You would think that, having been asked to board so quickly after we had deplaned, that everything had been checked up on, that the tornado had abated, and we would be ready to take-off.
Unfortunately, we had to face what has got to be the most hilarious obstacle of our trip yet: we were told that we would be waiting at the gate for a plane technician to come to replace…
…two seat cushions.
Yes, you read that right.
I have to admit that I started laughing out loud at this point; it was all getting too crazy and I couldn’t help but wonder if this was actually happening or if it was an elaborate hidden camera charade. Because honestly, this is such a crazy story that I don’t even know if I would believe it if someone told me it happened to them!
It took at least half an hour to get the seat cushions replaced. When the technician walked into the plane with the new ones, everyone in the plane clapped and some even whistled; I guess we were all starting to feel a little kooky.
The cushions replaced, we all took our seats, eager to take off. Surely enough insanity had already occurred that we had paid our karmic price and would now be treated to a flawless end to our trip… Right?
Of course not!
We ended up waiting some more, as the clock continued marking, second by second, the end of Saturday 26 December.
Hour and a half later, the pilot told us that because of the worsening weather conditions, because of the crew’s long hours, and because we would not make it to San Francisco before their customs would close (which begs the question, why would we need to go through customs in San Francisco? Isn’t it in the same country as Dallas?) (Rhetorical question, guys.) that the flight was now cancelled.
After over six hours spent in the plane.
We were also told that because our flight’s cancellation was due to the weather, our luggage would not be returned to us; rather, it would be locked away in a special storage area and would be sent to San Francisco whenever possible, most probably by Monday 28 December.
There goes the adorable outfit I was planning to wear!
A tornado sized mess…
All 200 tired yet somehow mostly cheerful passengers get off the plan and get in line to have our flights re-routed with another 1,000+ passengers from other flights in the same situation as ours. After standing in line for two hours, my husband and I are told that there are no seats on flights to San Francisco until the morning of Tuesday 29 December; that there are 150 already on stand-by for flights to San Francisco; and that there is no way we are going to make it to a wedding scheduled for 5:30pm on Sunday 27 December.
But then a ray of light; as the agent takes another look at tickets available for Sunday 27 December, two open up! It would get us to San Francisco by 8pm… So we would only make it to the wedding by 9pm at the earliest. At that point, it seemed better than missing the wedding altogether, right?
The agent waits about 30 seconds until my husband and I decide to go for it; he then starts going through whatever procedure he needs to get us the tickets… Then tells us that the tickets have disappeared!
I started laughing again, a reaction I think the surprised agent really appreciated (I had noticed a lot of angry/impatient passengers interacting with him throughout the two hours we were in line). He chuckles, then decides to take another look and what do you know: another two tickets open up! We enthusiastically and vehemently (I think we might even have shouted) told him to book it. This time he laughed, printed the tickets, and wished us good luck.
You can imagine how profusely we thanked the poor exhausted looking man.
Nothing else can go wrong… Right?
It was 1am by then; my husband and I are really tired, both physically and emotionally. We were supposed to be given cots to sleep on but I’m guessing that support staff couldn’t make it to the airport and the priority for the skeleton staff that had to work overtime was not cots, but re-routing. So my husband and I manage to curl ourselves around the handles of the seat, lie down, and “sleep” as well as one can in those circumstances.
At around 7am, my husband gets up to go to the bathroom. He checks the flights and lo and behold…
THE FLIGHT TO AUSTIN IS CANCELLED.
Again, laughter ensued—this was turning into one unending comedy of errors.
Image courtesy of Death to Stock.