March 8, 2006

Let me tell you about anger

(This is NOT a rated PG post. Parental Discression is advised)

So Friday, my mom in Cleveland says my dad had a mild heart attack. By Friday night, that "mild" heart attack was diagnosed as major blockage that required a bypass. The surgery was scheduled for mid-morning on Monday in Cleveland. At this point, they find that he has six arteries that are 80-100% blocked. It's a rather serious situation. So I book my flight for first thing Sunday plane is to leave omaha at 9:30am. At 8:00am on Sunday, I get a call from American Airlines saying that my 9:30am flight to Chicago was cancelled. The lady on the phone was very nice, and simply booked me on the 1:20pm flight. No problems......

I get to the airport around noon, and I check problem. I get to the gate to walk on the plane, and the woman tells me, "This is a standby ticket sir, you're going to have to wait." So not rocking the boat...I wait. The plane is full, and I get bumped to the 3:20 flight to Chicago instead. (They move my Chicago to Cleveland flight as well.) At this point, I'm starting to get a bit nervous about getting to Cleveland.So 3:20 flight comes around..and I get on fine. (I'm not worried about luggage because I have only my small carry on.) We pull away from the gate, and do what they ALWAYS do when flying to O'Hare...they put you on a ground delay. These are usually 20-30 minutes TOPS. So we sit. And we sit. And we sit. 30 minutes because 45. 45 becomes an hour. One hour becomes two. Two becomes four. FOUR AND 1/2 HOURS later, we pull out of Omaha and head to O'Hare. Did I mention the toilet was overflowing?

Needless to say, I'm a bit freaked now, not only being trapped in a CRJ for 4 and 1/2 hours (with nothing with me but a book I've alread read)...but now I'm certain to miss the plane to Cleveland. So we land in Chicago, and there is MAYBE 3/4 of an inch of snow on the ground that caused all of this problem. While onboard, I mentioned that I REALLY needed to get to Cleveland ASAP. Just before we land, the Attendant makes an announcement that the "person who was asking about Cleveland need not worry, that flight is delayed until 9:30pm." We land at O'hare at 8:30pm.I walk over to my new gate to Cleveland, and there are two fat-ass rednecks in front of me. They walk up to the counter, and start to do this fat, Jeff Foxworthy-esque dance, and LITERALLY high-five the guy behind the counter and dance to their seat. They got the last 2 tickets to Cleveland. I explain to the man that my dad is having open heart surgery, and I HAVE to get to Cleveland tonight. He puts me as the #1 top priority on Standby. With the weather, I'm in very good position to get on it.

The plane boards at name is not called. Four others who were also on standby were. I'm STILL not furious, because all I want to do is go see my dad. The jackass behind the counter shurgs, says that they had higher milage status than me, and he'd put me on the 10:30 to Cleveland...on standby.10:30 flight is is ready to go at 11pm. The SAME thing happens. I wait to hear my name...three other standby's get on.At this point I am beside myslef. I HAVE to get on the last plane out, which ends up being delayed until 12:45am. I talk to the other guy behind the counter. He says there are 6 open seats...I should be golden.

Sure enough...he calls my name, and give me my seat and boarding pass. Five other standby's (including 3 AA employees) get on the plane. I'm on the plane...I walk down to my seat, and there is an elderly couple sitting in what is supposed to be my seat. The other standby's jump in their seat, and I am suddenly standing in the isle by myself. The flight attendant looks at both receipts and asks me to the jetway to figure it out. The guy from behind the desk runs down and says, "Sorry dude, there was a mixup." Just as he says that...the door closes. I ask, "Are you sure you can't do anything?" "Sorry dude." and he walks away.With my father getting ready for surgery, and my mom trying to comfort him...I spent the night at O'Hare, sleeping on a row of seats, and using my coat as a pillow as that G*D DAMN voice boomed out every 15 minutes "PLEASE KEEP YOUR LUGGAGE WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES. UNATTENDED BAGS ARE SUBJECT TO INSPECTION" ALL....FUCKING...NIGHT. Thanks to the fine folks at American and even more lucky for me, they couldn't get me on the 8am flight to Cleveland...they had to get me on the 10:30am. Surgery was to happen "between 10 and 12."I went up to the counter, and explained my situation. They shrugged and said, "Sorry. Nothing we can do about the weather." I was complete 100% fucked.

So I slept in the airport, and (of course) was guaranteed #1 standby priority on the 8am...which (of course) I didn't get. I got on the 10:30, which by this time had several open seats...and I finally got to Cleveland at 11:45am...nearly 28 hours after my original plane was supposed to leave.

FUCK you American Airlines.
FUCK you Air Traffic Control.
FUCK you O'Hare International Airport.
FUCK you hillbillies who took my last seat and your fat-assed little dance too.I hope you all rot in hell you fat fucking pricks. I hope you enjoyed your comfy fucking bed, and got to your monster truck rally, or whatever else the FUCK you told the gate agent.

PS - I finally got to see my dad, just minutes before surgery. I'm on hold as we speak to talk with a manager at American...even though I'm sure three or other people will find their way in front of me.

PPS - Dad is out of ICU and resting appears to have been a success.

PPPS - The official snowfall total for O'Hare on Monday was .6 inches.


Blogger Adam said...

Godspeed mi amigo.
I'll take pics this weekend to cheer you up.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

I must say that is the worst (best?) story about getting screwed with your pants on. My mother ended up going into the hospital, very serious, the wednesday before thanksgiving. I had to fly out super ultra-short notice, from Denver, on a serious holliday. I didnt have a single problem. I understand how scary those last minute/emergency flights can be and i am even annoyed at what they did to you. I guess the thing I wish for is that all your desk clerks and redneck pals have to experience the same thing.

glad to hear your father is doing well.

6:58 PM  
Blogger JP Anderson said...

Hope your father heals up quickly.

6:09 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Thanks JP.

I appreciate. Happy to report that he's doing much better now. Sore, but much better.

6:56 PM  

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