OK, I travel a lot and expect things to not go well, but we can always hope for the best. In my most recent memory I have had flights with people next to me who were large enough to occupy two seats, others with elbows that liked my ribs, no food, entertainment screens that select their own movies, delayed departures and even a forced landing at a different airport when the electrical instruments all failed while in the air! This one was no different.
Our first flight had only 90 passengers so there was plenty of room to spread out and sleep. I wonder if it was just this flight crew or that American Airlines doesn’t request passengers to close the shutters of the windows on overnight flights. Most people have a clue and close them to allow others to watch the movie of the “community screen” and to make the cabin darker so we can catch a few winks. My row was of course the row with the elderly lady who apparently never needs to sleep as she kept the shutter up for the entire trip. This meant a piercing beam of sunlight directed in my eyes for the entire trip. Yes, there was plenty of room to spread out and I eventually moved … as did the beam of light! This was the least of my problems.
When we arrived in Chicago around 2 PM and was surprised to see a poster for “Wicked” that had just started in town! After clearing customs and immigration we headed off to recheck our bags when we discovered our connecting flight had been canceled by the FAA. Seems there had been weather issues earlier in the day and to make everything better they just canceled some flights! A very kind lady from American Airlines, Sherri, told us there was another flight in 6 hours or we could switch to another airline if we prefer. We switched to United which had a flight departing at 5:25 PM which was just a couple hours away! Sweet! We rechecked our bags, got new tickets and headed for the new terminal. Oh wait, when you change your ticket within 24 hours of your flight you get the full and special security check … that was special!
The flight loaded late as there was no one scheduled to operate the gate. When we did get someone, it was just one person and he rocked. He was full of humor and was quite efficient. We were loaded and ready just 40 minutes late when the Captain came on the intercom to tell us we had a technical problem. The generator in the tail was not responding and a repair crew was on route to diagnose the problem. We sat in the plane for about an hour while they switched on and off the power, all the while the flight crew tried desperately to keep us happy by playing the movie “Wild Hogs”. Not the best idea as each time the electric shut down … the movie did too!
Now after an hour of waiting they asked up to exit the plane and head to another gate as they were going to locate another plane. We waited another hour or so and then loaded the new plane and finally were on our way to Seattle, Washington. We left Chicago about 8:30 PM which was about thirty minutes after the other American Airlines flight had left! What a joke!
Arriving in Seattle we found “Murphy”, my van, and loaded it for the two and half hour drive back to Canada.
I opened the door to my house at 2 AM which meant the journey home was around 27 hours in duration. I plan to sleep in and then head off with my friend Ray for my first golf lesson. I have two weeks to get “my game” together before filming my episode of Fins and Skins for TSN and Fox Sports in the Dominican Republic…