Okay, so I’m currently on the plane, and the ear thing is starting up again.. i’m getting really dizzy and I’m not so sure I can look at the screen anymore.. and nope, I can not.. my eyes are closed and I’m really, really dizzy… I’m chewing gum but that’s doing nothing for me.. so now I’m getting hot and cold waves running through me, and now the right ear has taken the lead, and definitely feels like it wants to explode… I can’t really hear anything anymore.. the ding of the bell was very, very muted.. I’m now sweating., and my heart rate has risen noticeably…. I can no longer type…
Left ear pang.. This is fantastic. We’re passing over the Mississippi river already.. There’s a long wretched story about how we got to be where we currently are. Just as a preview: This is not the plane we’re supposed to be on. Also, Rachel is not sitting by me.. also, we’re angry. And now I think the pain has hit that point where I want to die. Signing off for a bit.
I am back. We’re flying over Aspen, I’m told. After i shut down my machine, I closed my eyes, and went crazy dizzy for about 5 more minutes, then my right ear popped. Let left me spinning to the left for another 5 minutes, when the other one popped with a loud squeak. Woo!. I felt awful for the next half hour, while trying hopelessly to just fall asleep.. until I eventually did. I woke up about 10 minutes ago… We’ve got a bit over an hour to go. Now you get to hear the story of getting here:
Rachel and I left my house Sunday evening (7:15ish) and drove out to my parents place. Rachel had worked the last few nights (11pm – 7 am) so she was tired and hungry, and slept much of the drive, while I finished up the last few chapters of The Bourne Identity on Audiobook. [I liked the movie a bit better, but it was quite good, and now I must start “Supremacy”] All was fine on the trip out, save for some rough rain that made seeing impossible for a bit… then I got a bit caught up in explaining guitar “bar chords” to Rachel, and somehow managed to not only miss the exit, but get stuck on the Toll road as well. So two exits and $.60 later, we were where we were supposed to be, and we made it to my parents’ place. We had Aurelios Pizza, played Cranium Cosmos, and just hung out for a while, finally going to bed after midnight.
Woke up at 3:20 AM, and had a quick breakfast, then my dad dropped us off at the “Bus to O’Hare” place (and also bought us Bus tickets.. thanks Dad!). A little over an hour later we were at the Airport. We got in the long line for United… so far so good. We got up front, and they’ve got those touch screens you use to get all your info. Rachel choose our stuff.. and it asked for a credit card/Driver’s License.. so she put in the credit card.. and it said it needed more information.. so we searched around, and found our confirmation number, and she put that in. It said that it wasn’t working, and we should get an assistant to help. There was no one around free to help us, so we started over again. This time after her credit card number, we choose to put in the date of our flight.. it gave us 3 options: Yesterday, Tomorrow, and the next day. WTF!? We started over again, and tried the Confirmation number again. Meanwhile, I started looking around for a person to help us out. A lady was nearby, but the person to our left got her first. Finally, when the machine didn’t take the Confirmation number again, the lady was free, and we got her attention. She asked what the problem was, and we explained. She asked when our flight was, and we said “6:20”. She said (Through smiles and a little laughter) That we were “one minute too late” and we couldn’t log on anymore. We said “No.. we’ve been here at least 10 minutes already.” And she sent us to someone who could “help us”. [handoff #1]
We got to the line for the “help lady” in time to hear a British man explain that he’d been trying to get his stuff to work for at least 10 minutes, and that it’s “unacceptable” that the machine thinks he’s now too late. The lady repeated the “too late” thing a bit, and the British guy asked for her superior. A man arrived… explained the “too late” thing, the Brit explained the “Go to Hell”, and eventually, the “help” guy said that he could get him on the plane, but he couldn’t check his luggage. That worked fine for the Brit, as he had just the carry on and a small case that they could take at the gate. Then the “help” guy turned to us. We explained that the exact same thing happened to us. The guy looked at our large suitcases, and said there was no way we could take those to the gate… and that we were too late. We explained that we were not too late, and that after at least 10 minutes, they said we were 1 minute too late… He seemed to doubt our story, and said that the machines had never done anything like that, in a “I know you’re lying, you little kids” kind of way. I responded that it would appear it had done so today… twice” in a “Seriously, Go to Hell” voice. He got behind the desk again, and said that all he could do was put us on the next flight. We asked when it was… “8:00”. What about our connecting flight in Denver? “No.. it’s a direct flight”. Okay… when does it land? “9:15” Score. That’s fine by us. It leaves later, but it arrives before we were going to arrive, and no layover in Denver. He said he’d get us “seats on the next flight”. Those were his words. We got our passes, pleased to know that he had “seats on the next flight.”
We went through the “Cedar Point in mid summer on a Saturday with nice weather and a new coaster just opened” size security line, and with one more small turn to go, a security person pulled us out for special security stuff, which really meant we got through a ton quicker.. which was nice. Rachel had knitting needles (the 9+ inch kind) in her bag [I thought she was joking at first] but they appeared to not be a problem (What a difference a few years makes)… and we were off to our gate.
We sat for a while, then decided to take a walk. On the walk back Rachel took a closer look at our boarding passes, and couldn’t find the seats. That’s when I noticed that they were “Standby”. So “seats on the next flight” has turned into “I’ll put you on a list.. we’ll see”. We are now angry. We rush back to the gate.. but there is no one on duty. It is around 7:10, and the flight was to leave at 8:00+, with supposed boarding at 7:30ish. We walk back to the United customer service line, and wait there for a bit. Eventually we get to talk to a dude. Rachel explains what went on up front, and the man confirms that we are on standby, and that there are currently 18 unclaimed seats, and 20 people on standby, so our chances seem “pretty good”. I then ask if there’s a chance we will not be on the plane, and he jabbers a quick bit, but pretty much says yes. I explain that the man up front did not say we might not be on a plane, he said we had seats. The guy says that it “looks pretty good” for us, and that we should wait to hear our name at the gate. We are now very angry.
We make it back to the gate, and there’s a lady at the desk. We approach her. I explain the situation, and that we were told that we were going to have seats on the next flight, and that that appears to not be the case. She explains that we’re on standby, and that there’s about 3 unclaimed seats and many, many people on standby. I (angrily) explain what the guy up front had told us, and she said starts talking about how were were late, and should have been there earlier. Then [in my mind] I leaped over the counter and ended her…right then and there. We explained that we were there on time, and it seems that we were lied to up front just to make us go away. I asked if she new who the supervisor up front was.. she did not.. she said there were many… and then suggested if I was upset I could go up there to find him… because going through security again and leaving this gate is exactly what makes sense now. I was not impressed with her at all. Rachel remained standing a few feet from her for the next while, and I sat down.
The plane was running late, and the lady announced first that there were many, many people on standby, so they shoudl wait for their name to be called if it was going to be called as the plane was sold out. She then announced that the plane was running late and would be arriving at a different gate.. so we all went over there. I walked with Rachel, and she let me know that another person showed up to work with the lady, and had remarked that there were a lot of standbys.. and the lady had responded “Yeah, I know, I’ve already been attacked.” ESaD. We walked to the new gate, and people began getting in line, and started boarding the plane. Rachel suggested a blog entry entitled “United gets the finger” [They do, by the way]. Then, some names get called. First one.. then two more. then a fourth. Then Rachel gets called! She goes up, and asks what about me? The lady said my name was next on the list. I said if I didn’t make it I could prolly run and meet up with her. So yeah.. my name is next on the list.. that’s good. The “3rd” group of people to be seated are called.. and that includes Rachel. The lady grabs the mic, and calls a different name.. stellar… we continue to wait.. and after a short bit, my name is indeed called.. and we grab our stuff, and get on the plane. “Woo”.
The movie on the plane was “Last Holiday” with [according to the flight attendant] “Queen La-TEE-ah” (No “Fah” for the queen this time, I guess). And that was the story of how we got to Vegas.