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Wednesday, January 5 2005

Long Days Journey Into Night

I wasn’t meant to travel yesterday. That was the lesson I learned before 12:20AM on Wednesday morning, but by then it was too late, and well, quite frankly, almost over. I thought holiday travel would have ended Monday, and even though it most definitely didn’t, I don’t think holiday travel was as big a problem as the weather “situation” that was apparently taking over the west coast of these not so United States.


12:10PM: Arrive at the airport. When I ask the check-in lady if all is on schedule, she seems rather cranky. Foreshadowing.

1:00PM: Arrive at gate B6. The flight is supposed to leave in 30 minutes (1:30PM). There is no plane and there is no one at the counter. Basically there is no one accept the other passengers, I figure this will change soon.

1:30PM: Nothing has changed. There is no plane. There is no news.

1:45: Now there’s someone at the front desk (see pic from yesterday). Only she’s slow and clueless and remains that way for the next few hours.

4:15 PM: Frontier Airlines still doesn’t have an ETA for their plane that’s apparently pulled away from the gate in Denver at 1:13 that afternoon. They say we should be in the air by 5PM, I’m realizing the plane is never coming to Albuquerque.

4:30PM: Tom, the man sitting in the chair next to the floor that I’m typing on, asks me to watch his bags so he can try to cancel his flight. He logically declares, “If it’s this hard to get out of Denver, why would I want to fly into Denver?” I concur, but realize I need to get to Los Angeles tonight, and so I am wiling to risk my life to fly into a winter weather advisory.

4:45 PM: Tom is in line. The airport personnel who have been telling me that they have “a good feeling” about the flight, get back on one of their pathetic excuses for a sound system and announce “Flight 4125 with service to Denver, has been cancelled. The 7PM flight to Denver has also been cancelled. The 5PM is scheduled to go out tonight, but it’s running at least an hour late. Please get in line and we will reschedule everyone who was on the 1:30 Flight. We don’t recommend that you fly into Denver.” A line forms. I haven’t even gotten off the floor, and now there are at least 45 people in line ahead of me. I guess it could have been worse; there could have been over 200 passengers waiting for new flights.

4:50PM: I go to find Tom to tell him I can’t watch his bags, that I need to get in line, and because he had the foresight to try to cancel this flight just a few minutes before they actually announced that he wouldn’t have to, he is third in line. He tells me to just hang out with him, and to cut the line. I am hesitant for less than a nanosecond and anxiously accept his offer.

5:00PM: The clueless lady behind the counter becomes my personal savior. She finds a way to get me on an America West flight to Phoenix (so I can avoid the fucking snow) and then to LA. I am supposed to arrive into LAX at 9:05PM; I was supposed to arrive in LA at 6:10PM.

6:00PM: The flight from Albuquerque to Phoenix should have departed, only we are now sitting on the runway when the pilot gets on the PA system. Phoenix has stopped allowing flights both into and out of their airport because of rain. Wussies, I think.

6:30PM: We are off the ground, finally. Flying away from New Mexico, and now I’m on a much smarter route to LA. Before I was heading north to Denver, now I’m heading west, which is the way I should have been heading all along. My next flight is scheduled to depart Phoenix at 8:29PM.

7:40PM: Arrive in Phoenix and find out that (surprise!) my next flight is also delayed. There’s another identical flight going to the identical airport, run by the same fucking company leaving at the same exact time and it’s leaving on schedule, so I go over to the gate to ask what the deal is. I have one bag checked and can’t leave without it, because in the morning I am heading out to Vegas. The airline man says, “The only difference between this flight and the flight you’re on is that one is leaving on time, the other isn’t. You can’t do
anything more about it.”

8:00PM: I resort to eating Burger King. I feel defeated.

9:20PM: This is the new estimated departure time, only estimated means that it’s not really going to happen as planned. We don’t actually get off the ground till 10PM. There are a lot of really cranky people on this really packed plane. I am over being cranky. I have an emergency exit row seat so I am comfortable. The flight is only 1 hour and 5 minutes and I talk to the nice boy next to me the entire time.

10:50PM: Why is it that after hours of travel my bag has to be the almost last one off the carousel? At least it’s in LA, with me, when there are tons of bags just hanging around the airport without owners, and tons of owners hanging around the airport without bags.

11:03PM: I hop on a Super Shuttle to Burbank. Then I read the window. “This shuttle makes 2 loops around the airport.” It takes over 20 minutes to make a loop. This is going to be a long ride.

11:40PM: The four passengers realize our Super Shuttle driver is clueless about LA. I have to call Carly and get directions to her house.

12:30AM: I reach my destination, only the driver drops me off at the wrong entrance. It doesn’t really matter, I’m here, and I’m heading to Vegas.

Shit man, I’m tired, but I’m in LA. At least for the next hour or so.

Al G. - thanks for asking.

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