The Neverending Flight that Never Ended (Almost)

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I should have know that this was going to be long night from the moment of my first disappointment.

Within Terminal D in Cleveland\’s airport, there resides a typical airport type \”sports bar\” — lot\’s of TVs showing various games from around the country. This would be perfect. I can still watch the last quarter of the Cowboy game.

Not so fast.

\”We only get some games here.\” the waitress offered after I requested the Jets/Raiders blowout be switched to Cowboys/Falcons.

OK. I can \”watch\” the remainder of the game on ESPN Gamecast on my iPhone. I\’ll drown my disappointment in a large Samuel Adams draft that was surprisingly on their menu.

\”Sorry, we ran out of that earlier today.\”

Scanning the draft menu, I saw there was Budweiser\’s American Ale. I never thought there would be a reason to drink that. And not wanting to drink a shitty American yellow beer, this would be there perfect opportunity to see what a big \”American\” brewery would do with an ale.

\”Oh, we stopped carrying that months ago.\”

\”I\’ll have a large Budweiser then.\”, I replied with shoulders slumping from defeat.

As a world class beer sommelier, I knew instinctively that Budweiser pairs perfectly with a pulled pork sandwich and onion rings.

I was quickly presented with a pulled pork sandwich with french fries. Alerted to her mistake, the waitress made sure to finally present my onion rings once I had finished my sandwich. And don\’t get me started on that sandwich, but where do you find BBQ sauce that sweet and flavorless? Was it just colored corn syrup?

Well, at least the Cowboys won.

And these annoyances turned out to be minor in comparison as to what would later transpire.

The flight from Cleveland to DFW was mostly annoyance free — as annoyance free as any flight in a cramped 50 seater can be. Towards the end of the flight I could see an abundance of lightning in the distance and wondered if that would be a problem.

It would be.

Just as we were about to approach DFW for landing, microbursts were detected and no one would be allowed to land. Low on fuel, we ended up landing at Love Field.

At almost 11pm, there would be no ground support for this flight at Love. Those of us who wanted to get off the plane could, but any checked baggage could not be obtained. I figured that since my car was at DFW and that I would probably need that in the morning, I would go ahead and wait it out. Plus I wanted to be able to get my luggage.

After a little over an hour, we finally were refueled and took off for our short trip to DFW. Now, you can\’t just take off from Love and land in DFW. You have to fly out a ways to make the proper approach. Which we did, all up in the clouds with lightning flashing all around us. Certainly I would be rewarded for my patience by having one of our engines struck thus exploding our freshly refueled jet.

Obviously, since there is no internet in Hell (it is Hell, afterall), we did land safely and I am able to blog semi-amusingly about my adventure.

But it doesn\’t end there.

Federal law dictates that no one shall take off from one terminal at DFW and land at that same terminal. Usually this is just American Airline\’s final \”fuck you\” to their customers, but this time it was self imposed. We flew out originally from DFW to DC out of terminal C. But since I continued on to Vermont, that part of the trip was on Continental, which is right next door in terminal E.

That\’s fine, I\’ve had to deal with this many times before. And since I hate lugging my luggage (which is obviously what one does with luggage) on and off the terminal shuttles, I usually take the SkyLink to my car, and drive to my landing terminal. By that time I get to the terminal, my bag is usually revolving on the carousel for a quick retrieval and getaway.

Well who knew that they only run the SkyLink one way late at night. And while my landing terminal was right next to the terminal where my car was (that is, just one stop on the SkyLink away), the lone SkyLink train was going the opposite way. So instead of taking one stop, I had to take ALL of the stops.

So instead of a 3 minute trip to my car, it turned into a 20 minute trip around the airport. By the time I got to the carousel, it was empty. I was informed that \”the lady\” put all the remaining bags away and went home for the night.

Well, I\’m glad someone got home early.

I finally made it home around 2am.

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