Flying to Michigan. With best-laid plans.

You made a tough call. You considered the various alternatives and consequences, and it turned out badly. Accept it, and move on, right? No. You b*tch at your stupidity, you stew in it, you try to find others to blame, and then you grudgingly lurch into resignation, slide into acceptance, and then drop into peace. But not until you proceed through the steps, one by one by one.

It’s a White Plains, NY to Detroit to Northern Michigan flight plan.  A major storm sits on top of Detroit. Our pilot circles around the perimeter hoping it clears.  It doesn’t.  We divert to Cleveland to re-fuel.

We all sit on the plane as it re-fuels, the pilot looking to get back up and to Detroit.

The scheduled layover in Detroit was short. I fumble through my Delta app to learn that I will miss my connection.

I then proceed to make a critical (and flawed) decision. I ask to get off the plane to see if I can catch a Cleveland to Minneapolis to Northern Michigan flight and arrive late, but on the same day. (I learn that this is a major deal for security reasons as my luggage is in the cargo hold and cannot be retrieved – and, separating passenger from luggage is a no-no.)

They let me off. (After taking a photo of my ID, my boarding pass and my luggage receipt.)  They make the same offer to the rest of the passengers. Noted, no one else follows me. The attendant explains: “Sir, now you know that you will not have your luggage and it will be shipped on the original flight path arriving tomorrow.” I shrug, smile: “No problem.”

It’s 2:30 pm. The flight to Minneapolis is scheduled at 6pm, then connecting to Michigan at 8:30 pm.

The storm moves on from Detroit, and guess what? It slides on over and camps right on the top of Cleveland.  And it sits, and sits, and sits. Torrential downpours, lightening strikes, and rumors of funnel clouds.

It’s 8:00 pm. With delay after delay after delay.

It’s 9:00 pm and we take-off.

I find a Delta Service Center in Minneapolis to assist in re-booking my flight the next day.  The airport is emptying out. I find a McDonald’s (Open 24 Hours!) and wolf down three Cheeseburgers, the highlight of my day. Is there anything more satisfying than a McDonald’s cheeseburger on a empty stomach? My fingers tremble as I unwrap the yellow wax paper.

I find a cab. He’s annoyed. “Do you know how long I’ve been waiting in this cab line for a long ride?”

I don’t respond.

He looks at me in the rear view mirror.  I stare him down.

He continues.

“Do you know how long? 2.5 hours in that cab line.” Let it go Dave. Let it Go.

“Could you not catch the Hotel Shuttle? It’s a 10 minute ride.” Let it go Dave. Let it Go. 

I size him up. Slight build. I’m about to unleash, and I see Jesus swinging from his rear view mirror on a silver chain. I find myself softening. I look away, and sit silently. Imagine, that. Haven’t been to Church, like in forever, and he’s working his magic.

Is there anything more depressing than a cheap airport hotel? I don’t think so. And that musty smell. And the dim hallways.

“Sir, we’re sorry but the hotel is under construction. Have you stayed with us before? Would you like a site map or a tour of the facilities?”

She’s kind. Midwestern. A summer student cutting her teeth. She could be Sister Teresa at this moment and I would find a list of shortcomings. No. No. No. Please. It’s 11:00 pm. Just give me the key, please. Point me to the elevator. And get out of my way. Please.

I offer a thank you and reach for the key. She notes my slight irritation, and recalls the training manual. Remember, weary travelers just want to get to their room.

So, here we are. The next morning.

With no toothpaste.

With no dental floss. (To pick out the Cheeseburger particles.)

With no Razor.

With no deodorant.

With no change of underwear.

I put on yesterday’s clothes and walk down the dim hallway to catch the shuttle.  Dirty. 

Flight Time: 11:30 am. Minneapolis to Detroit.

Flight Time for Connection: 3:30 pm Detroit to Northern Michigan.

Scheduled arrival: 5:00 pm. A full day away from the destination.

Yep, we’re still in the stewing mode here. The storm over my head has not cleared, its thundering.

I step onto the hotel shuttle.  I’m the only passenger.

The driver with toothy, cheery smile looks at me in the rear view mirror:

“Good morning Sir. I’m so glad to take you to the airport, it’s just a short ride. Did you sleep well?”


Notes:

Comments

  1. I am so sorry to laugh…. Poor baby! And you were the only one to get off that other flight…. did nothing strike you as ‘maybe it’s not THAT clever’ when you were the only one to leave?
    ****
    Oh I see, it’s because you needed a story to tell your 3 million subscribers. 😉
    Dave, you are truly priceless. I thought to have a newsworthy story with a two hrs delay on a TGV train back to Paris (on a normally 4:30h trip) but of course you have to beat me…. 🙂 zut alors….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I feel your pain David. All the worst bits rolled into one. But it ended eventually and you got to sit and write a fantastic post. Life goes on.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. UNBELIEVABLY irritating on so many levels, pal, but as my husband *loves* to ask me…will this matter in two months, two weeks, two days, two hours? Think about this before you come undone. Irritates the crap out of me when he says it, but he’s usually right. damnit….

    Liked by 2 people

  4. yikes! amazing self control. yes, it is storming here, yesterday and today. i would have picked you up in ohio had i known you were in that much dismay, with no talking all the way to detroit ! )

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Some days are like that. My dad used to say, if things always went well, we wouldn’t have anything to talk about (or in our case, write about!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel terrible for laughing so much at your misery. Great story. Too bad it’s true. Still laughing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can’t decide what I love most about this story, the cheeseburgers, the Jesus wink from the mirror or the perky morning person I am hoping set the tone for the best of the best new day!

    I bet you’d not be surprised, I’ve never flown…wait for that blog, it’s on the list for my 60th!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. lkanigan says:

    Well I was surprised with this story cause when you got off in Cleveland I thought you were going to say screw it and head back to NY! Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. freddiegeorgia says:

    I love reading all the comments…will have to come back for more! So ya did get a great blog post out of this miserable experience! (and 3 cheeseburgers)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am so glad I am driving to Northern Michigan tomorrow rather than flying. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kurt, I would so love to me in a car now, as I sit at the gate waiting for my flight. But, with this much invested, we need to take it the rest of the way. Enjoy your drive and your trip. DK

      Like

  11. rakanigan says:

    Can’t wait to see you!!! We will make it all better.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Welcome to Minneapolis! My home. Sorry the cab driver was so crabby. Days like that are frustrating as heck. Hope northern Michigan treated you well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Brenda. Minneapolis is so wholesome, so kind, that one bad experience would not color my perception of this great city. I’m just leaving Minneapolis now with a connection in Detroit to Northern Michigan. Looking forward to arriving a full day late. 🙂

      Like

  13. You are amazing, how you inspire the empathy of all your readers! …with you every moment of each miserable shift. Curious, did you ever think, at the beginning, maybe I shouldn’t get off the plane, or even contemplate saying to the attendant, ‘I’ve changed my mind.’? ‘sorry, but can you undo this–I’d like to stay put?’ Of course, we then wouldn’t get to share in your additional exquisite agonies.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Makes me think of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Laughing. Sorry, can’t help myself. See, in the midst of your misery, you were taking notes, knowing full well your readers would all be here to commiserate with you. And in so doing, well, you got that sh*t out of you, didn’t you? And we, of course, benefit from your share…
    And, lesson learned. Maybe. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. A message from above? Have a great restful Sunday. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I think you make these decisions just so you have something to write about 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Stewing. I understand. And I sympathize. Your writing is therapeutic. I remember the start of my well planned vacation travel a month ago. Plane breakdown. Airport hotel, no toothbrush etc. and 21 hours delayed arrival. A vacation day stolen. Double jet lag. Life is hard.

    Liked by 1 person

Trackbacks

  1. […] am starting to feel like David Kanigan, one of my blogging heroes.  Just recently, I teased DK that he allows himself to get into crazy […]

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