Fly, Little Boeing! Fly Like the Wind!

Well that was a sucky day of travel.

And it was going so well.  Got to the airport in plenty of time, found a decent parking space.  Got through the TSA checkpoint with all my clothes on.  Well, except the belt, which either has more metal than my old belt or they’ve lowered the sensitivity threshold on the magnetometers.  Walked away without it, cause for some reason it came through a long time after the computer and I’m still not used to collecting it.  Guess it’s a really confusing belt in X-rays.  Or maybe it’s because they have that stupid long tunnel the shit has to ride through after it’s done being scanned, and the whole pipeline stops while they look at the next item.  Stupid ass design.

But no wait, I was having a good day.  Because the nice TSA lady called me back to let me know I’d forgotten my belt.  Then I got to ride the shiny new trains at Dulles, instead of the stupid mobile lounges.  No.  Wait.  That was in a dream.  I only got to look at the shiny new not-yet-open-to-the-public trains.  Still adjusting the strength of the MagLev solenoids I suppose.  Cause given how long we’ve been waiting, they’ve gotta be MagLev.  With a load of Pascaline D and a detachment of Alliance soldiers in the next car.

But it was going well, cause there was lots of room in the lounge, and even though I came up 5000 miles short of 1K status last year, you only need Premier Exec and an international boarding pass to get in.  And then, the big win.  Upgraded.  Yeah baby.  Upstairs on the seven-four, with lie-flat seats.

Oh apex of my day, I hardly recognized you at the time.

Not closing the doors.  Not closing the doors.  Not closing the doors.  Uh-oh.  Greasy-smelling maintenance guys walking in and out of the cockpit.  Oh-uh.

“This is your captain.  The first officer’s radar unit is not working, and they can’t fix it here.  We can’t land at Narita without the radar, due to heavy weather there.  We’re looking at flying to Chicago to pick up a replacement there and flying on.”

[time passes]

“This is your purser.  A plane is flying in from Chicago with replacement parts.  They’ll put them in and we’ll take off.”

This is an email from United Airlines.  Your flight is now scheduled to leave at 3:30.

“This is your captain.  As far as I can tell, the plan is to wait for the flight from Narita to arrive, remove the radar unit from that plane and install it on ours, and then we go.  They’ll be arriving about 3:00 or 3:15.  Or maybe that’s not the plan, who knows?  I’m just the fucking captain of the plane, the company never tells me shit.  [He may not have used actual profanity, but otherwise it’s accurate.]  So, um, everyone off, and take your stuff.”

Okay fine, back to the lounge.

[time passes]

Back to the plane.  Wait, wait wait.  This can’t be good.

“Flight attendants disarm doors.”

[time passes]

“Flight attendants arm doors for departure.”

[time passes]

“Flight attendants disarm doors.”

[they fight]

“This is your captain.  Guess what, we’re no longer legal, ha ha!  We can maybe fly to Chicago or San Fran and find a new crew to take over from there.”  Hey, when the flight itself is 14 hours, how long can the crew sit around on their asses before they hit the limit, right?

[time passes]

This is an email from United Airlines.  Your flight is now scheduled for 10AM tomorrow.  Enjoy the beltway during rush hour!

So, 10 hours of travel, and I’m back where I started.  Long day, long story, but it’s totally worth it cause there’s a punchline:

How the hell do I enter this on the FedTraveler expense report?

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