austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Lonely days are gone, I'm a going home

I had started to talk about my trip back to New Jersey, to be seen for a week, but got sidetracked with other things. I do have to point out how airline travel really let me down this time, by which I mean, it took a lot longer than it ought to have. I was flying from Detroit airport to Newark, and back again, with the idea that I would take a bus service from East Lansing (conveniently nearby) to Detroit. This part went fine. But on the way out there was some mess where lots of flights were late, and some cancelled, and so checking in and dropping off my luggage took excessively long: long enough that had my flight not been delayed, I'd have been late for the start of boarding. This was not a good sign. We got delayed on the tarmac, too. And when I arrived, about three hours late, my suitcase was for some reason not on the baggage carousel, so I had to find it from the luggage office. Mercifully they did have that. At least I avoided rush hour traffic, but on the other side of things.

Returning, though, that was the real mess. There were storms over Chicago, I think, producing the usual chain of catastrophes, but I was able to check my luggage actually before my flight's nominal boarding time. That boarding time was delayed, though, by several hours. It could be worse; the flights before and after mine were cancelled altogether. The storms over Chicago were moving east and blocking many air traffic lanes. After two and a half hours sitting on the plane on the runway they took us to another gate, on the grounds that they were giving us the chance to go to the bathroom and get something to eat and then swiftly re-board and make it out before storms closed the airport.

You probably see where this is going. Once everyone was off the plane and the mob safely dispersed, they cancelled the flight.

I did get rebooked, but the earliest flight they had was the next day --- and after a most trying eight days away from bunny_hugger you can imagine how happy I was to spend another day away --- at 6 pm. My sister-in-law was glad to put me up for the night (and there's stories about that too), but, sheesh.

The next day I got up there several hours early only to lose all the time waiting in the huge line to check bags, again. I am not exaggerating this: I did not get up to the check-in counter until after my flight's nominal takeoff time. But once again the flight had been delayed (and the Newark-Detroit flight before mine had been cancelled, so I guess it's lucky I didn't get the earlier one), so that I had time to make a sulking call to bunny_hugger and try to deal with how that screwed up some plans on spindizzy_muck for that evening, as well as to eat, read, decide I hadn't yet eaten anything comfort-foody enough and eat again, and waste still more time.

Obviously I did get back home, although about 31 hours after the original plan. So, yeah, this flight from Newark to Detroit did take appreciably longer than flights from Newark to Singapore did.

Also, after this, I'm not doing the Detroit thing anymore. The principle is fine, but the need to have bunny_hugger drive out and back in case of flight delays is too big a mess. I'll be going to and from Lansing instead, even though that (hah) requires connections.

Trivia: On learning of a magic square constructed by one Michael Stifelius, comprising sixteen rows and columns, and on a friend's comment that it must have taken enormous time and effort, Benjamin Franklin constructed a magic square as big and more complex that night. Source: The First American: The Life And Times Of Benjamin Franklin, H W Brands.

Currently Reading: The Invisible Kingdom: From The Tips Of Our Fingers To The Tops Of Our Trash, Inside The Curious World Of Microbes, Idan Ben-Barak.


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