Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

dec
03
2002

all aboard

Flew out to AZ see my family and b/f for the Thanksgiving weekend. Learned some of the joys of balancing (or at least trying to balance) the demands of multiple family factions — trying to split my time among boyfriend, parents and siblings in such a way that no one feels slighted, ignored or used. I’m thinking I probably failed miserably.

I’m doing a repeat performance in three weeks, when I return for Christmas. Here’s to another beautiful failure.

Also learned some of the joys of text messaging. My spiffy new cellphone, a Samsung A460 (replacing my three-year-old Sanyo SCP-3000 with the perpetually dying battery), has text paging and SMS capabilities, so I had the extra services added to my Sprint PCS account. I flew American, which offers a nifty notification service where you can have your flight information — and any changes — sent to your phone 1-4 hours before takeoff. This proved especially useful for my flight home, when I found out an hour before I was to leave for the airport that my connecting flight to O’Hare had been delayed due to snow in Chicago.

Added trauma: The delay, as listed at the time, would make me miss my flight from O’Hare to National (the last of the day) by about five minutes.

Forewarned, I called up American, where I waited on hold for twenty minutes (no exaggeration), only to be disconnected when the CSR that finally got my call put me back on hold. I also tried calling Tucson International Airport (TUS), which turned out to be completely useless. The operator there could tell me only flight times for planes arriving in Tucson, but not leaving town. She also couldn’t transfer me over to the local American Airlines desk, referring me instead to the American 1-800 number I had called earlier.

Getting nowhere fast, I ended up just saying “forget it” and heading out to the airport as planned, as if my flight was leaving on time. I passed the time in an airport lounge with my dad and brother, intermittently checking in at the AA desk for my flight status.

The people at the desk were quite helpful. (I mean this sincerely for the woman who checked me in and even helped me look for other flights; I reserve my sarcasm for the other AA folks I spoke to) … They told me the airline would decide at 5 p.m. as to when the flight would leave. But there was a possibility that they might take off before 5, too. Or we might be delayed until 7. Or we might leave right at 5.

In the end, I just kept checking back at the desk every 15 minutes or so, proceeding to the gate only when the attendants’ story changed from “We’ll make an announcement at 5” to “Your flight will begin boarding any time now.” I ended up boarding the plane around 4:45 p.m., but we didn’t take off until a little after 6 p.m. (Still wondering why it was necessary to board us all so soon before our takeoff time.) I thankfully wasn’t stranded at O’Hare (the flight to National was delayed, too), and got home around 2:30 a.m. — about 2 hours late.

Now at work, back in the daily grind. I’m looking up airfares for Christmas, and hoping I can avoid routes through cold-weather cities. Snow is pretty, but not if you have to drive through it.