Well, once again I will be traveling to and teaching in Spokane for a month… This will put a damper on the bike miles. However, in the effort to keep the legs from turning to mush, I am signing up for spin classes. I keep being told I have no idea what I am getting myself into, but we will soon see, and I will share my misadventures!
Being the smart trainer that I am, I went over yesterday for a quick round trip. It let me check out the new office and new training rooms. The flight over was uneventful, but coming back was interesting.
I had grabbed the 7 AM flight over, and by 1130, I had done all the testing I needed to do. It was time to head for home.
As I was leaving, some of the company head honchos were hanging out in the lunch room after their own visit to the new digs. I went over to tell them to have a safe flight, and that I was heading for the airport. They looked at me and said “You aren’t going anywhere! All flights to Seattle have been cancelled until 5:45!”
I busted out my phone, and looked for an email or text alert and saw nothing. Then I checked the status of my flight. It said “On time” They were convinced I was out of luck, but I decided to make the run anyway. I’ve always had good luck at the Spokane airport.
I made it there, and through TSA, Now I know Spokane is a small airport, but seriously, one slow old dude checking all the boarding passes? It took way longer than it should have.
I got to the gate and sure enough, the 12:30 and 3:30 flight, both propeller planes, were cancelled. Mechanical problems. So I asked the agent about my 2:00 PM 737 flight. “Oh, that one is on time, AND we’ve added another 737 at 1:10 PM to make up for the broken planes!” I was soon on the stand by list.
I got to the 737 gates at 12:30, and it was seriously a cluster. The 2:00 was listed at gate 30, but they were boarding the 1:10 flight there. They kept having to tell people, “No, you are at 2:00 at gates 31, yes I know the gate sign says this is your flight, but its not…” Passengers were getting frustrated, ticket agents were getting short-tempered. I just sat near a plug and read a book on the phone.
I heard one agent say “Thats it, we need to get this plane into the air! We are NOT adding any more passengers!” I took that to mean I was not getting on this flight. I settled down to wait for an hour.
I then heard over the PA, “This is final boarding call for flight xxxx, after this announcement the doors will be closed! Last call for passengers Smith, Jones (OK I don’t remember the real names) and VALENTE!” HEY! That’s me!! Final call? I never got a first call!
I grabbed the plug and the backpack, and made a beeline to the gate with the charger still dangling from the phone! Either Smith or Jones was right behind and asked “Did I miss my name earlier?” “Nope!” said I, “But don’t argue, we are getting one when lots aren’t!”
We hurried down the concourse and onto the plan and then stopped dead. Person after person ahead of us were trying to stuff HUGE carry-on luggage into the over head bins. I swear of the people were tiny, and could barely lift the things. The flight attendants were blocked by all of us in aisle. Again people were getting cross…
Then this mountain of a guy stood up near the short people and I swear he lifted one in each hand and MADE them fit! The man wanted to go home!
We are all boarded, it’s about 1:15 and the Flight attendants welcome us on to flight XXX to PORTLAND! Pandemonium ensued for a bit, and people missed the guy correcting his mistake. But he shouted Seattle a bit louder and all was right in the world.
We were in the air about 1:25 and the captain gets on the horn and says. “Thanks for flying with us, our travel time is 40 minutes, we will be landing just after 4 PM.” The lady next me and I shot each other a look, and then just shook our heads as the captain came back on said, “Oh sorry, we will get there just after 2!”
Finally, when they were serving “Water or juice!” I distinctly heard one flight attendant say to the other, “I don’t know what you are telling me. You need to use your words!” I looked at her and said, “You have got to be a mom!” That at least made her smile.
We landed and I was in Seattle after a very bumpy flight, earlier than planned. For some reason the Manchild really wanted to meet me at the airport and drive south together. So I hunkered down in baggage claim to keep reading. In my search for an electrical outlet, I discovered Sea Tac Airport is bike friendly!
First I saw this.
So one could lock up the bike while at the airport. I would almost feel secure leaving it there overnight.
Then this sign for those taking their bike on a plane
Then for those who needed to disassemble or reassemble the bike there was a stand with tools.
and a pump bolted to the floor!
Gotta love anything that makes cycling easier! Nice work Sea Tac!
Hopefully Sunday’s trip back to Spokane will be uneventful!