Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The airplane trip from...

It was supposed to be a normal, short trip from Columbus to Chicago Midway. If you've never flown it, we're talking about a 1 hour 5 minute flight. And we were taking Jonathan on his first flight, leaving at 8:10 am and arriving at 8:15 am (yeah, there's a time change). It wouldn't be a problem, since this is Jonathan's awake time.

Things started to go badly when we were in the air. It wasn't a problem that Southwest Airlines seats you "cattle style" (meaning that they give you a card that has an A, B, or C on it and that's the group you board with; none of these assigned seats for Southwest!). We still got seats (though they were toward the back, because CMH is too stupid to preboard a couple with an infant).

Anyway, we began to circle in the Chicago area. For 50 minutes. There was "fog" and Midway was under a "ground stop" (oh, and memo to the flight crews: stop using insider lingo and just expecting us to understand it! You'd think it was a church or something!). So they redirected us... to Cleveland.

Yehaw. That was fun. So they let us get off the plane into a crowded terminal, giving us numbers to tell us when we could reboard (or whatever). Tara and I were 102 and 103. Nice. We sat behind the ticket desk thingy, where we could play with Jonathan out of the way.

Then they said that the Chicago flight was cancelled. Not delayed further, but cancelled. It was going on to St. Louis, and to Little Rock from there. Not Chicago. There was a lot of uproar about that! Some time later, they finally decided that Midway could open, so they started boarding the next flight to Midway, but they were including us as well... after those who were legit boarded... except that Cleveland, having more class than Columbus, preboarded the one couple with an infant. So we got to sit in the front row. But wait; there's more!

I was sitting with a guy I knew from church; he's a really cool guy who I've just been getting to know, and he happened to be flying to Chicago for business. Anyway, he was sitting with us, but when we were about to board, he had gone somewhere (and because he was wearing a suit, a lady had asked him to help her get to the terminal in a wheelchair, and because he is a good Christian guy, he helped her). So I was watching his stuff, and I told the guy, "I'll board as soon as my buddy gets back; I'm watching his stuff." So they just assumed he was with us, so when he got back, they let him board, too.

If they hadn't preboarded us, we wouldn't have gotten on the plane at all. Remember those 102 and 103 tags (he had 101)? There were 38 people from our flight left in Cleveland -- we would have been three of them.

So we finally got to Chicago... hours later than we had planned to. We got to Tara's parents' house at 5:00 pm (Chicago time) instead of 9:00 am. So we did get back to see Grandpa one last time. I'm tired just typing all this!

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