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murphy's law couldn't keep us apart
One year ago today (February 13) it took me 21 hours to make it from NH to OR by plane.
My first flight to Vegas was delayed by an ice storm, and after five hours of sitting on the plane I had finished the book I brought with me (Son of a Witch) and various magazines, and missed my connection to Oregon for sure.
After three de-ices and attempts to leave we were finally on our way to sin city...and for the first time in my adult life I wasn't happy to be going there...I wanted to get to Oregon and to Patrick.
Vegas had promise, I managed to find a Southwest gate agent faster than the other people from my flight (who were all bewildered by the delay or they didn't have connections they'd missed, like I did) and next thing I know I'm running as fast as I can through the terminal and they're holding a flight to Boise, ID for me.
I sit in the LAST ROW on the airplane between two business men, who both think I'm nuts for being so out of breath.
We settle in for our flight to Boise, where I will connect for a flight to Portland, I will be late, but I will be there by dinner time at least, it was something. Patrick and I had plans for Chinese food that night.
We're one hour into the two-hour flight, we've been served sodas and pretzels (damn you peanut allergy people) and I'm finally getting excited again about my trip, it was a bit of a rough start, but I was really on my way this time.
Then the plane turned around.
The pilot told us all there was a malfunction with the landing gear (just what you always want to hear) and we were going to have to go back to Vegas where they would be better equipped to handle any problems that would "unlikely" arise.
You're fucking kidding me, I said to the well dressed man next to me.
Sure enough, we have the roughest landing I've ever had on a flight, people actually screamed it was so rough, overhead compartments flung open and bags were in the aisles.
But we were all fine, just a little surprised. We were even more surprised to learn we were the last plane cleared to land in Vegas that evening, they were experiencing 65 mph wind gusts there in the valley and the landing was due to the winds, not the landing gear which wound up not being an issue upon landing.
We all trudged off the plane to a closed airport and hundreds of people in lines trying to reschedule flights, trying to get on planes that might not leave until the next day.
Finally, my turn at the service desk. They inform me there are two more flights scheduled to Portland, one at 7, one at 9, neither likely to leave on time. She put me on the 9, and offered to let me fly stand-by on the 7, which would probably leave closer to 10. I burst into tears and said, "You're fucking kidding, right? If I stab someone to death from the 7 pm flight can't I just have their seat?" Which was met with a blank stare. I shook my head, apologized for wanting to kill other travelers in a post-911 environment, and wandered around the airport for an hour miserable and exhausted. I had gotten up at 3:30 am NH time to get my 6am flight. And now I was stuck in Vegas, and not even the glow of the strip could make me smile.
I remember sitting at my potential gate and talking on the phone to my friend Jimmy about my predicament, and I said to him, "I'm ready to offer a blow job in the bathroom for a seat on the next plane out of here," which I said louder than I intended as someone next to me shot me an evil look and stormed away, newspaper folded under their arm. He was probably more of a handjob sort of guy, I figured. Jimmy was laughing at me and reassuring me I'd get to Portland eventually.
In the three hours I sat in Vegas at the gate I made friends with a group of like-stranded travelers, all enchanted by my tale of new love and flights from hell. Planes finally started leaving again from Vegas around 8:30 pm, and the announcement was made that if everyone at our gate hustled and got on the plane, no nitpicking about seats or lage, just get on and get on damned fast, they might be able to squeeze a flight out in between wind gusts. But we had to HUSTLE, no fucking around was the unspoken threat, or we might have to sleep in the airport.
I stood in line at the counter and watched my new friends board the flight, pell-mell, dragging children and bags behind with no concern for brutality.
When they announced that all the stand-bys for the 7 pm flight could board because so many people had rescheduled their plans to fly out the next day I screamed with enthusiasm and bolted down the ramp towards the plane to Oregon, FINALLY!
As I walked down the aisle, triumphantly, people were high-fiving me and cheering me on, like I had won a major award, and in a way I had.
Finally, around 11:45 pm Oregon time, I made my way through the PDX terminal towards my Patrick.
It took nearly a year of friendship and flirting to get me to Portland, and 21 hours of misery and tasteless commentary to strange
Viscount's farewell flight hits a snag PICT0089x
A VICKERS Viscount scheduled to make its final domestic passenger flight yesterday had to be replaced at the last moment after hitting a fence.
The plane was preparing to fly from Stansted to Heathrow, where passengers were waiting to board the historic 45-minute flight, but it suffered a 2ft gash in a wing while being towed.
Another Viscount was flown to Heathrow so the flight could go ahread.
Passengers stranded at Stansted were taken to London by bus.
Among the guests waiting to board the flight at Heathrow was London King of Wartnby, president of British Airways.
Colin Smale-Saunders, engineering director of British World Airlines, which operates Viscounts, said: "This was very unfortunate but we are glad this historic flight was able to go ahead."
The Duke of Edinburgh was among many who paid tribute yesterday to the plane which is ceasing passenger service after 43 years.
He said: "It is sad news that the long and active commercial life of the Viscount has finally come to an end.
"I'm sure that many people who flew, or flew in, these aircraft will be pleased that is is being given a suitable farewell."
A total of 444 Viscounts were built for more than 60 airlines.
Five of those remaining will continue in service carrying parcels from Belfast and Edinburgh to Coventry.
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