Finally. It is nice to be home, sleeping in my own bed. On Wednesday morning I woke up thinking "Tonight I will be sleeping in my own bed!" If only I knew then what the night would hold for me...
My flight back to Oakland was scheduled to leave at 9:30 on Wednesday night. According to the departure screen, my flight was scheduled to leave on time. Unfortunately I forgot a book and my ipod, so after waiting to board the plane, at 9:30 I went to an airport shop and bought "The Alchemist." I sit in my spot in line (I was flying Southwest) and read for a half hour, when I started listening to the conversation between a disgruntled, waiting passenger, and whoever was in charge of taking boarding passes and loading the plane. Apparently there was no pilot. Great. For the next 20 minutes, several airport workers are coming and going, talking to each other, using the phone, and looking stuff up on the computer. Finally, some guy makes an announcement that because of the Las Vegas airport shutting down (3 inches of snow in Las Vegas, and of course no one in Las Vegas knows what to do with snow, or had any equipment to use anyway) our pilot is stranded. They were looking for another pilot, and they would get back to us. Through more eavesdropping, I learn that there are several flights terminating in Salt Lake, but that each of the pilots had flown too long that dayto legally fly a two hour flight. What do you expect? It's 10:30 at night. Now they are checking with pilots that live in the Salt Lake or Park City area. Fortunately, a girl from my ward was on the same flight. We played cards while we waited. At midnight, they make the announcement that the flight is officially cancelled, and they will rebook us on the the 6:30 or 10:20 flight the next morning. Start Part 2 of my trip home.
My friend and I get in line to rebook our flight. Right behind us are two other college students from BYU, so we make friends and commiserate together. We had all decided that we just want to get on the 6:30 flight and stay at the airport that night. We don't want to hassle with getting back to Provo or getting over to a hotel just to be back at the airport 4.5 hours later. At about 1 am (yes, that was 1 hour standing in line to rebook) I finally rebooked to the 6:30 flight. The airport employees had brought a box of sodas, ritz crackers, peanuts, and airplane blankets and pillows. Luckily, there were no arm rests between the seats, so we could lay down on the benches. I settle in with two blankets and a pillow and attempt to sleep. They had provided ear plugs, but I could still hear CNN playing on the tv and the crying baby (poor, poor woman and poor baby) pretty clearly. At 2 am, a flight from Seattle arrived, and I happened to be "sleeping" right by that gate. It was freezing and loud for the half hour the plane emptied. I couldn't get warm again after that. I slept for about 5 minute incriments over a 2.5 hour period, but I layed awake for most of that. Eventually I got sick of trying to sleep, so I just sat up and listened to CNN while I played Monopoly on my phone. The next 2 hours passed really quickly, and finally it was time to board the plane! I was asleep before the plane took off, and slep until about 10 minutes before we landed. I arrived in Oakland at 7:45 pacific time, about 13 hours after I had arrived at the Salt Lake airport the night before. Which means that without the snow in the Sierras, I could have driven home in less time.
I think that the most awesome part of the whole experience is that I can now say that I have had a flight cancelled because there was no pilot. That is like cancelling school because they juts couldn't find a teacher. With no snow storm in Salt Lake at the time, who would have thought that a flight to Oakland, CA could be cancelled. Well, when there is no one to fly the plane, what else can they do?
On a completely different note, I was watching VH1's top 40 vidoes of 2008 this morning. Apparently Britney Spears has made a comeback with the song "Womanizer." I was a little confused when I heard it because at first I thought she was singing about herself. Turns out she was singning to a man, while she is sitting in a steam room, wearing....nothing. Britney, you don't need a womanizing man to exploit you. You are pretty good at doing that yourself. Thank you for trying to stick up for women, but you just objectified yourself instead.