Aviation Adventures

So as you all know, I moved. Because, freedom.

Getting here was an experience that's for sure. So here goes the recount. I arrived at the airport sometime after 3pm, and went to weigh my bags, which I had previously weighed at the UPS store under the guise that I was thinking of mailing them. At the UPS store, they were 50 lbs even, the max. But when I put them on the airport scales, they both weighed in around 40lbs. What the discrepancy? Either the airport is trying really really hard to not have po'ed people, or the shipping company is making bank on fake pounds. Either way, I coulda totally brought 20 more lbs. That's like another 3 pairs of shoes at least!

Said bye to my pops, and went through security. Beep, beep, beep. You know. My favorite new part of my life. Setting off airport security alarms. So I beeped, and in the same breath told him I was a metal-sporter. Rolled up my pantleg to prove it too. He had me walk back through while telling me that was unnecessary, like I was a girl and I just flashed him or something. Odd. My implant decided to play "bone" and not "metal" and wouldn't set it off anymore. Both of the security guards watching me were completely baffled. We tried 3 more times, and nothing. HAHA. I still got a pat-down anyway. Lame.

Sigh. Then I went and sat. And sat. Played some cards by my lonesome, listened to my music, sat some more, went for a walk, sat again, looked at food, sat even more. Then they finally announced what was happening. One time I was annoyed about not having a phone, or some other such time-keeping device to go on. Weren't we supposed to be boarding now? They were calling people up on their half-broken, completely unintelligible microphone, but no one was responding. They finally figured it out, and went to a mic that actually worked. Then they informed us they were closing the strip. Like the whole thing. All planes. Grounded. Stopped. Closed? WTH. Because there was a storm. With Lightning. And apparently lightning and planes don't mix. They announced that they had -by Federal Regulation- to wait until the lightning was at least 5 miles away from the airport to even service the plane, let alone allow us to actually board it. Oh, and there had to be at least 10 minutes after the final bolt of lightning struck. So they had no idea how long we'd be there. FANTASTIC. Do you know how slow storms can move? This could take all night!

My plane did NOT take off at 5:02pm. Or 6:00. Or 6:15. Or 6:45. Or 7:10. SIGH. I sat, and sat, and sat, and sat. Went and got dinner even, and there was still more sitting. And the line of people asking questions about the delays, would they make their flights, and could they change, was a zillion years long, so I wasn't about to stand around in that. It moved one person like every ten minutes.

We finally loaded I think around 7:30pm, and then waited on the runaway long enough for me to definitely fall asleep, because I did. We sat there for at least 30 more minutes. Just great. And the whole time I'm thinking, these airport people are kinda sly, and devious. They announced that there were only two of them to handle our problems, but they had a whole department in Phoenix. I imagined the Phoenix people claiming that they had no power over the weather, and lightning in a state 2000 miles away didn't make a difference to them. So I had no idea what would happen when I arrived in Phoenix. The old ladies sitting next to me played Scrabble on a laptop, and made me extremely jealous of how long their batteries lasted (mine dies after 25 mins now X.x), and I couldn't help but be distracted and see what words I could make with their pieces while pretending to read my book (book review post coming soon). I even tactfully assisted with a few words when they saw nothing and were going to pass or make a two-letter-little-points-cop-out word. Like "squire," "lynx," and "neb." Word guy. That's me. When I got bored with my book I looked out the window at storm clouds in the distance. Lighting form high up and far away, is kinda cool. Then I played more cards because I just wasn't really into my book just then. Played as many one-player games as I could remember. About 3 hours in, I started getting really restless. 4 hours is just a long flight. I don't know how people do 10, or 18-hour flights. I think I would have to smash the window and play on the wing to salvage my sanity.

We landed in Phoenix two hours late. ALL the connecting flights were long gone. Like, there was no chance in even trying to get one. We all got shuttled to a counter where more than a few people completely freaked out and screamed, especially this one guy who was going to L.A. and was super mad because he'd been stoned, and he wasn't when he got off the plane, which was very upsetting to him. I went with a bit nicer approach, but they were simply casually rebooking us like this happens every three and a half hours. As for accommodations, they gave me a blue piece of paper where I could call a number and get discounted rates on a hotel room. Right. With what phone? And remember how I'm super broke and spent all my money just to get the ticket? Yeah, so that wasn't happening. I was thinking I'd have to conk out on one of their benches, but they made that impossible by installing unmovable armrests in every seat. Ugh. So I used a courtesy phone and calmly called my 1am, probably sleeping parents. "Hello?" "Hi, do you know anyone who lives in Phoenix?" I knew I had relatives in the area, but the ones I was thinking of live all the way in Tucson, which apparently isn't close to Phoenix. *Shrug* What do I know? I've never been anywhere in AZ except where I was standing.

The courtesy phone works for three minutes, so I hung up and continued the convo through chat with my mom. Least Phoenix has free wireless, otherwise I would have been super spending the night in the airport, and without a phone, Scott wouldn't have known what was happening when I didn't show at 11pm in SLC. My mom got ahold of one of her brothers, and he was super nice enough to come and get me.

Family = someone who will come and get you at a moment's notice, put you up in their home, providing food and a bed, all without having even seen you in the last 17 years.

Amazing, right? So the ride from the airport to his house was very, very interesting as he learned all that I've done since I was 9, and all that's he and his children have done as well. He had to go back to work when he dropped me off, so he gave me the run of his place, and I had some carrots, sausage links, and pringles. Scrumptious! And so healthy! I'm going to start a new diet trend, complete with book and training video. Watch for it.

Then I settled in for the night. The room I was staying in had a wall of movies (which my uncle said is from their days when they ran a movie rental store). I browsed for a while, and then selected a movie I'd never seen, which when I tell you what it was (movie review post coming soon), your jaw will drop. And you may scoff and laugh. I hereby give you permission. Then I slept. But it was banally hot, and it took me a while to fade away.

Got woke up at 6am, caught up with Unc's wife, had some pop-tarts (which were chocolate, of which I'm not a big fan, but he insisted I eat something, so I obliged him), then back to the airport. Didn't have to worry about my bags (I hoped, though by this fully expected them to be lost when I arrived in SLC) since they said they were locking them in a secure room overnight, and assured me would be on my flight out without me having to worry.

So there was just one more thing to do. Security. Again. This time the beeps were there full-force and landed me the privilege of the wand AND the pat-down. An intense one too. Even had me lift the front of my pants while he ran his hand on the inside edge by my button. Talk about super-freaking-awkward-borderline-violation. I don't think this is part of the normal security measures. How could it be? I mean, what am I gonna be packing? A knife that has no depth or physical form which I have devilish sewn into the lining, or my metal button with which I intend to dispatch everyone on my 30-passenger-capacity little can of an aero-plane?

If I wanted to bring a knife, I'd just pack it in my backpack. :P Waaaaaaaay less hassle.

Finally, I was through and the waiting began again. This time though, we loaded on time. Or so we thought. But we got down to the airplane, and people were starting to board, when the stewardess comes out shrieking! She made everyone de-plane and go back inside. O.o Really? We then had to wait 20 more minutes while she finished "preparing for the first flight of the day according to Federal Aviation Regulations." Honestly tho. I want a FAR manual. And clearly, her hair was not on the list, because DANG GINA she needed a stylist in the worst, worst way. How shallow of me to notice. The plane was so small that my 85lb backpack wouldn't fit in the compartment, and not all the way under the seat either, not to mention my giant pillow. I crammed it down anyway, and set my computer on my lap hoping the psycho-avia-woman wouldn't notice. Finished my book and then mainly slept, and got really excited to be in Utah.

The end came out okay. My bags weren't lost, and Scott found me easily. Seriously, I don't want to gripe about my flying experiences (because of Louis C.K.'s bit on Conan, which oddly, I can't find right now, so I can't embed a link to it...lamesauce, but if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about), but I never seem to have a normal, no-hassle flying experience.

Jules emailed me this while I was still sitting on the runway in Orlando: "I hope your plane ride was relaxing. I love traveling, sitting in my seat with my laptop, newspaper, coffee, and peace of mind. Such a 'Freedom' feeling. When I’m up there I realize why my sister decided to become a pilot."

I dunno what airline she flies, but I want to come. And riding first class wouldn't hurt either. I was offered that option for only $200 more dollars when I got to the airport. ($200 is more than my entire ticket cost to begin with). Whenever I'm boarding and walk through the First Class, I always think to myself, You have money, and you have money, and your parents have money, and you shouldn't have money, and you have money. Sigh.

So here's to Airplanes and the Fiascoes they bring into my life. Oi vey.


Jessie said…
You do take knifes in your backpack when you want to fly :P
Candice said…
Nothing like a little adventure just to start your big adventure off on the right foot. :o) I flew home this week for the first time without any major delays. So that was happy.
JackieE said…
We had some nasty weather on our last trip and were given the blue piece of paper as well. Dreadful! I'm glad you made it safely there. We'll have to hit the Macaroni Grill again when we get back.
David H. said…

I know XD That's why there's a link on that line.


Glad you made it safe. Utah misses you desperately.


I will so take you up on that. Come back to us!

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