Sunday, January 07, 2007

Tales from the Tarmac

Percent of flights on my original itinerary that I actually flew on: 25%

Primary reason for delays, missed connections, and rebooking: Crew delay. (However my flights from Memphis to New Orleans was delayed because some guy in first class checked his prescription medication that he needed to take, and an ambulance had to drive over to our plane so that a paramedic could give him a dose of his essential medicine -- instead of having the ground crew find the guy's bag among the checked luggage.)

Best use of ticket jacket: While waiting the 20 minutes after the plane had landed in Atlanta but before it had arrived at the gate (after already having left New Orleans at least 30 minutes late because of a crew delay) finding and calling the phone number for the "automated arrival and departure information" to find out whether my connection was on time or if it, like every other flight I was even remotely affiliated with, was running late. Of course the connection was on time and was departing in four minutes. So no need to run to Terminal C to find out whether I was going to miss my connection.

Precent of flights on Real Actual Airplanes with more than one flight attendant: 75% (!!!!!!!) I flew on a DC-9, an MD-eighty-something (a DC-9 in disguise), and a 737. Most of the flights on mainline carriers! Normally I am stuck with the Embraer Air and the Canadair Regional Jet on some Nobody Airlines doing business as the "Express" version of an airline you'd heard of. I felt like I was flying Pan-Am during the Golden Age of Air Travel! They even served cookies! For free!

Number of Caskets unloaded from the nearly empty Real Actual Airplane that I flew on from Atlanta to home: Three. Unlike in the movie Flight Plan, they were cardboard boxes that said, "Human Remains / Handle with Extreme Care" and fastened to wooden frames with handles for moving. The things you see if you look out the window!

Also viewed from the window of the Real Actual Airplane: We had to wait to finish taxiing to the gate because we had to cross an active runway, and several F-18s were getting ready to take off. Two took off on the runway in front of my plane, and one took off behind us (all three at the same time).