Flight Log: MotorCity USA

 funny,laugh,painful

My journey from NYC westward continues.  A five hour non-stop flight has morphed into a surreal 2 day experience with stops at JFK (with 2 plane changes), LGA (with full airport evacuation) and now Detroit.  There are still two legs to go however let’s camp out in Detroit for a moment.  (Prior posts for this trip are referenced below.)


Heading to MotorCity USA.

We are descending on a gentle, clockwise turn into Detroit Metro. The pilot touches the giant bird down – a 30 ton sparrow gliding into her feathered nest.

I catch myself humming a tune from one of Detroit’s finest: Seger.

I think I’m going to Katmandu,
That’s really, really where I’m going to.
If i ever get out of here,
That’s what I’m gonna do.
K-k-k-k-k-Katmandu…

I step out of the jetway at Detroit Metro Airport. It’s gleaming. Lined with wine bars, a Spa, a Suishi Bar and a Online Café. My lungs are pulling me to the aromatic L’Occitane En Provence body soaps drifting onto the walkway. I’m traipsing through a meadow in the South of France.

I’ve lolly gagged over to Gate 38. My flight leaves from Gate 30. Plenty of time.

Then. I stop.

I’m in the Delta Terminal. I missed my connection from Detroit due to delays out of NYC. Shara re-booked me on American Airlines: DET – CHI – West. Yes, another painful connection via Chicago but we’re advancing.

I’m in the wrong terminal. My heart is racing. This “miss” is on me.

I need to take a shuttle bus. The Blue Shuttle to the North Terminal.

I glance at my watch. 5:00 pm. Flight departure is 5:40. Still no shuttle. I’m rattled. Sweet Jesus.

I arrive at the North Terminal. 5:20. Agent states that the final gate call has been made. “You need to hurry.” I get through security and run to the gate. A-30. Last gate in the wing down a long corridor. Natch.

5 passengers are left to board. And 3 others hover by the desk…Wait List passengers hoping for no-shows.

I hand the Agent my boarding pass and my ID.

Agent: Sir, you are now booked on the next flight.

DK: Can you please check again?

Agent: Sir, you are on 8 pm flight. It’s right here on your boarding pass.

DK: Ma’am, I have a reservation on the 5:40 pm flight to Chicago connecting to another flight heading West at 8pm. The boarding pass is wrong. Please check again.

Agent: Sir, did you check in late at the ticket counter? Your boarding pass has you ticketed for the next flight. These other Wait List passengers are now entitled to a seat because you arrived late at the gate.

DK: (PAUSE) Ma’am, I don’t want to be difficult. Can you please do me a favor? It will only take you a minute. Check my flight connection out of Chicago. If I miss this flight, I miss my connecting flight. (I lean forward and whisper. She leans in.) Then, would you kindly check my mileage status and my lifetime miles on your fine airline? Then, I might suggest that you can make an informed decision whether or not to bump me in favor of these other passengers that didn’t have a confirmed seat.

The Waiting area passengers have been watching the show with interest. So what’s it going to be? The Rules or the pushy Mustachio Slav from NY.

The gate area is Silent but for the Agent tapping on her keyboard.

Agent: Mr. Kanigan, you’ll be seated in Seat 11c. Thank you for flying American.

Off we go to Chi-Town.


Same trip – related posts:

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