We all know how I like to divide my days into decimals, and this is no exception. The second week of Gulfport commenced with travel for work. I was heading to Topeka, Kansas to do a product demonstration for some potential customers. All was fine and dandy until I actually tried to get to Topeka, Kansas to do a product demonstration for some potential customers.
Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook are already privy to this story, but honestly, it’s worth re-telling.
First, I flew to Memphis, no issues there. Well almost no issues. Sometime in the previous 48 hours I had misplaced my driver’s license. Thus I flew on my expired ID and was frisked when going through the security. It’s also worth noting, Memphis has one ugly airport. No offense to the Memphisites (Memphisonians?), but it was like a gray prison, but worse.
|Elvis store requirement fulfilled|
|And this guy. What?|
When I got to Memphis, my inbound plane from Atlanta was delayed. No biggie, just an extra 45 minutes. The plane then arrived, and the following happened. I swear no exaggeration.
12:45 pm: Original flight time.
2:00 pm: “Ladies and gentleman, the plane bathroom is broken, we’re trying to fix it, we’ll let you know.” – Desk agent
3:30 pm: “Ladies and gentleman, we are sorry to announce that the bathroom cannot be fixed, but we’ve gotten approval to fly without a bathroom, so if you need to go, go now.” – Desk agent
3:45 pm: “We’re going to start boarding the plane, but remember no bathroom, so please go in the airport.” – Desk agent
3:47 pm: I'm on the plane!
3:47 pm: I'm on the plane!
3:50 pm: “Update, the mechanic took the plane out of the rotation assuming the plane wouldn’t fly without a bathroom. We can’t take off because we don’t exist.” – Pilot
(I am officially in an existential experiment)
4:00 pm: “We don’t know what’s going on.” – Pilot
4:07 pm: “Still troubleshooting, going to Minneapolis for help.” – Pilot
(If you can get to Minneapolis, can’t we get to Kansas City?)
4:10 pm: “As of 6:30 this morning, the FAA changed the time out rules, we’re going to time out before we can land, so now we have a plane that does not exist and two pilots that cannot fly.” – Pilot
At this point I called the Delta help line, and got myself rebooked through MN to get to KC on a flight that was leaving at 4:15. Ok so it was only 5 minutes, but they had already attached the jetway, I was good to go!
4:12 pm: “Sorry, folks, we’re not going to let you off the plane until a desk agent can get to the gate to help you rebook.”
SERIOUSLY. You have us trapped on a plane because of a lack of desk agent? Is there not a single person in the world who doesn’t have a mobile phone?
4:13 pm: Another passenger gets up and walks off the plane. Me being the rebel, follows suit.
4:15 pm: Four passengers and myself are TRAPPED in the jetway because they haven’t opened the door to the airport.
4:17 pm: Another passenger (I swear it was not me), presses the emergency unlock button, freeing us from captivity.
4:17:30 pm: Surprisingly no alarms go off in the airport and I am not arrested. However, I have missed my MN flight.
I rebooked myself on a flight to Atlanta and a connection there to take me to KC. This flight took off at 5:30. However, when I asked the desk agent about my bag (ok maybe I needed a desk agent for this), I was told “we have no idea where it is, it may or may not make it.”
Terrific, it only contained my suit for my presentation the next day, and my show clothes for Friday, no biggie. I contemplate buying a new suit in the ATL airport and dream of buying new show clothes in Gulfport.
5:45 pm: (note this is past 5:30 already), Plane delayed
6:00 pm: Plane is here yay!
6:55 pm: I am ATL bound.
9:20 pm (EST): A super dinner of frozen yogurt in ATL. And a Delta app that is mighty confused.
|My life. My Dinner.|
10:00 pm (EST): My bag has been found, and it is in ATL!
10:45 pm (EST): I am heading to KC!
11:46 pm (CST): Arrival in KC
12:00 am (CST): Bag arrival in KC
A momentous event.
12:05 am (CST): Town Car arrives to whisk me to Topeka. Originally I was to ride with a coworker, however 8.5 hours late and my ride was no longer available.
1:45 am (CST): I fall into bed looking forward to an excellent demo scheduled to START at 7 am. For those of you counting, that’s only 5 hours 15 minutes from my final destination. Our team gathering for organization was scheduled at 6am. I was sure to be on my game.
After my demo I was scheduled to fly directly to Gulfport. I will spare you all the play by play, but suffice to say it also included some delays and some more intense airport time.
All in all, within 36 hours I spent 26 travelling and 15 in an airport. My trip was
AUS -> MEM ->ATL ->MCI ->ATL -> GPT
With that amount of travel I could have made it to Asia, but no….just Topeka.
This kind of schedule doesn't look pretty. Not pretty at all.