Dec 3, 2008

United We Fall...

"Welcome to United Airlines..."

Our trip to California was terrific! We had a wonderful time with Amelia and Dennis, Austin and Darby, Nate and Erica - The food was excellent and the games were fun! We are so grateful to have been able to stay for 4 (+2) days! +2?! You ask... yes, PLUS 2. And not by our own design... That was all thanks to... NOEL.

Allow us to explain...

As I said the trip was wonderful! We had a BALL! And Then we TRIED to catch our plane on Sunday... But we were foiled as I said by, NOEL.

We got the airport in Modesto to fly out on Sunday about 25 minutes prior to our scheduled flight time. This was normally no problem since the airport is tiny and has only one prop-job running to and fro from the San Fran. Airport all day...

Well, we walk in and find that there is no one at the ticketing desk, and the people are starting to move through security and get to where they can board the plane - Again, no real problem, the distance from the desk where we were standing to our seats on the plane was maybe 30 yards. And yet... no one was coming to help us at the desk. We got some very pleasant looks from the security officers sitting in their break-room drinking hot coacoa, but no one working for UNITED AIRLINES was around to give us our boarding passes or check our bag. So we walked over and tried to get some attention, but instead got only strange looks from the lady (NOEL) taking tickets from the now boarding passangers. So we said, "Hey! We are here! We NEED TO GET ON THAT PLANE, THE ONE SITTING RIGHT THERE ON THE TARMAK!" And she said, "Oh, too bad. You are too late." Too Late? TOO LATE?! What?! "Yes, you should have been here 40 minutes ago." (There was a sign AT THE COUNTER saying you should be there 30 minutes prior to your flight - but of course that was no where on our itinarary or anything, just at the airport.) I guess they same person who took boarding passes, also ran security, boarded passengers and flew the plane... So we watched as our plane was boarded, taxied, and took-off...

Then we waited for NOEL... ;)

Who gave us a look like, "Oh, Crap." and then ran to the Bathroom. (Where she never came out.)

So another guy came in from loading the luggage, who clearly had no idea what was going on and asked, "And how are we helping you today?" ... "You're not. We were supposed to be on that plane." "Oh..." He replied, a little taken back by the fact we were not on the plane. "Well, lets get you guys taken care of."

Oh the jokes that where shared during the ride home...

"Noel, where is your Christmas Spirit?!" "No-el, does that stand for No Love?!"

So we got scheduled for a flight the next day and enjoyed another evening with Amelia and Dennis. (When we returned, Austin informed us that Darby had been praying we would be able to stay longer... thank you Darby:)

We got up, and had a nice morning... until we noticed the weather outside. FOG. And not just a light cloud of condensation on the ground... it was like being inside a black thunderstorm cloud - not being able to see more than 20 feet around the house. Hoping that the fog was isolated to Amelia and Dennis' lot, we drove out the the airport to get on our flight (2 hours before it was supposed to take off). CANCELLED DUE TO FOG... There was, however, a plane coming in and preparing to return to San Francisco. So we asked when that would be leaving. "15 minutes" "Well, can we get on that one?" "Sure! We can get two of you on board." At this point, Nate looked at the sign on the wall (The big 30 minute sign) "The Irony." So while we couldn't board a plane because we were 25 minutes before it, Nate and Erica could get their tickets changed, get through security, and get boarded with time to spare! ... gr... NOEL.

Ashley and I were scheduled for the next flight, (Which was cancelled) leaving us stuck in Modesto for another day... So we enjoyed a nice evening with Amelia and Dennis until the phone rang...

It was Nate and Erica. "You are not going to believe this." "Believe what?" We asked. "We couldn't land in Idaho, it is Fogged Over..." "Well where are you?" "SALT LAKE CITY!" yes, salt lake, (Which is where Ashley and I wanted to be in the first place... and it so happened that they arrived in Salt Lake at the exact time that we were supposed to! The Irony.

They were able to get a shuttle to Ruxburg and got home about 3 am.

Meanwhile, Ashley and I were still in Modesto.

We got up, saw the weather was good, and got the airport early to get on another flight. Got it, Got Out, Got to San Francisco.

Then we got to the gate for our flight to leave for Utah. They scanned our tickets. RED LIGHT. Scanned them again. RED LIGHT. By this time Ashley and I are looking at each other thinking, "No, Please! JUST GET US HOME!" Scanned again... GREEN LIGHT! We got on the flight, only to sit next to some 6 year old who gave us the storyline (His version at least) of "Snakes on a Plane." Insisting that Everyone on the plane died, except the pilot. There is a pleasant thought.
Fortunately there were no snakes on our plane, (Only the 6 year old's little sister who enjoyed the planeride like a rollar coaster and screamed the whole way).
We are home.
It is good to be home.

So, when people come to you and ask for service this holiday season, please remember Noel. And realize that your decision can have far reaching consequences. Just because you want to go home early, or be lazy is no reason to make others suffer.