Elimloth (elimloth) wrote,

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Delayed Journey to Otherhome

Selene and I had a wonderful time at the Dickens Fair. I do not have the outfit for that era, so I didn't try very hard to attempt it, though my full length cloak hid the modern clothing fairly well. I would have stayed to the end at 7PM to catch the last show at Mad Sal's place, but I had to get to the airport on time to make my return flight to Seattle. So, we left at 6:30PM to arrive at 7:15PM for the 8:33PM departure. It's good to get there a little early, especially on holidays since the crowds are thick. Indeed, the entry road that traverses the terminal buildings was stop and go. Knowing that flights often get delayed around holidays, Selene waited for me to give the thumbs up sign if my plane was on schedule. It wasn't; the flight board showed it was delayed until 9:24PM, so I decided to enjoy the extra time with my lovely wife. On the way out, a rather tall police officer, probably about 6'2" approached slowly on his Segway, which made him appear over 7' tall which along with his large build gave him quite an imposing Darth Vader look. I smiled and asked him how he liked the Segway (to which he replied with a returned smile: "I lke it a lot!"), and that broke the ice. We both knew he wanted us to skeedaddle, we having parked a little longer than they like, but we did it in that friendly San Jose kind of way.

Selene and I headed to San Jose to look for a restaurant. We managed to get lost heading toward downtown, but we ended up on somewhere near First and Santa Clara at a vegetarian place. The food was pretty good.

We then returned to the airport with time to spare to let me catch the delayed 9:24PM flight. I looked at the flight board which said the flight was *on time* - 8:33! Eek! I ran through security which was nearly empty, and raced to the empty gate hoping it wasn't closed. As I approached the counter nearly breathless, I saw the flight was again delayed. A quick call to Selene, I told her I would be stuck at the airport and she should just head home.

Crap, why do the airlines do this? First the flight was delayed from 8:33 to 9:24, then from 9:24 to 10:34, then at 10:45 they told us 11:15 yet they said the plane was still stuck in *Seattle* because of a snowstorm. Finally, after several people, including myself, gently told them it takes two hours for a flight from Seattle to San Jose, they ‘fessed up that the flight would arrive at 1:55AM. Why? Because the flight crew exceeded their 15 hour work time limit which meant they had to scrounge up a replacement crew. That delay required additional deicing which added further delays.

I also learned the truth about the San Jose airport curfew. Planes are allowed to land after 11PM; they just get fined for doing so, and the airlines routinely pay the fine. With the truth told, we all curled up to catch some sleep.

That was the most fitful sleep on the airport terminal floor, which was no more than a thin carpet with no padding glued onto a concrete base. The cloak worked great, fulfilling its ancient role; it kept me warm when they opened the outside doors, the hood kept the bright lights off my eyes, and the cloak material reduced the constant muzak and perky pages of Jet Blue announcing the myriad arrivals that had nothing to do with the set of gates we were in. I felt sorry for everyone else who had to sleep with small jackets to barely shield them from the discomforts of the terminal. I felt expecially sorry for the parents who had to calm their children.

I woke up to several announcements of the continuning delays. At 2AM they announced the plane would arrive at 2:25 for a 2:50AM flight back to Seattle. Ugh!!! More fitful sleep.

I just got home at 6AM, seven hours later than planned.

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