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vacation: the flight

2001-08-03<>7:31 a.m.

being the tight wads we are, we flew out of san jose which is around 4 hours from where we live... minus the traffic. so, being the tight wads we are, we flew out of san jose which is around 6 hours from where we live. we could have flown out of san francisco (3 hours, minus traffic) or sacramento (even better, 2 hours, there is never traffic), but apparently, the tickets were cheaper had we flown out of san jose. so we did.

my mom is not that bright, i dont think. when she booked the flight tickets, she for some reason noted that me, and my entire family was vegan/vegitarian. so instead of getting the cereal breakfast i wanted, i got potato crap with bell peppers. nevertheless, i didnt eat it. it was only airplane food anyway. i could hold on.

i ended up asking for cereal. and hurray! i got it!

we first flew into chicago, where i was supposed to finally meet rebekah, because she lives in chicago. the weather in chicago at that time was rather shitty, but i was happy to be there nonetheless. when i deboarded the plane, i immediately put my eyes on rebekah scan. i didnt see her. we were a bit late, so i figured she might be waiting for me at my deaprting gate for the next flight. so i just decided to go there and search for her.




i didnt see her! i eventually boarded the plane leaving for orlando, and we started taxiing to the runway. this short taxi turned out to be 5 hours of hell.

not only were there about a million other planes waiting to leave in front of us, but due to the severe weather in chicago, the airport put a hold on all southbound planes (that would be us). so my jet and several others taxiied over to what seemed to be some kind of holding pen--a parking lot almost--for planes. and there we sat.

people were getting frusterated, annoyed, and... frusterated. nobody was happy because, hey, who likes to sit around at the airport for long amounts of time... nevertheless in an airplane where the seats are less than comfortable.

as we sat in the jet parking lot, people tried as much as they could just to relax, but it wasnt working. so then, to help us out, the airplane says "hey, i know! ill just cut out the engines because i dont want to work anymore!"

people got a little nervous when the plane stopped making all the plane noises that planes make. but i guess it wasnt that bad. we heard nothing from the cock pit, so i guess we assumed that everything was okay.

"at least we still have the airconditioning"we said

then the plane said "hey, i know! ill just cut the power to the plan! that way, people inside will become all stuffed up and miserable. not to mention, i think i might be able to get some people to panic!"

so thats what the plane did.

we had no power and it was starting to get hot and stuffy. we had been sitting in the holding pen for about 2 hours (this is 1 hour of sitting on the runway waiting for our turn to take off before they cancelled all southbound flights) before they finally got a truck to come and jump start the engine of the plane. succes! (that is, after like another hour) but they still couldnt get the electrical system to work.

"you cant do this! you cannot keep people on here! my baby is suffocating! you cant do this!" screamed one woman who had a small infant.

i wanted to punch her.

soon enough, though, they got the electrical system up and running and before we knew it, we were taxiing again!

back to the gate.

we needed more fuel and we had to restock the food on the plane (whats the best way to keep unhappy people quiet? feed them). so they let us off the plane for a half hour while they did that.

i still looked for rebekah, but didnt see her. to pass the time, i rode on the moving walkways. i pretended that i was in the jetsons, all lazy and whatnot.

then it was time for me to board. so i got back on the plane, where we sat for another half hour before we left the gate.

fun fun!

oh, let me remind you that this is still the same plane whose engine cut out and the same plane whose electrical system cut out. it was going to be a fun ride!

finally, we were taxiing again to get to the runway so we could take off. wooo! number 3 for take off. there were only 2 planes ahead of us, and then it was our turn. oh, to be free of this hell hole.

"this is your captian speaking. the control tower, due to the sever weather, has put another hold on all southbound flights, but it should last long, we should be back up and ready to go in just a few minutes"

just a few minutes.

thats what he said before.

i think pilots get "minutes" and "hours" confused.

oh wait, he was right. it was only about 10 minutes before the line of planes got moving. hurray its our turn!

we position ourselves at the end of the runway, getting ready to take off. the pilot checks the flaps on the wings, and powers the engines up. we start to roll forward. fast.

"finally" i said to my sister.

i spoke too soon.

something which i had never seen happen happened.

the fucking pilot slammed on his breaks. we were moving forward at full speed right before take off, and the pilot fucking slammed on his breaks! does anyone have any clue how hard it is to stop a boeing 757 going god knows how fast on the runway?

aparently, the pilot jumped the gun and tried to take off before the control tower said he could. bastard.

luckily, when we stopped, we were still in line first to take off. so we taxiied back to the top of the runway, and were able to get the hell out of chicago.

i would have argued for a free flight for all the shit we went through... but then i realized that i dont ever want to fly united again.