Thursday, October 22, 2009

Home at last

It was fairly uneventful, those 2500 miles from Michigan to Oregon. As the comic that is making the rounds on YouTube says, "Why do we get so impatient? You can cross the entire U.S. in four hours sitting in a chair. Our forefathers took six months, people died and babies were born."

I know, I know, I am impatient with my fellow travelers. On the flight from Traverse City to Minneapolis a woman was sitting in front of us who had a small dog in a carrier, that once she got in the plane the the Flight Attendant checked the seat belts...out came the dog. Sure the dog was scared, sure it was cute, but why not allow people to bring chickens or geese? They let them carry on huge amounts of baggage after telling everyone that you get one carry-on that has to fit in a really small box that sits at most gates. Airplanes used to be fun to fly, now they are like a jar of pickles packed in with sour vinegar dripping off the faces of half the travelers.

I was already steamed since I did not notice that our boarding passes for the second leg that were issued at the counter said that we were on Standby for the second leg of our flight. This after I painstakingly got exit row seats Tuesday morning when I checked in for our Wednesday flight. We were sitting and waiting the obligatory hour when I discovered the "error" so back to the counter (outside of security) I went. The agent, dressed in a mechanic's uniform, told me he could not change it but that all I had to do was take care of it in MSP. Who knows how far you have to walk, or how long you will really have to check in? All I could see was someone else getting my exit row seats and us being bumped. Mr. Agent-dressed-as-a-mechanic said we had different exit row seats, but he could not reprint the boarding passes.

So as I watched the doggie get fed biscuits on the breast of the owner I said to Aleene, "I am through with flying."

In MSP, sure enough, the agent there had new boarding passes waiting....exit row. Half an hour later came the announcement that our plane was being abandoned for mechanical reasons and that a new one was coming out of the hanger to take us to Portland...three gates down. It was a different sized 757 it turned out...and our seats, exit row on the one size 757 missed being an exit row by 12 rows on this bird. So there we sat all scrucnhed in for a 3 1/2 hour flight... 50 minutes late. I was not a happy camper as the masses shuffled on the plane loaded with all sorts of luggage that either did not fit under the seat or sprung the doors on the overhead bins.

Ah...but 3 hours and ten minutes after wheels up....we landed in Portland. Our ride was waiting for us within minutes and both of our bags made it. Life is good. I will probably be ready for a four hour ride to Florida by January.

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