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Trip type: Business

Airline: Delta

Route: MSP-ATL

Just when I’d started to think I wouldn’t get any good blog material any time soon due to my last few trips going off with few complications, the gods of travel intervened…If you’ve ever read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, you have a pretty good idea of where this is going.

Fun things that happened on this morning’s 6:30am flight:

1. TSA comedian joked that they wouldn’t be able to get a reading from the full body scanner because I was so short. Hysterical.

2. Six TSA reps visited my gate to check everyone’s photo IDs prior to boarding. Three people got a surprise pat-down. Guess who one of them was.

3. Finally aboard, I’m attempting to put my bag up (read: use my lacking upper body strength to more or less throw my bag toward the overhead bin. Ok, maybe the TSA guy was funny after all.) when I am hit in the head by someone trying to put her bag up across the aisle. (This is where the ‘tears’ part of this entry’s title comes from, btw; she really smacked me good. Don’t worry though, she totally got what was coming to her when I didn’t do the Minnesotan thing and say “That’s ok.” when she apologized. I’m sure she noticed the slight and was duly shamed.)

4. Finally. Let’s get this show on the road.

Alas.

After sitting on the Tarmac idling for about a half hour, the captain finally comes on to tell us that a valve that controls the air is stuck and maintenance has to fix it. We sit for about 10 minutes and then finally head back to the gate. At first we’re told it will be 20 minutes…20 minutes later we’re told it will only be 10 more minutes…this is followed by maintenance deciding it needs 15 more minutes to actually replace the valve (what had they been doing back there anyway??). Finally, we’re told it will only be five more minutes to get the final paperwork produced. Oy gevalt.

As you would imagine, about half the plane is now approaching Defcon Three. There’s a couple behind me going on their honeymoon (connecting to Cancun), the guy next to me is trying to go to Gainesville, and the guy two rows back was apparently going to The Most Important Conference of ALL TIME because it was IMPERATIVE he make his connection, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME? Like poor Neil the flight attendant has any control over the damn valve. (Although I did shoot Neil an “Are you f-ing kidding me?” face when he told some woman visiting her granddaughter that “Delta will take care of you.” For the record: Zero gate agents met our flight.)

5. Finally-finally. We’re really going to go this time. The captain promises.

But we do really take-off. Yay! And for all that, we land only about 40 minutes late. They really do pad flying times.

6. Oh yes, there’s more. I get to the car rental center and head to grab a car at National (with status, you can just walk to any aisle and take a car). Inexplicably, National has all American cars…and Jettas. I always take a Jetta. So I find one, walk over, start putting my bag in and an elderly couple approaches me.

Woman: “Why did you choose this car?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Woman: “We’re trying to decide what car to get but I can’t pick.”

OMG. Is this really happening? The only contact I want to have at the rental car center is with the person at the exit gate. And even then I don’t like to make small talk.

Me: “You know you get to bring it back, right?”

Woman: “But we have to drive it for three days!”

I am dumbfounded but luckily she scoots away to admire a Kia. I did nearly run her over (accidentally! swear!) leaving the parking lot so I feel like we’re even.

And finally, I arrive in glamorous Alpharetta. If only Starbucks offered a shot of Bailey’s.

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