Friday, December 29, 2006

The dog said it best

I could hardly contain myself at work on Thursday afternoon because in a few short hours, I would be flying back to Chicago and Omaha for an extended vacation. Upon walking into the American Airlines terminal, there was a massive line extending the entire length of the building. This line alone must have contained over a thousand people. I thought “chumps” and proceeded to the self check-in kiosk that AA have (so wonderful and practically eliminates waiting time). Unfortunately, an airline rep told me that my flight was cancelled, as well as every flight to Chicago from every airline, every airport, etc. Yep you guessed it; I had to get into the dreaded LINE! I guess the fog was sooooo bad (zero visibility) in Chicago, that they were not letting flights land. The first hour everyone was on their cell phone calling other airlines, friends, and family to sort the mess out. By the second hour, everyone was completely defeated and we continued to wait in silence. In the third hour, a woman (about 100 people in front of me) let her dog out of the travel case because it started whimpering (poor dog had to be locked up for at least three hours…most likely more). Immediately, the dog walked 10 steps away and took a massive dump on the terminal floor. At first everyone was in shock (gross) but then a guy pointed and shouted “YEAH”! Everyone broke out in applause because the dog basically embodied what we all wanted to do to the airlines…..shit on them like they are shitting on us! Some of us in line were stopping people way ahead of us in the line (like 2 hours ahead) after they re-booked their flights. They were telling us the airline people said “I’m sorry but all of the flights in the next few days are full”….well duh, I could have told them that….it was the holidays! Anyway, they were getting flights for Christmas eve night and Christmas morning, etc. They suggested to one guy that he fly to Boston, then Miami, then Dallas, and then to Chicago. I think he stuck it out for a different option. In the third hour, a news crew approached me and asked for an interview (either I looked the most or least pissed about standing in line for three hours). I told them what I had heard about waiting three to four days before we could get to Chicago etc. Now my plan was to spend 36 hours in Chicago before switching airlines and flying to Omaha on Saturday. With the flights to Chicago so delayed, I decided to skip the city entirely and try to find a different flight to Omaha (I was willing to be dropped off in Kansas City or Iowa and drive just so I could make family Christmas). After much time waiting, it was finally my turn to approach the ticket counter. The lady asked me “so where are you flying to”? I thought “lady do you not see the massive line behind me….CHICAGO”! While she was typing in my information I told her to forget Chicago and get me to Omaha. To my shock, she said “so you don’t want to go to Chicago, because the fog is lifting and we are releasing planes to Chicago tonight”. WHAT! You mean I would get to Chicago tonight and my whole holiday plans would be intact! I started pumping my fist in the air and doing the “I’m flying to Chicago tonight instead of four days from now” dance. I called up my friend Ryan in Chicago to tell him to pick me up and that I would need a beer. The strange thing is that our flight was only half full (I had an entire row to myself). I would think that the released flights would be packed since there were over a thousand people stranded in our terminal alone. Turns out that the people who rebooked for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning had already left the airport and attempts to call them back to had failed. Too bad for them. I didn’t get into town until Midnight, but that was still enough time to meet the boys (and a very intoxicated Emily) out for a nightcap at Dan & Emily’s place. The night finished off with wicked old school music and drunken Chess.


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