Peter Pan Made It Look Easy

Airline TicketsYou know, when I was a kid, I always wanted to fly.  I grew up on tales of Peter Pan and just knew that some day I’d be able to fly like that.  Well, it sure wasn’t happening yesterday.

Hubby (maybe I should start calling him “Commander” because that’s a lot more descriptive of his demeanor, background, and appearance) and I headed over to the Humphrey airport in Minneapolis to catch our flight back home to Baltimore yesterday morning.  We were anticipating boarding around 12:15 p.m.  Instead, we heard that the flight going to Denver had broken down so the passengers bound for Denver ended up taking OUR plane that was going to Chicago and on to Baltimore.  That had a domino effect which put us out of Minneapolis over two hours late.  The ticket agents were scrambling to get folks needing connections on to other flights once they would be arriving in Chicago but we weren’t worried because we had paid extra to be sure that our plane would be just stopping in Chicago but continuing on to Baltimore.

Well, we got to Chicago and everyone started to clear out of the plane.  And I do mean EVERYONE!  I said to the Commander, “You know, shouldn’t they have made some announcement about the folks going on to Baltimore staying seated so they could get a head count?”  He didn’t seem too worried.  Finally there were just 3 of us left on the plane along with some stewardesses.  I said again, “I just can’t believe that only 3 of us out of this whole flight are the only ones continuing on to Baltimore.  I think you should ask someone what is going on.”

We buttonholed a stewardess who was coming up the aisle collecting trash and asked her if the plane was continuing on.  “Yes, I think so,” she replied.  “Say,” she called out to another stewardess.  “Isn’t this plane continuing on to Baltimore?”  “Oh, no,” the other lady said.  “They’ve decided to terminate this flight here.   You’ll all have to get off and go to Gate 16 to catch another flight.  Don’t worry.  Because your flight was terminated, they’ll put you on the next plane first.”

We all hightailed it out of there and off we trotted to the aforementioned gate.  No joy!  Maybe they could get us on a plane around 7 p.m.  Oh wait, maybe they could get us on a plane around 5:15.  No, that plane was already out on the runway.  Oh, there was a plane heading out around 5:50.  Looked like we could get on that.  The agent handed us boarding passes.  They were near the end of the pack for boarding.  When we explained what the stewardess had told us, we were told basically, “Oh well.  Sorry, but that’s the luck of the draw.”  But it gets better.  Seems that thanks to Hurricane Bill, there was quite a bottleneck of air traffic going in and out to the East Coast because of “terrible storms there”.  When I heard that, I freaked.  I’m not generally known as a calm flyer.   There was also the little matter of our luggage.  We were told that there should be plenty of time to get them transferred over to the other plane.

Baby SweaterWe sat around waiting for the “all clear” from the Air Traffic Controllers along the travel corridors and finally we boarded.  Luckily, I had a project to work on.  I’m knitting up my first baby item for the new grandbaby…..a little short-row garter-stitch baby sweater.  And on this trip, we found out that the baby will be a girl so the yarn is perfect.  I had gambled on the color but I figured if the baby turned out to be a boy, he wouldn’t care at such a young age if he was in pink and lime green.  Now, though, I think I’ll knit up a strawberry hat to go along with the sweater and find some cute strawberry buttons for the sweater.  But back to our story…..

We got on the plane near the end and of course, there were no two seats together.  I plopped down in the middle of a row and the Commander towered over this young guy and said, “Do you think you could switch to that seat in the next row so I could sit with my wife?”  The poor guy took one look at the Commander, who can look quite intimidating on his good days, and skedaddled back a row.  Good thing because when we hit the turbulence going into Baltimore, I would have been gripping his hand for all it was worth, if he had still been sitting beside me.

Dee's SuitcaseWe finally arrived at our destination about 5 hours later than originally planned and waited at the Baggage Claim area.  And waited.  And waited.  No bags!  Our bags hadn’t made it onto the plane.  After another wait in line at the Lost Bags counter, we were told that they would probably get in on Sunday and the airlines would FedEx them to us, with anticipated arrival on Tuesday.  We were asked to describe three things from each bag.  No problem!  My three things were, “a Canon digital camera, a Flip HD video camera, and a 60-year-old teddy bear named Elizabeth who is wearing a dress.”   I told them that I always traveled with Elizabeth and if she ended up missing, I was going to be very upset.  The very understanding clerk assured me that Elizabeth wasn’t missing.  She was just “delayed.”

Elizabeth in SuitcaseWe got the car and drove home, arriving at 1:30 a.m.  Around 2:30 a.m., the airlines called to let us know that our bags had arrived in Baltimore.  The Commander told them to keep them in a secure location at the terminal because he’d be driving down to get them in the morning.  I was so happy to see Elizabeth this afternoon, none the worse for wear and looking quite pleased with herself .   The Commander insists that she looks like a bear who has taken a detour to Acapulco but I don’t think she’d do such a thing.  Well, Germany or Switzerland, maybe…but not Acapulco.  Now the washing machine  is chugging away downstairs and we’re unwinding from our adventures.  It sure looked a lot easier when Peter and Wendy linked hands and soared out the window!

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One Response

  1. Whew! I’m you and your luggage and Elizabeth are all reunited!

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