Last Plane Out!

I tend to have good travel luck. However, apparently I must have the occasional spell that Makes Up For It All. A Rebalancing Of Luck, if you will. (Yeah, I’ve been reading Pratchett again. Imagine that in Death’s Voice, please.)

I spent the weekend in New York City. The first inkling of trouble was the 30 minute delay. When we finally got on the plane, we were all well and good. Right? Well…no one was quite sure ~why~ we taxied up and down the runway. And then did it again. And again. We weren’t waiting in line, we were just driving around. About ten minutes into the 15 minute procedure, we were considering suggesting that the pilot just hit the freeway and drive us to NYC.

Cursed with the lack of cold, I was all excited about the legendary bitterness of New York in December. After standing outside for 20 minutes in nothing but basic jeans, tshirt and sweater, the only thing bitter was my disappointment. I am not allowed to have cold, apparently. (To add insult to injury, it snowed in bloody CHARLOTTE while I was gone.)

After some miscommunications with the person picking me up, we discovered that Delta has two terminals in NYC. I was at one, he was at the other. Once that was sorted, it was all well and good.

I should have known that it was only the beginning. Checking flight status before we left for the airport, it showed a delay of 15 minutes. Ok, not too bad. Had much worse. I was early anyways, just to be safe. Did you know that 3 books can foil the TSA scanners? I do now! It is nerve-wracking to hear “Ma’am, we’re going to have to run this through again, with the stuff taken out.” Or maybe it is the compressed awesomeness of a Terry Pratchett ARC that does it?

FIVE MINUTES after sitting down for my flight, the woman across from me tells me we’re delayed an hour. Nice. Not like I have a short connection or anything to…shit. Hey, aren’t there supposed to be Delta agents at the counters? Huh. That’s what I thought. Was there a Delta rapture? Oh well, at least there’s amusement from the guy ahead of me praising the culture and civilization of Germany (where he has been for a whole 2 weeks) and slamming the ‘trash’ of America. Funny, ’cause he kinda looked like that crappy American trash himself. Nice to have you on board, sir. Shut up and leave me alone.

From there on out, it gets FUN.

Gate change. Which was never announced, by the way.

Oooo, not delayed as long as we thought. Still going to miss the connection.

Checking with outside sources (thanks mom!), a discovery that Atlanta is delayed too. Which is good, because the new gate doesn’t have an agent, either, despite Mr. Civilization standing at the desk and Glaring At The Wall.

Wait, there’s snow in CHARLOTTE? Commence irate internal bitching at the weather gods, who have, once again, deprived me of snow.

Er…late to Atlanta…soooo…everything will be closed, and I MIGHT be trapped. Been there before. Vending machines get kind of disgusting when that’s all that’s available to eat. Better stock up on food. I think my bank account cried over that bill.

Wander back, sit down, eat and read. Um…did they just say “All passengers should be on board for Atlanta?” SHIT! They did! There was no boarding call! (And no, it wasn’t just me. No one actually heard a boarding call. Stampede, much?)

On top of that, our carry-ons have to be checked, because there is no room. That’s all well and good, but at this point, I don’t know where I’ll be staying. Actually, I don’t even know where this plane is actually ~going~. Oh well, they took my ticket and there aren’t any other flights to Charlotte tonight.

The turbulence was pretty good, too. Makes for a great nap. No, seriously. I sleep really well on rough roads or in turbulent air.

Looking back, riding a fishtailing 747 down the runway on landing was kind of fun. At the time, there was just a sensation of the world running in all directions and a general feeling of “oh shit, we’re all gonna die.”

Then, to top this ALL OFF (so far. I am, after all, still in ATL.), I have to catch the train from one terminal to the next. This involves an escalator ride. More importantly, that ride involved the girl above me losing her balance and pretty much falling on to me. My shoulder hurts from catching myself so I didn’t fall on the people below me.

*edit* IT GETS BETTER:

As we’re getting ready to take off from Atlanta, the first snow flurries start. The captain comes on the intercom, and says ‘hey, we’re going to be sitting here for a while. We’re the last plane out, but our wings have to be de-iced.’

Gotta say, when you’re the last plane out, and there’s been ice on the wings, and there are snow flurries outside, a rough take-off brings every single horror story to mind. Every headline about planes crashing in bad weather. Every bit of nerves.

I’ve never had fear while flying. I find it exhilarating to ride out the bad weather, kind of like an unruly horse. Even the fish-tailing was fun, in hindsight. I guess by that point, I was so tired and hungry and emotionally drained that it all piled up and led to a massively uncomfortable hour.

I did make it home (obviously!), but my luggage did not arrive with me. After an hour of waiting, I found out it was still in Atlanta. It *did* get delivered to me yesterday though, so I think the saga is finally over.

Whew.

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