Archive for March, 2002

Spring Break – Avoid Chicago – 03.10.02

Sunday, March 10th, 2002

Quote of the Day:
“I honestly wish there was something between us – a continent.”
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”

If I need to fly somewhere in the winter I am going to make sure that Chicago is not involved. I suppose I should have explored the weather possibilities in the “windy city” before booking my flights to and from Los Angeles. Next time I’ll make sure to consider it because I don’t want to have another experience like the one I went through yesterday.

Saturday, 03.09.02
9 AM PST – Dan drops me off at Los Angeles International Airport and I pick up my boarding passes at the United counter
9:30 AM PST – At the gate I discover that my flight, which is supposed to leave at 11:10 AM, is delayed until 12:30 PM due to the weather conditions in Chicago
12:30 PM PST – I board the plane in anticipation of a 1:10 PM takeoff
1 PM PST – The pilot informs the passengers that all planes in Chicago have been grounded and that our next possible takeoff time will be at 3 PM, I get off the plane and call the United 800-number
1:30 PM PST – My choices are either to spend the night in Chicago and wait for the 6:45 AM flight to Chicago the next morning or switch both flights to later
2:15 PM PST – I tell the United employee on the phone to switch my flight to Jacksonville to 6:45 AM the next morning
2:30 PM PST – I board the plane to Chicago for the second time
3 PM PST – The flight to Chicago finally takes off
8:30 PM CST – I arrive at O’Hare and discover that my flight to Jacksonville, which was supposed to leave at 6:51 PM, hasn’t left yet and is scheduled to leave at 11 PM
9 PM CST – After walking about a half mile to the gate an attendant tells me, without checking on the computer, that the flight to Jacksonville is completely booked and I do not have a seat on it
9:15 PM CST – After walking that half mile again the United customer relations representative, who actually checks the computer reservations, tells me that I do have a seat on the flight
9:30 PM CST – After walking that half mile again I get back to the gate where the flight to Jacksonville is scheduled for an 11 PM takeoff
11:30 PM CST – I board the plane

Sunday, 03.10.02
12 AM CST – The flight to Jacksonville finally takes off
12:15 AM CST – We seem to be taking an aerial tour of Chicago and I notice that the plane isn’t gaining enough speed or altitude
12:30 AM CST – Flying over Lake Michigan, the pilot tells us that the cargo door is not closed completely and we will land in Chicago again to correct this problem
12:45 AM CST – It seems that we don’t have to land after all and the flight can continue to Jacksonville
3 AM EST – I arrive at Jacksonville International Airport

Although this isn’t the part of spring break that I want to remember, I thought the schedule was wacky enough to share. I’ll post more about the fun parts of spring break when they are ready.