One Minute

With the eternally painful benefits of hind site, I should have taken the 6:30am flight. I did not and here I am and there I am not. The 9:35am flight from LA was hiccup delayed: 10:05... 10:35… 11:05… Around 10:15am, I ran off to a counter and did stand by on another flight leaving at 10:45am. I was 9th in standby and they only took 2. Fortunately, 11:05am was the latest my flight was delayed. As everyone else stood 20 deep in line at the delayed flight counter, I went a counter a few gates down where there was no line. I’m not sure everyone knows the secret that you can make any transaction at any counter. You don’t have to stand in line at your gate. Go to another gate. They all access the same system. At my empty counter, I had the guy change my connecting flight in Chicago to a 5:45pm flight. When it was all said and done, our delayed flight would be landing in Chicago around 5:15pm and I would have just enough time to get to my flight.

The crew was very helpful in expediting the coordination of all connecting flight information and I was told what gate my flight was leaving from. When we landed at 5:20pm in Chicago, the flight attendants somehow convinced the Chicago people to all stay seated while the rest of us connecting flight turds ran off the plane.

I ran to my gate… and it was the wrong gate. Well, at least they gave me incorrect information. I ran back to a set of screens and got my gate. I ran to my gate which wasn't too far off. It was 5:31. Orange vest wearing gate lady told that the flight was full. I said I had a ticket with a seat number. She said they close the door at 15 minutes and do not let anyone else on. I said they should have known I was coming. She said they don’t get that information. Skirt wearing lady stepped in and said she would take care of me. She issued a stand-by ticket for a 6:45pm flight and a real ticket for an 8:30pm flight which was realistically the first open flight.

So I went to the 6:45pm gate and hoped that some other turd on some other late flight would be one minute late and stuck at the closed door while I got his seat. I was first in line on the stand-by list. Time passed I was second on the stand-by list. Then I jumped to fourth. Stand-by is a very fluid list that changes depending on your Club Membership level and if you are wearing pilot’s clothing. I am not a member and don’t have a hat with wings, so I dropped down the list.

Only one person got on standby and he was wearing wings.

There was a 7:35pm flight on another concourse, and all 15 people on standby were rolled over on to that list. 14 people ran off to the H concourse. I saddled up to the bar and ordered an $8 beer and wing chunks.

After I ate dinner, I then bought a bag of Swedish Fish and a pop and here I am at the 8:30pm gate. I’m waiting for the 14 people to come running to this gate hoping that 14 other people are one minute late.

{Author's note: I am at home now. It's good to be home.}

1 comment:

Dustin said...

this was absolutely painful to read — i was keeping track of your progress via twitter all day, and i really thought you were gonna pull it off...but alas, it was not to be. glad you made it home in one piece though.