austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

You know where I've gone, I won't be coming back; That day is done

We woke in agony Monday morning, because alarm clocks inspire agony or they're not working right. Also it was an unfamiliar alarm clock, even after three days of use, so it was a pretty shrill thing. We'd showered the night before to save precious time before getting ready but still, it was a 7:30 flight so we were getting up before 5 am to make sure we had the time to get there. chefmongoose was, as ever, an incredibly good sport about this, getting up as early and driving on top of that.

There was no word of delays or cancellations from e-mail, or from phone messages, or from airline or airport web sites, and yet we still didn't quite believe it. But the airport flight display boards were a wonder and I'm a touch sorry chefmongoose didn't come in to see it (although it wasn't worth paying parking to see): our flight was still on time. The next flight to Detroit was also scheduled on time. But after that ... no. Cancelled. Everything was cancelled. There were a few isolated islands of white in an ocean of red cancellations or indefinite delays. I have seen something like this before, in 2003, during the height of the SARS epidemic when flying to or from Singapore was a matter of navigating flight cancellations (at one point United rebooked me, Singapore to Hong Kong to Newark on a flight which landed in Hong Kong an hour after the next leg was to depart, and this wasn't even the worst of their chaos).

But the scheduling chaos didn't touch us; our only problems were in getting through airline security which gave bunny_hugger extra screening because oh who knows. Also we were trying to find something for breakfast, since we'd trusted we could get something at the airport and I ended up with a chocolate bar, which wasn't enough.

They warned us the flight out might be rough, given the hurricane's approach, and they were to fly at lower than typical altitudes to avoid the worst of it, which I didn't get but trust they knew what they were doing. Despite the fears, which delayed the service of snacks and drinks long enough that bunny_hugger nodded off, the flight was reasonably smooth and unexceptional, not to mention on time.

At Detroit we resolved not to make the same mistake as we had going out, and to use the tram to move along the length of the main terminal swiftly and get to the terminal for our connecting flight to Lansing. This was a fine strategy. When we got up to the tram station, we learned that we were right where we should get off the tram for the tunnel connecting to the other terminal. You probably saw that coming.

We looked for somewhere to grab a quick bite and picked a Wendy's serving breakfast as probably the best bet. They had a good-looking egg on a biscuit that ought to work. We had relatively little time before our flight would nominally begin boarding, if boarding ever started at the posted time. And then we had a sudden crash of nothing happening. There was some delay regarding the biscuits. They asked bunny_hugger if she wanted to wait for the biscuits or if she'd accept them on a different bread instead; she would. I had ordered the same thing, but the never quite got around to asking me what I wanted and I couldn't get attention on the topic, so, we got to wait. I think her sandwich ended up looking better.

The flight from Detroit to Lansing was pretty near on time, swift, and quite normal, apart from the fact that as we watched the final approach we couldn't recognize any of the buildings out the window. They were buildings that looked distinctive enough, and maybe it's natural for me not to recognize them, but bunny_hugger couldn't figure them out either. We'll have to go through the area with charts and Google Maps sometime and try to figure out what we were looking at.

And this brought us home, ready to prepare for the workweek, and to see whether Hurricane Sandy would actually turn out to be that big a deal.

Trivia: One of the witnesses at an 1861 inquiry into the failure of the 1858 trans-Atlantic telegraph cable reported a major cause of lost time in operations was quarreling between the telegraph operators, with staff becoming so irritated with one another they could not work. Source: How The World Was One: Beyond The Global Village, Arthur C Clarke.

Currently Reading: Manseed, Jack Williamson.

Tags: furfright
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