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Friday, December 28, 2018

Heavy weather


We flew to Wisconsin for Christmas, to spend time with Ann and Pat. I went to a month before Christmas to book tickets. I toyed that long with the possibility of driving, after realizing there no longer is a direct flight from Akron or Cleveland to Milwaukee. 

As I sat diddling with the screens, weighing a layover in Charlotte, Detroit, or Chicago, the price went up a hundred dollars. Flash, just like that. A hundred bucks. My finger twitched, and we were on American, laying over in Charlotte.

I made a mistake booking an 11 a.m. flight, not an 8:30 a.m. flight. There was little freeway traffic, no airport congestion. The flight was seven hours, including layover. Driving would have been exactly the same, including the distance from the airport to Ann’s house. A direct flight would have been two to three hours.

Speed at the airport would have been significantly diminished without the wheelchair. Wheelchair service seems to have become a standard airport business, since I had that stroke eight or nine years ago, and waited twenty minutes for the pre-ordered chair to arrive at the gate.  Now the one I order is there, or hustling on up. The best thing about chairs is, they go to the head of the line, or better yet, to the TSA gate, where there is no line.

When we left Milwaukee for home, Wednesday night, Laura’s boarding pass announced TSA Precheck. The counter agent looked at it several times, then said Laura had been randomly selected.  

Our baggage was scanned, and Laura was summoned back from the seating area. The agent asked her to open her suitcase and show the bag of round objects. Hamilton’s bag of jelly beans was examined front and back, and she and our luggage were excused.

The chair only takes me to the head of the line. I used to set off two alarms, my titanium hip and my titanium neck. Now my new shoulder rings another bell, and eight or ten inches of new leg metal rings a lot of bells. Miss Prechecked sat and waited.

At the gate, a new gate was announced. At the new gate, a new time was announced. Heavy weather on the coast was delaying incoming flights, and one of those, from Charlotte, was our connecting flight back to Charlotte, then to Akron.  I explained the problem of missing the flight out of Charlotte, and was told it was raining so hard there, we would do more than miss the flight. The ticket agent offered us a bus ride to Chicago O’Hare to connect to Akron.

The agent assured me there was more than enough time for a bus trip from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Chicago, Illinois, to catch the last plane to Akron, including four detours off the interstate to pick up passengers. She was correct; we reached the counter with ten minutes to spare. 

There was no plane at the gate; it was late from Charlotte. But, it did arrive, and we were home and in bed by midnight, only an hour late, and, according to Ann, just a mundane adventure later.


The newly waning moon, through the airplane window, above the rain from the coast. I still need to call American and see if there is a refund for the difference between bus fare and air fare.

34 comments:

  1. Oh, welcome home. Glad you got there to visit, and glad you made it home ok.

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  2. Hari OM
    Crikey, Laura needs to pass her test by this time next year, methinks... having just gone through booking flights for OZ next year, I found that my favoured airline no longer leaves from Edinburgh. I have to get to Manchester to pick it up. I am envisaging the sort of drama you have discribed. Yeeechh... Like you, though, I make the most of airport assistance. It's definitely one of the perks of being 'less able'! Welcome home. YAM xx

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    1. You must mean Etihad, they have been cutting back..and Edinburgh's runway is too short. We fly Emirates to Oz and NZ from Glasgow and they treat us very well indeed.

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    2. Hari OM
      Yes, I Have been an Etihad customer since the early days; now the Aussie director has gone and this year it is fully in Abu Dhabi hands... I had 'guest miles' needing used. I love their service, just a shame Edinburgh didn't get it's additional runway. Yxx

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  3. glad you are home safe. traveling by air is a crap shoot these days.

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  4. Wow now I know why I do not fly. I would be lost for sure. Glad you got home safe and sound.

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  5. That's quite the adventure and the reason I don't like taking flights in winter but sometimes it cannot be helped. I'm glad you both made it back in one piece :-)

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  6. Oh Charlotte! So close. I feel I missed seeing a celebrity, The Queen for instance. If I'd known perhaps I could have brought you and Laura something to have made your wait less tedious. Hope your visit was grand.

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  7. The photo almost compensates for the flight for me, nut I didn't tke the flight. I now hate flying - or at least the bit in the middle of taking off and landing, plus the hours spent boarding. What else is there left?

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  8. Sounds like you two had quite the Christmas adventure! Having TSA rummage through one's things is never fun.

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  9. All's Well That Ends Well, I guess......Glad you and Laura are home again. I truly dislike flying these days, and I am one who needs a wheel chair. That makes things possible, but by no means pleasant. Hope your visit was all you hoped for.

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  10. I am glad that you got home safely and hope that Christmas with Ann and Pat was lovely.
    I suspect that American won't come to the party on refunding the difference - but may be unnecessarily cynical.

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  11. I hope your vacation was enjoyable other than the travel.

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  12. That seems like an ordeal to me, but you likely think it was worth it or you wouldn't have done it. I am happy to not do the travelling that we used to do.

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  13. That moon shot is captivating - lovely.

    Maybe bus next time all the way? Although it's a lot of sitting with no relief. But then so is a car. I hope you get a refund, although - like EC - I am skeptical.

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  14. A relief to arrive back home!! Hope you really enjoyed the trip

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  15. Its weird how they do the flights that you actually had to fly further away to Charlotte to get to Milwaukee. Airline travel sure has changed so much over the years. Hope it was an enjoyable trip once you eventually got there.

    betty

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  16. Heavy weather is no time to be up in a plane in my opinion and I wouldn't favour a bus ride either. I'd be far more inclined to stay home and safe, but then I don't have anyone I need to be visiting in other states.

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  17. I used to love traveling, but not anymore - for all the reasons you stated here. However, the time spent in between coming and going are usually too good to miss.

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  18. Flying has become a nightmare. Best wishes for a swift and hefty refund.

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  19. I think I would have liked the bus ride...but not the uncertainty of it all.

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  20. You got there and back, that's the chief thing.

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  21. Welcome back safe and sound! And while I love actually flying, the airport can really be a hassle.

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  22. The mental image of TSA inspecting a bag of jelly beans has me giggling. Glad to hear your trip went well.

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  23. Glad you made your flight from the bus. I am almost happy none of my kids invited us up for Christmas, as the trip home would not have been pleasant. I did end up hosting Christmas dinner for 14. I was a little put out about all the prep and cooking involved. Everyone wants to show up with a pie they picked up at a store and let me do all the work. Happened Thanksgiving and then I hosted a Breakfast with Santa. I will be hiding New Years Eve and Day!

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  24. Airplane travel at Christmas is the WORST.

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  25. Travelling this time of year is always dicey...glad you made it home safe and sound.

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  26. I have just posted pictures of your lovely woven cloths on my blog, thank you Joanne.

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  27. Oh the tribulations of travel. As you point out air travel with the added airport delays and travel time to congested airports is often the same as driving. Was it a good comfortable bus ride?

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  28. That sounds like quite a journey to Wisconsin, what with one thing and another. Glad they solved the mystery of the "bag of round objects"! And yes, all that metal must send the alarms into overdrive! Good that you were home and in bed by midnight.

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  29. Congratulations on having survived! The amount of hiking involved at any airport has quite put me off flying anywhere. If I can't get there by train, I'm not going.

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