Traveling to “The City”

I have been fortunate enough to be giving the opportunity to be trained on the latest version of AccountMate – the software package I support through my employment.  My employer signed me up and has sent me to my home state, to the beautiful city of San Francisco!  Yeah!  I am blessed.  Too bad the training wasn’t set in SOUTHERN California!

But true to form, I have some traveling scars!  So of course I want to share them with YOU, my 2.78 readers!

First of all, I am a little OCD about traveling – I generally like to be at the airport 2 hours before my flight is scheduled to leave, even for domestic flights.  My thing is that you never know when there will be a car accident or other things out of your control that will delay your forward motion to the airport.  This philosophy has caused stress on my family members at times, as many of them are late to EVERYTHING, so having me freak out because we are behind the 2 hour rule stresses them out (and, well, to be honest I am pretty stressed, too!).  But for this trip, it was all me…….

In this case, I am glad that I am OCD, because there was a SERIOUS accident on the main freeway I needed to take, which SERIOUSLY delayed my driving time.  What should have taken me 1 hour took me 2!  But I need to divulge something…….I actually left even earlier than I was supposed to, because I was going to a long-term parking lot I’d never been to and I was not sure how efficient they were, so I had plugged more time there “just in case”.  So even with this delay, I got to the airport 2 hours before my flight.  LOL

ANYWAY. DFW is a very large airport and they are very efficient in the security area, etc.  I got in very quickly and found my gate and settled in.  I am reading a very good book right now – biographies on Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots and how their very lives worked to create animosity between the two.  Very interesting and it was nice to have down time to enjoy it.  But soon it was very apparent that the boarding was delayed, as “the plane was still being cleaned”.  At this point I usually get nervous in general, because now that AA charges for checking bags, EVERYONE has carry on bags and many are pretty darn big.  So I was stressing as I was in group 4 and I was concerned that there would not be room for my bag.  I admit, I have never had that happen to me, but I have ALWAYS stressed about this and the new rules made this anxiety worse for me.  But I chose to not freak out and be especially nice to those around me……..

In this case, I easily found a space and was very pleased to see the other passengers assist to help strangers find room, too.  So the anxiety was unnecessary.

So we got settled, but the time to take off just kept going.  We were scheduled to take off at 12:25pm, and I easily could see that we had passed that by about 15 minutes.  I was concerned but what could I do?  I was very glad I didn’t have to catch a connecting flight, so really there was no reason for me to stress…..

Suddenly, the captain got on the speaker and said that Maintenance was reviewing a mechanical problem and that a decision was pending as to if we would be taking off or if we’d need a new plane.  Said decision was expected within 10 minutes.  So, 20 minutes later we were told that the decision was that we needed a new plane.  Really, my only stress at this point was if the NEXT flight would have room for my luggage in the overhead compartment!  🙂

This situation reminded me of the times I’d fly to Dallas to visit Deana and the kids when they were living in Frisco and I had not yet moved.  During that time I was stranded more than once due to mechanical issues, and yes those were with AA as well!  So this new situation was a reminder of days gone by.

Anyway, I am of the mind that I’d prefer not to fly on a mechanically unfit plane, so the change was not horrible.  And I have to say, I was pleased to hear our new gate was very close – DFW is a HUGE airport and the hub for AA, so it could have easily been an ordeal.  Our flight, when all was said and done, took off by 2:40pm so that’s not bad.  And truthfully, my first seat was kind of broken so the new plane offered a more comfortable ride. 

But now for the fun part!  PEOPLE!  They ALWAYS seem to provide me plenty of material on this blog!

First, there was a young guy on the first flight that, once he heard there was a possibility that the flight would be grounded, he got on the phone right away with AA and got his name on a totally different flight.  I have no problem with that.  But once the announcement was made that we WERE changing planes, he bolted out of his seat and almost mowed the guy in front of him and put his stupid little “I am an important person” ass right in my face.

I have to say, why do people on planes often think THEY are more important and should be let off the plane before the people in rows ahead of them  This is very common on planes and too often I feel the need to teach them airport etiquette.  (Of course, people who are about to miss their connecting flight do not fall into this category.)  This was no exception, especially since I now had an ass in my face.  (I was on the aisle).  So I stood and said, “wow, so much for being a courteous traveler!”  The gentleman across from me, who was mowed over, looked at me, smiled, and I knew he was a good guy.  Of course, we had to wait a while as we were in the 18th row and there were about 85 people ahead, and the nice man and I had no problem with that.  But “ass man” seemed to become more agitated with each moment.  As it got closer to our ability to move, the nice man says to me, “Go ahead and get ahead of me.”  I smiled and said thank you, and then he adds, “I hope I earned points for that one.”  I replied, “Well, you certainly did!  I have been shown that chivalry is not dead and that others are not selfish.  I will certainly make mention of you on my blog!”  Ass Man was FURIOUS, especially since I would not push forward until the rows ahead of me got their bags, etc.

It was SWEET!

Oh, and Ass Man was not on our replacement flight.  🙂  But, true to form, the person that got his seat didn’t know or care about letting the rows ahead of him exit first, either.  THE IRONY!

Now, for my seat mates.  Next to me was a man I’d guess was in his late 40’s or early 50’s.  He was a small man, about my height (5’ 6”) although he had a nice build.  He was attractive by American standards.  What was GROSS, at first at least, was that his obvious girlfriend was close in age to my daughter……EARLY 20’s!  I don’t know, that just grossed me out but maybe I’m not being fair.  But that was not all that bothered me.  First of all, he was one of those loud “everyone should listen to me because 1) I’m good looking and 2) what I have to say is meaningful” talkers.  Additionally, his girlfriend had the same view of HER conversation!  So that bugged.  But then it quickly came to realization that Mr. Small Arrogant Guy had a bladder of a peanut because he asked me every 10 minutes to let him out.  It was further aggravated by the fact that he ALSO asked to get up to get into his overhead bag 3 times, to get water twice (hello, small bladder), and really just expected me to move without any problem.  He also had no respect for my personal space, not even pretending to not put his drinks right in my face and wait for the Flight Attendant to get them, etc.  But don’t worry, two hours in I pretended to sleep and he was VERY antsy.  LOL. Oh, and before that I put my iPod on so I wouldn’t have to hear their stupid conversations.

Once I landed at SFO, things were easy.  Got the shuttle to the hotel, checked in, and then met up with some of my co-workers for dinner.  The hotel is very nice and, because of the time change, it felt great to “sleep in”!  (5:30am local time = 7:30am “body time”).  NICE.

So now, here I sit writing this blog in Word as I don’t have internet access and am filling “down time” with my thoughts here.  I can check my mail on my iPhone, so that’s cool.  Oh, and Facebook.  Important!  J  BUT, I just got an email from my COO saying that I need to buy the internet access for work, so WHOOT!  I will do that later today as it covers 24 hours so that way I will have it throughout the day tomorrow, too.

It is NICE to be in California again!  Wish I had friends and family close enough to visit.  But seeing the sky and water – AWESOME!  Well, not that there isn’t sun in Texas, but you know what I mean.

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