Call The Whambulance: Air Travel Sucks.
I know that bitching about travelling, especially air travel is pretty tired ground...lord knows I've done it a few times already (see Meet The Douche Nozzle: McCarran Airport Security Supervisor and The Case of My Missing Golf Clubs, for example.)
But this morning was a particular delight, if you will. The travel was so bad ... that I never actually left. See below for the joys of United 854.
This morning, I began what was going to be a ridiculous travel day even if everything went according to plan. Which it very much decidedly didn't.
The plan was to leave on an early morning flight to Denver and drive to Colorado Springs with two of my co-workers. There, we'd host a table at a conference, then drive back to Denver for the evening (the late evening, since we wouldn't be due back until close to 11:00. Then, Tuesday morning we'd fly back to the Bay Area and be ready to work the afternoon at home.
The first wrinkle, which turns out to be fortuitous, is that my two coworkers left for Denver on Sunday in order to hear the keynote speech that night. This was good because my flight simply didn't leave.
I got to the airport more than an hour ahead of my departure time, which I barely made due to a security line that was bigger than Brett Favre's ego. (Sorry, I had to. But seriously, I know airlines aren't doing so great because of the gas prices, but ever time I fly there are loads of people all over the airport and the planes are fully booked.) After boarding, which happened on time, the following announcement (paraphrased, of course) came over the loudspeaker:
Ladies and gentlemen, we're now planning a [one hour late] departure time of about 9:30. That's when we expect our pilots to be here, as they're due in from Seattle at 9:10.
Yes, you read that correctly. We were fully boarded, where we sat on the plane for what turned out to be well over an hour before the pilots arrived. They then announced that they were going to run the usual diagnostics and we'd be off. Which was fine because I still had some time before I needed to be in Denver to catch my shuttle to Colorado Springs. I also checked to see if there were any other flights that I had a chance of switching to, and was told that there were approximately 40-plus people on standby on the only one I could find that worked.
That's about when I nodded off.
I woke up to realize a few things:
So, to recap, I spent about five hours trying desperately to take a trip that I never made. Given that it was going to be my first night away from the little girl, I wasn't crushed by that -- though I really do wish I'd been able to make the event. But man, I think I could have used those five hours for some more productive things, including sleep.