Friday, June 10

Airport Retort Report

Our flight home from Nashville last week rated a Zero on the Most Wonderful Air Transportation Experience list. Picture getting up at 3 a.m. to catch a 6 o'clock plane (you have to be there two hours early, right? A 1/2 hour would have sufficed at this hour!). We waited at the end of the United terminal for a little puddle jumper to take us to Denver.

Everything was great until we hear an announcement that a passenger in 1st class was having a medical emergency. "Is there a doctor on board?" A woman a few rows from us got up to help. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Yes, we have a medical emergency and will be diverting to St. Louis." It took about 30 minutes to find the airport, where we landed and waited for the paramedics to assess the situation, remove the passenger and head for the hospital. Then we waited while the "paperwork" progressed in the cockpit. Thankfully, they let us use the restroom.

On to Denver and a way late arrival. Our flight left an hour before we got there. So we got to wait with the thousands of others who were on standby because of the east coast storms the day before (14 cancelled flights). Some had stayed all night. I talked to Customer Service and was able to get a secure flight to San Francisco, then to Sacramento. All well and good except for the three hour layover at S.F.

To make this long story shorter: Let's see, we got up at 3 a.m. (that's 1 a.m. California time), and finally got home at 10 p.m. California time. The original 7 hour flight turned into a 20 hour Don't Ever Want To Do That Again fiasco.

I can't really complain. Maybe this woman's life was saved by the unexpected landing. Maybe our original plane would have crashed in a Colorado thunderstorm. We certainly wouldn't have seen all those neat jets coming and going on the San Francisco runways. And I would have missed seeing the sunset as we flew out over the city on the way home.

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