Saturday, September 26, 2009

The games have begun!

The show ended at about 3:45 pm, and Steve the Technical Director took off in a car to go all the way to JFK in Friday rush hour traffic.
Tom had a 5:45 Flight so, he was going to be taking off soon as well.
Staging Horizons was just getting started when a guy walked into the ballroom and told me that his group was coming into the ballroom to start setting up their event at 5:00 pm for a 7:00 pm start.
I was kind of shocked that the hotel didn’t bother to let us know about a little detail such as this.
I told him that we would do our best to get out as fast as we could, then I let the crew know. Surprisingly enough, they took it in stride and rolled with it. Not that far of a stretch for those guys.. they always have a good attitude. I suppose it is just one of those pleasant surprises.
It was no fun with the added stress of a group waiting in the door way (literally)
However, we rocked the load out and pretty much had it in the truck by 5:30.

The best part of the story from here on is this….. I took the elevator to the second floor, walked down a hallway and was on the skybridge entering Terminal C.

Hotel to Airport commute, 1.4 minutes.

I checked in at the United counter and everything went really well. I was able to get all my boarding passes there, even the Code Share one on Thai Airways.
The line at security was about 8 people, so, all in all, my Philly airport experience was doing quite well.

I got a burger at Burger King… Wolfed that down, and then called my parents and chatted with them for a while. I donated some photos to various things in NY state, one of them being a charity auction, and they excitedly told me that a couple of my images sold in the silent auction. That made me really happy. It is a pretty good boost for your ego when stuff like that goes down.

My plane finally boarded, and the pilot came on the microphone and told us that the weather in Washington DC was about the same as it was in Philly but a bit less wind, and then he said that we were going to leave about 10 minutes early and that would put us into Dulles 10 minutes early.

We taxied away from the gate, and I for some reason hit my stopwatch. I think I did it because, they kept saying that the flight from PHL to IAD was a short 35 mintutes, and I feel like that is misleading. Sure, you may be in the air for 35 minutes, but even the best of flights take at least 10 minutes on each end to taxi to and from the run way.
So, I wanted to see just how long a “35 minute” flight really was.

We stopped somewhere out on the tarmac and waited… and waited…
The pilot came back on and told us that the traffic was all jammed up and that was because all the flights that were landing had to taxi across the outbound runway.
These are things I would just rather not know. I don’t wanna know that someone’s stupidity is really going to mess my plans up.

I pulled out my stopwatch and looked and my 35 minute flight was already at 40 minutes and hadn’t even left the ground.
The pilot shut down the engines (never a good sign) and then walked back through the plane to go and use the bathroom.
This is when I got on the phone to United to see what my flight options were going to be.
When the pilot got back on and told us that we were in line to take off, but that there were 22 planes ahead of us, I was sure I wasn’t going to make my connection in Frankfurt.
Well, to make a long story short…. (yeah right steve) We finally took off about an hour and forty five minutes behind schedule. We landed around 9:10, and by the time we taxied to the gate, it was about 9:20. Then we sat there… nothing worse than being so close, but so far away. The Pilot announced that our gate was occupied so, there was change. I Finally got off the plane at about 9:30 and started running. The problem with running at the airport in DC, is that if you have to switch terminals, you are at the mercy of a shuttle bus that leaves every 5 minutes. I got to the bus just after it left. So, I had to wait. Finally got across the terminal and ran ran ran down to gate C7 I was about 10 minutes from them closing the door, and sweaty, and out of breath I hit the counter and asked…. “ Did I get the upgrade?” I was on the waitlist for a business class upgrade to Frankfurt, but totally expected him to tell me no because I was so late.
He surprised me with a pleasant yes.. and I slid in to the plane just like there was no problems at all. So, this is a story that has ended well so far. I have to change planes in Frankfurt and hopefully that will go smoothly.

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