One of my oldest friends is turning 40 this week. In celebration, he was having a party at his home in Seattle. The stars aligned and airline companies are giving insanely good deals on some airfares, so I decided to go and visit. Just the weekend.
The goal was to take off Friday from DAY, go to ORD and then to Seattle. Early morning flight from DAY got me into Seattle early afternoon. The problems began when I got to DAY. It turns out the equipment was coming from IAD and they had problems. That delayed the flight almost an hour. This made it so I could still make my connection if I ran; not a big deal but not what I was expecting. As we sat there it became clear that the plane was delayed again… now we weren’t leaving until noon EST. That would put us into ORD at noon CST, which is exactly when the connection from ORD-SEA left… not good, possible but not likely.
The ground personnel at DAY were mostly helpful. I was able to reserve a spot on the next flight from ORD but that didn’t take off until 1530CST, so I needed to hope that we made it and they notified the outbound plane that there were 6 passengers trying to make the connection. This seemed reasonable to do because flights leave late all the time, as demonstrated by the current delay.
When the flight arrived from IAD, we had one of the fasted de-boarding/re-boarding turns that I’ve seen. From the door opening to the door closing was 15 minutes. It was looking more possible to make the connection.
There was a woman sitting behind me with a small child. She was right about 2 years old. Cute kid. Not as cute as my girls, but I digress. She was also trying to make a quick connection and was very into telling EVERYONE that she was worried she might not make it. She was also very into singing the last verse from the Taylor Swift song “love story”. The problem was, that was all she sang for the entire hour, and she didn’t even get the words right. Bugged the shit out of me. The problem was, for a person that talked about how much she travelled with her daughter she didn’t understand that during decent air pressure increases painfully sometimes with kids and that was probably the reason her daughter was squirming, screaming and holding her ears; not the fact that she was “a train wreck” as she told her daughter repeatedly.
But back to the connection… we got on the gate at ORD at 1206CST. Still possible if they delayed. We arrived at the F terminal and my connection was in C, but there is a shuttle between E and C. We got on the shuttle and started across the tarmac. And thats when I saw my plane taxiing from the gate. FUCK. 3.5 hours in a terminal. At this point I ran into another transfer passenger and I heard why we were delayed. Apparently there was a tire problem at IAD. They fixed that and after they taxied out, they realized that they didn’t have enough fuel… refueling is what caused the additional delay which caused me to miss the flight.
After that, it wasn’t bad. I arrived later than I wanted. It wasn’t horrible but it did make for a long day.
The visit with my friend was awesome. On a good year we see each other once, normally its once every few years. I also got to meet a number of people that he’s been talking about and that was cool.
I’m flying back today and writing this at SEA. I may be posing another entry on the return flight if anything interesting happens…