What a ride home from San Jose. First, the Alaska Airlines plane was late because it ran into some weather on its way to San Jose. Then, after we all embarked, the pilot discovered a cracked headlamp. That caused a 20 minute delay while we all sweltered in the plane as the APU was unable to come close to maintaining a constant temperature. Then, while the mechanic replaced the lamp, he cracked the lockdown cowling of the lamp which required a frantic call to American airlines to borrow a replacement part. Another 20 minutes later, the part was replaced but four sets of paperwork had to be filled out: two damaged parts incident reports, a replacement part report, and an intercarrier transfer report. This took another 30 minutes. Meanwhile the temps had risen to over 95 degrees in the cabin. People were passing out. Flight attendants were passing out water as fast as possible. The air was getting thin, oxygen levels declining. We finally took flight with the pilot apologizing profusely.
We arrived over two hours later in Seattle, and because we lost our arrival gate, the plane had to taxi about for a while to await an available gate. By that time three flights worth of baggage were being deposited in the same carousel. Massive crowds ringed the conveyor belts, each selfish individual blocking access to the revolving luggage. I usually stand several feet away from the belts then dive in when I see my luggage. This time proved a little difficult having to push aside a few people, but I have little sympathy for people who simply cannot figure out how to be both civil and communitarian. A lightsabre would have been handy.
The masses behind us, Selene and I walked down to the transport level to catch our airport parking shuttle. That proved futile because all the transport islands were taped off with police barriers. We found out later a woman either fell or was pushed off of an overpass onto the street below. Looking at the traffic flow we could see the shuttles making their way through the arrival lanes, so we walked all the way back to the airport to get to the lower level. There were no courtesy phones around; I was thankful I had my cell phone and the phone number of the parking place to order up a shuttle. That went without incident until 1/2 a block from the parking lots, an aggressive driver careened toward the shuttle. Had the shuttle driver not reacted quickly by shifting into another lane we would have been broadsided.
Over three hours later, we made it home to feed our happy and very hungry cats.
Yow, that's travel hell! I'm glad you're home safe and sound with the kitties.
I devoutly hope my own trip tomorrow goes more smoothly. Since it both begins and ends at smallish airports (Eugene and Bangor, ME), I have some hope ...
But it's a good reminder that to pick up a big bottle of water on the way to the airport.
> But it's a good reminder that to pick up a big bottle of water on the way to the airport.
Yup! If we did not have a water bottle with us I would have been in a bad situation. I run hot as it is and anything over 75F is too hot for me. One thing I really like about the Pacific Northwest are the lower temps; they suit me fine. Selene, on the other hand, prefers the high 70s and up.
Safe Journey, Jez!