Remember this pic from Tuesday, and I said I was in the plane, in seat 8-D?
Well, I lied. I wasn't in the plane. I was still in the airport. I waited an hour and a half to board because United had a slight problem. "We can't seem to start the engines" said the announcement on the public address system. Well this put a crimp in my travel plans, to say the least.
I'd arrived at the airport at 4 a.m. I'd checked in, got my boarding pass, checked my luggage and been through customs and was waiting for the first leg of my trip to Panama to get under way. No such luck. The flight was due to depart at 6 a.m. It took off for Washington Dulles airport at 7:30. My connection to Panama was set to depart at 9:26 and I arrived breathlessly at the gate at 9:15. Phew, made it. Not so fast. The plane had departed. "Departed?" I said incredulously. "Well, yes sir. Everyone was on the plane." "Oh, no they weren't," said I, dripping with sarcasm. This missed flight was the beginning of things to come.
My original flight would have gotten me to Panama at 2:16 p.m. Plenty of time to wait for my brother-in-law to show up on his flight from Los Angeles at 5:00.
The friendly folks at United booked me on competitor American Airlines flight departing for Panama via Miami that would have gotten me in at 5:30. Cool. This would work out well after all.
Then the fun began. Remember this guy?
Yeah, O.J. He used to run through airports, jumping over passengers. I really needed to be this guy. The trip from United's Customer Service Kiosk to American's departing gate was quite a hike. And I'm old for Christ's sake. Again I arrived breathless, crawling on my hands and knees like some guy who'd been wandering in the desert for weeks only to learn my flight was delayed. Shit...deja vu all over again.
Guess what? It was delayed by 2 hours. I missed my connecting flight in Miami. And to get from my landing gate to where I needed to re-book my flight was another three week trek through the desert.
Never met up with my brother-in-law. But a $100 tourist van ride later got me to his condo in Santa Clara by the Pacific.
I'm still waiting for my luggage to catch up with me, including my precious golf clubs.
I think it's time to take a lesson from Mr. O.J.