I’m here in the Charlotte Airport and we’ve been delayed due to weather for four hours. A terrible storm went through the airport and I think this is only the second time I’ve been in an airport that stopped all traffic due to inclement weather. I learned that when the flashing light outside turns red all traffic must stop.
The flight has been delayed about 8 times and the current departure time is now 9:10. I must go through Midway in Chicago and was originally scheduled on the 7:50 flight. There is a late flight to Oakland at 10:55 PM but if the delays keep happening then I won’t make that flight either. So far the arrival time is 10:00 PM which gives me a 55 minute buffer but given that we’ve had so many delays already I’m not hopeful. To complicate matters I had to check my golf clubs. Checking baggage on standby is never a good idea since you have to watch where that baggage goes and cannot easily change.
I made another listing for myself for the 10:55 flight but not sure if I should really do that since it could confuse the system? In any case, it doesn’t look like I’ll get home until 2:00 AM IF I can even get out of CLT today let alone out of Chicago. I’m keeping up the hope however and considering this an adventure. I write this post so I can look back on it and remember how I felt at this time.
As I write this post I’ve learned that the flight has been delayed yet again to 9:25. This puts me in to Chicago at 10:10. So, I’ve still got time but please, please no more delays!
It is now 12:20 Eastern time. After a day of anxiety at the airport wondering if I would actually make it back to the Bay or have to spend the night either in Charlotte or Oakland I’ve made it on-board and am headed to the west coast. As I mentioned previously the flight kept being delayed and delayed, finally giving me only a thirty minute buffer to make the connection in Chicago. In Charlotte I awaited our plane’s arrival and found myself staring at the plane before ours hoping it would depart the gate soon so ours could arrive and we could board.
Side note – Heavy turbulance just outside of Chicago. We’re rocking back and forth. Normally I hate turbulance but watching just how many flights there are per day give me peace of mind. I still would rather not having the turbulance though and as I look over at the girls in the next aisle it looks like one might be praying. She has her elbows on the tray table and sometimes puts her head down. Well, looks like we got through that little rough patch as we continue to gain altitude and there is no more shaking.
So back to my story, the plane before ours was a little late leaving the gate. ‘Great,’ I thought, now I’ve got even less time to make the connection. It backed up and then sat there for a while before finally departing. My plane arrived in short order and is seemed there were more ladies requiring wheel chairs than usual. Perhaps it was just the universe seeing how I would handle the situation? We boarded and were a little late departing. I began checking the flight status over and over. To my surprise it said we would land in Chicago a good thirty minutes before my next flight. It wasn’t a full flight but I took a middle seat in the second row which perturbed the slightly heavy guy in the window seat. He said, “There are plenty of seats in the back.” But I didn’t want a seat in the back because that would take another 15 minutes to actually get off the plane, especially with the group of teenagers of which there were about 40 or so of them. I promised the guy I’d “made myself small” and found that downloading a book on tape was a good idea. That way I wouldn’t need elbow room at all.
So, after all that anxiety and wondering if I would make it back in time I did make it to the gate about 10 minutes before the boarding started. My next thought was about my checked golf clubs and if they would make it on. I think they had plenty of time so am not too worried. Otherwise I would probably just spend the night in Oakland so I could collect them the next day. That would be unfortunate but at least I would be in the Bay and could get a cheap hotel. I’m going to hold on to the belief that my golf clubs did make this flight and that I’ll actually get to sleep in my own bed around 3 AM.
The final issue was with the BART. I’m not going to make the next train but checking Lyft a ride to my house is only $50 or so which is much cheaper than I expected. A trip on Lyft and Bart costs $20 total so $30 extra isn’t too bad.
Well, I’ve got about 3 hours and 21 minutes on this flight. I think I’ll either watch a show or sleep, or perhaps just think about how nice it will be when I’m finally in my home again. Tomorrow, (or today should I say?) I won’t have the energy for karate. I’ll take care of the usual chores such as feeding my fish, watering the plants (hoping that neither the fish or plants have died), gather the mail, pay the bills and perhaps head over to Archimedes Banya for some mineral springs, saunas and general detox.