So let me share my adventures of yesterday. Really, one of the weirder flying experiences I’ve ever had.
So I’m in Asheville, North Carolina. And I’m checking in, going to take a small plane to Atlanta to catch the last plane back to Boston. And I notice that my connection time in Atlanta has been shortened from 45 minutes to 15 minutes. Ho shit. Not as bad as the other jumper to Atlanta; the plane scheduled to leave an hour earlier than mine is leaving an hour later than my delayed flight. So I guess I’m lucky.
But still, 15 minutes. I prepare to run.
Then the Delta people start giving us hope. The flight’s landing 15 minutes earlier than they’d thought, and if they hurry they might land at 9:15 instead of 9:30. That extra 15 minutes could mean the difference in sleeping in a hotel in Atlanta and my bed in Boston.
So we board in record time. Everyone has connections that are in jeopardy. We board, we put our bags away, we sit, we are the best passengers ever to passage.
And then we sit on the runway for 15 minutes. We are the only plane trying to leave Asheville, and we just sit there. Sit. There. The 15 minutes Delta claimed they’d made up poof vanished away. They never explained that.
We land in Atlanta at 9:28. My next flight leaves at 9:45. 17 minutes.
I hauled ass through the Atlanta airport. We landed at the farthest end of Terminal C and I had to take off at the farthest end of Terminal B. (Really, Delta? It’s like you enjoy our pain.) I’ve never really had to run through an airport before; I either have time or I miss my flight by such an egregious amount that I have to reschedule. But this time I run. I look like a doofus, but as long as there’s hope I’m going to run.
I get to the gate at 9:46. There are a group of people milling around on standby. I ignore them.
“Please tell me I made it in time,” I gasp to the nice Delta lady.
She looks at my ticket. “Girl, I just gave your seat away!”
No what. But then she checks me in and I’m in the exact same seat, so I don’t know what the hell she was talking about. And I’m in! I made it!
And then we wait.
And then the Captain comes on the speaker to let us know that they are currently changing out a wheel on the plane.
Well that’s reassuring.
And then a few rows behind me I hear a stewardess ask if anyone speaks Spanish. A woman near me volunteers.
To spare you the minute-by-minute events and figurings-out I went through, basically: a girl was suspected to have chicken pox, and they couldn’t let her fly if she had chicken pox, so she and her father had to leave the plane and go get tested by the Atlanta Fire Department. Since neither spoke English, a 3rd passenger went with them to translate, because apparently nobody in the Atlanta airport spoke Spanish.
So then we wait. We’re waiting for the chicken pox test (who knew it could be done so quickly?) and we’re waiting for our Samaritan Interpreter to return. Meanwhile the teenager sitting next to the chicken pox girl is freaking out because she has never had chicken pox, and her friends are egging her on and freaking her out more.
At this point I’m just like, “wtf? is this real? I just want to go home.”
Finally the Captain comes back and announces that the passenger “who was feeling ill” is in fact okay and will be returning! We’ll be leaving soon! Huzzah!
And then we wait.
The Samaritan Interpreter comes back, gets the backpack belonging to the girl who left, and takes it up front (again, I’m unclear on why there wasn’t someone from Delta doing this). She then returned to her seat, two standby passengers were brought in to fill the two empty seats, and finally, finally, finally, the door is closed.
So apparently the ill passenger was feeling to ill to fly after all.
We take off about an hour late; I finally get home to bed around 2am. An eight-hour work day, followed by an eight-hour travel day. But now it’s the weekend! Commence lolling about.