Thursday, November 29, 2007

guess i couldn't do better after all

i'm not sitting at my computer typing this (at least not originally)... I'm 37,000 feet in the air over the Pacific, and maybe I'll type it into the computer later if it doesn't occur to me, Hey, I could have done better than that!

When we arrived at the airport at Honolulu, we were told that our flight had been cancelled. Of course, this is Northwest Airlines, so were we surprised? Of course not. We had tickets for a direct flight, Honolulu to Minneapolis, and now they were trying to find us tickets on other flights, other airlines maybe, changes in San Francisco, Chicago, wherever, getting us back home long after our scheduled arrival time. Then after all that, they decided that, No, our flight wasn't cancelled after all and we'd be departing on time.

We proceeded to our gate, where the computerized sign above the agent's desk said, "Minneapolis-St. Paul, departure time 6:20. DELAY." People were standing in line at the counter with questions like, "How long is the delay? Will I miss my connection in Minneapolis?" The airline agent finally showed up and said, "What delay? There's no delay." She looked up at the sign that read "DELAY" and said, "Okay, I'll have that changed," and she made a phone call, after which she announced over the PA system, "We can't remove the DELAY sign. The person who does that has gone home for the day." and they had to keep announcing that to all the other panicky passengers arriving at the gate.

Wow. What kind of job is that, typing "DELAY" into (or removing DELAY from) a computer program, maybe PowerPoint? A job that apparently is too hard for anybody else to do? Delays aren't allowed after 5 p.m.?

We finally were able to board the plane, and everything has been good for us since then. Jerry and I used frequent-flyer miles to upgrade to first-class and have been enjoying the service, the meal, the comfortable seats that even lie down, the little high-tech TVs. This is an eight-hour flight, and I kind of wish we could make it a little longer. When we arrive in Minneapolis, the temperatures (not counting wind-chill) will be seventy degrees colder than what we left behind in Honolulu. Ouch. Delay, please!

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