. Realize that now I can’t have an alcoholic beverage on the plane. Panic.

6:38 PM EDT: Takeoff rescheduled for 7:00 PM EDT. Boarding now just minutes away.

7:00 PM EDT: Boarding still just minutes away.

7:22 PM EDT: Takeoff.

7:23 PM EDT: Haven’t vomited yet.

7:24 PM EDT: Realize that if people around me aren’t panicking then I probably have nothing to worry about.

7:25 PM EDT: Unless they’re stupid.

7:40 PM EDT: Begin to nod off.

7:41 PM EDT: Turbulence begins.

7:50 PM EDT: Enter what looks like a lightning storm.

7:51 PM EDT to 9:02 PM CDT: Prayer.

9:03 PM CDT: Arrive IAH. Realize that next flight takes off at 9:15 PM CDT, and that I have no idea where the gate is.

9:04 PM CDT: Begin aggressive speedwalk towards Continental 1428 gate.

9:15 PM CDT: Arrive at Continental 1428 gate to find passengers waiting to board. Take more Tylenol PM.

9:45 PM CDT: Passengers finally allowed to board. Look forward to landing in two hours.

9:46 PM CDT: Have it explained to me that since Arizona doesn’t observe daylight savings time, the flight is actually three hours.

10:15 PM CDT: Takeoff.

11:02 PM MDT: Pilot announces that due to 50-knot windstorms over Phoenix and Tucson, flight has been diverted to Albuquerque International (ABQ).

11:03 PM MDT: Panic. Begin formulating plan to get off the plane in ABQ, get a rental car and drive the rest of the way to PHX so as not to miss Captain Patton’s wedding.

11:38 PM MDT: Arrive ABQ. Passengers not allowed to depart plane, pilot awaits instruction.

11:40 PM MDT: Call Aabrock, tell him that I will call the hotel and ask them to allow him to check in even though the reservation is in my name.

11:42 PM MDT: Call hotel. They have already cancelled my reservation because my credit card was declined. I explain that I had received an e-mail confirming the reservation on March 6th, that my credit card number was stolen on March 8th, and that they’d made two mistakes. The first was waiting at least two days after the reservation to run my credit card, and the second was not telling me that it had been declined until I found out the hard way nearly three weeks later. They agree to restore my reservation for the next two nights, but not tonight.

11:53 PM MDT: Pilot announces that we’ve been cleared to fly to PHX, but that we’re waiting on fuel and there are two planes in line to get fuel before us.

11:55 PM MDT: Pilot announces that we can’t depart until an ambulance addressing a medical emergency on another plane moves.

Friday, March 27, 2009

12:02 AM MDT: Pilot announces that the ambulance is gone.

12:10 AM MDT: Aabrock notifies me that he’s found another hotel room for tonight, if I can even show up. Graciously agrees to pick me up at whatever time I arrive in PHX.

12:20 AM MDT: Pilot announces that the fuel truck has arrived, but that it’s empty.

12:47 AM MDT: Snow begins to fall. I think about the complications of ice on the wings.

1:00 AM MDT: The fuel truck arrives and begins to fill us up. It’s still snowing.

1:27 AM MDT: Takeoff from ABQ. It’s still snowing.

1:33 AM MST: Arrive PHX. Realize that I have absolutely no idea what time it is, no idea what time the previous events actually happened because the timestamps on my text messages and phone calls don’t include time zones.

1:36 AM MST: Disembark roughly three and a half hours later than planned. Fall to knees, kissterra firma. Call Aabrock for ride.

1:45 AM MST: Confirm that it really is a quarter to two in the morning local time, and that it is 4:45 AM back home in Jacksonville. Curse the confusion caused by daylights savings time, resolve to have a blast at Captain Patton’s wedding anyways.

2:30 AM MST: Finally hit the sack.


Doctor Hmnahmna

30 March 2009 1:46 am

See what happens when you don’t fly since 1980? You build up 29 years of bad flying karma. You seem to have had pretty much every flying annoyance except for lost luggage. If you flew more often you wouldn’t have these problems.


30 March 2009 1:46 am

Your future air travel will be a piece of cake, comparatively.

Enjoy your flights home.