Thursday, August 18, 2005

DC Day 4 - The voyage home

Day 4... my legs are like stumps today. I forgot to mention that I ran 10k yesterday (which was preceded by a 5.5 mile run on Tuesday). I also wandered about downtown around the White House and stuff (a reverse protest was taking place with people proclaiming their love of Dubya on placards)... The few people who were protesting were doing so in a pathetic manner... using 8 1/2" x 11" bits of paper with "Stop the War" printed on them. Not very effective next to the "We love ya Dubya" 8 1/2' x 11' placards.

So, I finished part one of my work by lunch, Mr. Gamgee and I went to an Afghan restaurant to celebrate. It was a buffet... Huff (HBO) was the host, waiter, busboy, etc. Mr. Gamgee packed a lot of food into his chops... it was mighty tasty though (I had a kidney bean dish, rice and bread with water - Samwise had mounds of meat and other animal bits).

I left for the airport at about 1:40 (in an effort to get on an earlier flight going standby). I was originally scheduled to leave DC at 6:30pm, but there is (was) a flight at 4:15pm. I had called our travel corp on Tuesday about switching... they said it would cost $45, but the flight was underbooked, so I could just show up and go standby. So, upon arrival at the airport (more than 4 hours in advance of my original flight), I went to the ticket desk and asked how to get on standby...
"Click here... there... okay, that is an extra $200"

WHAT??!?

Apparently, there is a standby fee', and the flight at 4:15 is a "costlier" flight. I'm not sure how that can be, since they serve NOTHING on the flight (unless fuel prices at the time they filled that plane jumped, then fell again in time for the 6:30 flight)... so, here I sit in the airport... it is 5:46pm...

Let's talk about airport food. Choices in this particular section are:

1) Cinnabon
2) Auntie Annie's pretzels
3) Some deep fried chicken stand
4) Great Steak and Potato (although, the closest thing they have to a steak is a hot dog)
5) Pizza

Fat, Grease (okay, technically also fat), Sugar, flesh. Yup, all the basic food groups are there.

I'm in the corner finishing my water, and thanking myself for bringing a Soy Milk drink box and spare Clif Bar. What is it about my luck with airports? I dunno, maybe all people are travel impaired, but I'm feeling cursed or something.

Okay, 11 minutes until boarding (no plane yet though, so unlikely)...
According to the airline website, this flight has a 69% chance of being on time. The next flight has a 51% chance, then the one after has a 39% chance... The flight I wanted to get on had an 85% chance of being punctual. Interesting.

Okay. Bye.

UPDATE:
There was no wireless in the DC airport, but I'm now home. 9:29 pm... 3 hours from the time my flight left DC. Amazing. So, the reason that I couldn't go standby was the fact that I had luggage to check (hence the change fee), if I only had carry on (carrion), then I could have gone to the gate and asked if there were open seats...

So, back from that tangent (you'll see where I'm going), the reason it is 9:30 is the fact that I waited for an hour (this particular airline is famous for slow baggage retrieval), then went to the 'lost luggage' desk. One agent - many, many people lined up to complain. By the time it was my turn, they looked at my luggage sticker thingy and said "oh, we have that here, it came on the earlier flight". Ugh.

Signing off... tired in Pittsburgh.

1 comment:

Grod said...

Dude, you are SUCH a wimp. Why I remember in my day a flight from DC took me over 12 hours, most of that parked at the gate with the AC off. We had to eat other boiled passengers to survive. We couldn't use cellphones once the airplane doors were shut. Which they were, even before we got on.

And more expensive flight simply means marketing thinks they can squeeze more money out of the business travellers because that flight is in a better timeslot.