I mentioned in an earlier post that I’d recently hit a milestone in getting past a lingering fear of flying. Thanks to Jamie also for the words of encouragement. It turns out it wasn’t a minute too soon. Not two weeks later I find myself back in New York.
Which was an interesting and uneventful trip. And then comes Wednesday night as I leave the office at 5 eastern time for La Guardia – when I show up the electronic check-in informs me the flight I’m on has been canceled. It does however print out a pair of replacement tickets for a connecting flight in Indianapolis leaving at 8:30. Plus a receipt to pick up a “we’re sorry” kit of some sort.
At the gate I learn two things. a) The flight leaves at 8:30 a.m. the next morning and b) the sorry kit consists of a discount on the next flight. Not a hotel voucher or anything. Yay! Another night in New York!
So I take a cab back to the city, Phoebe performs a miracle and locates a hotel room that’s open, and as I walk around looking for a place to grab a bite it starts to pour out. Seriously pour, like standing in a river, and the lightning and thunder through the towering buildings Financial District was remarkable. That part of the trip I actually enjoyed quite a bit in a perverse sort of way. In the end I gave up on the wandering and caught a cab and grabbed some room service.
Brief aside – hailing a cab is one of the places where GTA was pretty good practice. Go to the nearest corner, on the right-hand side just past the intersection, on a road that’s slightly less busy. Scan the back seats of cabs as they come through the intersection and when you see one that’s empty simply stick an arm out in the air. Any cabbie worth his salt will be at your curb in seconds. You just have to remember not to pull him from the car and drive off.
Anyway! Back to the story! Five a.m. bright and early back at La Guardia. Flight boards at 8:15 and leaves at 8:40. And then it’s 8:20. Then 8:30. A person I’ve been chatting with turns out to be taking the same connecting flight to Minneapolis. He wonders if we’ll make the connecting flight. I shake my head, no… No there’s no way… But I’m thinking if you need to roll the dice on finding a replacement flight you’ll have better luck in Indianapolis than New York. So no matter when this plane leaves you’ll want to be on it.
Which does turn out to be the case. After touching down the first thing we do is have our replacement flights are handed to us. Yep – that’s flights as in plural, and on a different airline no less. Turns out I’m going from Indianapolis to Minneapolis through Cleveland on Continental. Woo hoo!
And the best part when I get to the gate is I see one of these little guys parked out on the blacktop.
You know you’re in for a good flight when the boarding process includes walking a couple hundred yards over the tarmac and stacking your luggage on a rack next to the plane before stepping up into it. It’s even better when you get the pre-flight announcement that because of the way the seating turned out we need three volunteers from rows one through three to move to the last two rows eight or nine. How cool is that? :)
I found this video which is pretty much exactly what the wing and gear looked like from where I was sitting.
And the flight was very uneventful. Remarkable flight attendant too – one of those people who seems really quirky and genuine from the first second you meet them. There was some turbulence but oddly enough that’s something that’s never bothered me.
Finally in Cleveland I’m slightly relieved to see one of these waiting outside the gate. A small jet, just three seats from window to window, but at least it didn’t have props.
And that’s that! Home at last 6pm central – total travel time 26 hours.