Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Angry angry flight gods

I don't know what I did to piss them off, but it must have been something good.

The most recent examples: Last week, flying from Syracuse to Memphis, via Charlotte, North Carolina.
The flight left Syracuse on time (miracle!!!) but by the time we got to Charlotte the bad weather had caused many delays. So, we sat there on our poky wee plane for half an hour until we could get a gate. Fun times.
I was supposed to wait in Charlotte for maybe an hour and a half, but the delays meant that I had to hot-foot it to the gate to catch the flight to Memphis. Luckily I checked the boards for the times, and because of the weather, my next flight was delayed for an hour and a half. Time for a wee feed.
Finally, after a second delay of another 40 minutes (yes, that's two hours and ten minutes) I get on the plane to Memphis, where dear Sunshine and Van-Nasty were waiting for me and the other members of our party, wee Sethie and HKD.

We then proceeded to rock Bonnaroo, but that's a story for another day.

From Memphis, I took off for LA, via Phoenix, for a 9.30pm flight from LA to Auckland. The flight to Phoenix was fairly uneventful, except for the 45 degree heat that blasted me as I got off the plane onto the airbridge.

In Phoenix I got on my plane headed to LA, and we taxied out to the runway, at which point the captain informed us that we had to head back to the gate cos the plane was broken.
Mechanics ensued. Plane was allegedly put back together. We taxied out to the runway again.

Rinse and repeat.
Clearly the duct tape they used to fix the plane was no match for the Arizona heat, and we had to get off the plane and find a new one.

At this point I realised that the chances of me making the 9.30 from LA were rapidly shrinking. Off to the US Airways desk!!!
The pretty lady there informed me that we were going to get a plane soon and that I could get on the 10.30 from LA to Auckland, and she would call them to arrange it all while I got on the new un-broken plane to get the hell out of Phoenix.
I finally make it to LA at 9.25pm. Wait in line practically eating the luggage trolley while waiting for my bags, so I could load them up, take them to Terminal 2 and check in with Air New Zealand. Check in completed at 9.45pm. Continue to security.

Happily the usually insane security at LAX was fairly quiet, which was good because I was foul and tired and smelly and ready to crack some skulls.
I arrive at the gate just as they announce the boarding, simultaneously singing the praises of the nice people at Air NZ who are so accommodating and didn't charge me the $150 to change my ticket; and wondering what I did to anger the flight gods to the extent that I clearly have.

The occasions upon which I get on a plane that takes off and lands on time and meets all proper connections are considerably fewer than situations like the above.

I suppose I should consider myself lucky that my bad-flight-luck extends only as far as delays and missed connections, rather than the exploding-planes alternative.

But anyway, now I'm in Auckland airport waiting for my flight to Christchurch so I can see my mum and have a shower and wash all my clothes and get on with my life.
Boarding in half an hour...... fingers crossed.