I thought I had been lucking out the past few months. Not only did a get a bit of a break from traveling so much, the trips I did have to take were relatively smooth and story free.
I should have known the odds would need to right themselves eventually.
I just didn’t expect it all to happen in one trip.
I had a “quick” trip planned to North Carolina this week. Out on Wednesday afternoon, and back Thursday evening. Since there aren’t a lot of direct options for me into Raleigh/Durham, NC, my out flight was a connection in Baltimore.
The flight from Denver to Baltimore was smooth, and even arrived a little early, giving me those few extra minutes to grab some food before boarding leg 2. If I had seen the future, I may have grabbed a little more to eat.
We boarded the Raleigh bound flight on time, but were quickly informed once boarding was complete, that there was a maintenance issue with one of the plane’s navigation systems. Not to worry though. Maintenance was already here addressing the issue, and we hoped to be cleared to leave shortly.
No big deal.
Sure enough, they were back on about 15 minutes later saying maintenance had fixed the issue and we would be pushing back.
They finished up the paperwork, closed the main cabin door, and we pushed back from the gate.
Only to have them immediately put it back in drive and pull us right back up to the gate.
“Sorry, folks. While maintenance did fix the problem with the first navigation system, now the second system is throwing an alert, so we need to have them back to look at that one.”
I can already see where this is headed.
About 10 minutes later the captain is back, this time with a less optimistic message.
They are pulling the plane from service for the night, so we all have to deplane. Please see the agent at the top of the bridge for information on a new plane.
I’ll give them credit. We were off the plane less than 5 minutes before they were sending us to a new gate, with a new plane, and less than 30 minutes later we were all loaded on the new plane.
The problem was, the bags were not so lucky.
We were sitting on the plane for an hour, before the little carts with all the checked bags finally pulled up beside the plane.
At exactly the same moment that the flight attendant came over the intercom to call for help with a medical emergency for a passenger in the back of the plane.
Which meant the bags had to wait to be loaded on the plane until the Emergency Medical Response team could board the plane and get the passenger back off.
Another 45 minutes later, the medical emergency has been taken off for care, the bags have been loaded and they announce they have closed the front door and we will be leaving soon.
Which was evidently just what the man in row 2 was waiting for as his cue. He decides to choose that moment to throw a fit and demand to be let off the plane.
Despite the fact that the flight attendant explained in order to do that they have to get clearance to re-open the door, get ground crew to do so and re-do all the paperwork which will only delay things even further, the man continues to demand to be let off the plane
I’m actually surprised he made off the plane in one piece. I thought the entire plane was going to riot .
Another 30 minutes later, we are FINALLY ready to go. For real this time.
I finally get to my hotel and in bed a little after 12:30AM, and had to be up at 5:30AM for a 7AM meeting. That set my Thursday up to be a great day!
I come out of my early morning meeting to a message that my flight for that afternoon had already been delayed for 3 hours.
You have got to be kidding me!
This time my plane, which was starting it’s day in Burbank, was scheduled to make a pit stop in Denver, on it’s way to pick us up in Raleigh to take us back to Denver.
Evidently, before it could leave Burbank, however, it was pulled due to a flat tire and left Burbank 3 hours late.
Even I can change a tire in less than 3 hours.
So, this is how I find myself landing in Denver, 3 hours later than planned, and then still have to make the drive home when it’s already past my bed time.
Now, not to toot my own horn, but I had done a remarkable job of staying cool and letting all these irritations roll off my back to this point, if I do say so myself. Even though I was beyond tired, I figured the irritations were at least behind me, and all I had to do was make it home.
I should have known better.
I get to my car in the garage, and pull up behind one car in line to pay my for my parking and put the airport behind me.
And I watch as the guy in this car tries 3 times to insert his parking ticket. Then watch as he tries 3 different credit cards to pay his fee. And then continue to sit there, and sit there, and sit there, as he does who knows what. Finally, after about 10 minutes, the arm goes up and I breathe out my irritation as I assume the guy will finally leave.
Except he doesn’t.
I’ve already admitted I was beyond tired, so I assume maybe this guy is too, and possibly he fell asleep behind his wheel and failed to see the arm go up releasing him from parking planet. So I decide to play a gentle alarm on my horn to wake him up and urge him into freedom.
Except he still doesn’t move.
So I toot again.
This elicits him popping his head out of his window and yelling, “Stop that!”
Stop that?? Ummm, what??
Maybe he doesn’t speak horn? He wasn’t able to figure out the message I was trying to send?
So I decide to help him out and translate to plain English for him. I pop my head out of my window and say
“You need to go!”
To which I get,
“I’m not going! They have my license on camera showing I didn’t pay!”
I am beyond confused as to what this guy is missing, but he must be more tired than I am. The arm doesn’t pop up to let you out unless you pay. The arm is clearly up! So, I decide to translate for this guy again.
“The arm is up, so you obviously paid. Now you need to go!”
To which the guy decides to pull his head back in his car, put it in reverse and back it quickly up half the distance to my front bumper.
This seems an interesting move for a guy who was just expressing concern about them having his license plate on camera for not paying, but doesn’t seem concerned about being on camera backing his little car into my SUV.
I get it. Drive and Reverse can be confusing. And this guy is obviously having a difficult time figuring things out at the moment. So I decide to try to help one more time.
I pop my head out the window and say,
“Ummm, you need to go forward…”
Which got him backing another several inches towards my car in response.
Then his head is back out the window and he yells, “I’m not going! If you don’t like it, you can move!”
“Ummm, I’d love to! Except you are in my way, and I can’t!”
Now the parking attendant two booths down starts yelling at the guy that he needs to go, but the guy continues to just sit there.
I try one more time and offer “He’s telling you you can go!” out the window, as the attendant continues to yell at the guy, and the guy continues to sit there.
Finally, another attendant comes out of the main booth and starts to walk towards the guys car. The guy finally decides to move.
After reversing one more time to come as close as he can possibly come to hitting my car, without actually hitting it, he finally puts his car in drive and takes off.
I sure hope he managed to find his way home and to bed a lot easier than he found his way out of DIA parking.
At least I found my way home and to my bed without anymore delays.