Pharos-Tribune

Columns

August 25, 2013

KNISELY: Cursed at the airport

My trip home from the West Coast last week gave me a better understanding of how Tom Hanks felt in “The Terminal.”

I arrived at the airport in Portland, Ore., at 8 a.m. Saturday, and I didn’t pull into my driveway until after 3 p.m. Sunday.

Nothing went right. And I mean nothing.

Because my friend works for an airline, I was flying on discounted tickets. It’s awesome because it’s cheap. It’s not awesome because you have to fly stand-by. But, until now, I’d never had a problem doing so.

I was set to the leave on the 10 a.m. direct flight to Chicago. Too bad a seat didn’t open up for me. Time for Plan B. I caught a flight to Seattle, where I was going to try to get on the 6 p.m. to Chicago. After sitting in the airport for seven hours, I learned there was no seat for me.

So, they booked me on the 8 a.m. flight the next morning but warned there was one open seat and 11 stand-bys. There were two more flights that day but the scenario was the same for all. That math don’t work, so I called my friend.

”You’re not getting out tomorrow,” he said.

He said I could try to fly back to Portland and stay another day. Then as he was checking the Monday flights, he said, “Wait, make that two days. Monday ain’t looking good either. Oh wow, Tuesday’s a maybe, too.”

Knowing I wasn’t getting home this way, I booked a regular flight with another airline, putting down an amount of money that made me nauseated. It was shortly after 7 p.m. at this point and my flight was scheduled to leave at 11:20 p.m., with an hour layover in Detroit. I would arrive Chicago at 7:50 a.m.

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