Since I wrote yesterday I flew from Toronto to Charlotte with Air Canada. This was an experience. Smallest aircraft I have been in for forever. A CRJ 100/200. So old it had propellers. Not really but it was very old. The flight was quite delightful with a very sweet stewardess who told me I was her hero for the flight… ie I was sitting in the emergency exit.
She very kindly explained to me how to open the door in the case of an emergency, pull lever down, pull door in towards you, throw door out the hole, follow the door. I smiled sweetly and told her I understood her instructions and would be able to handle myself manfully in the event of a crisis. All the time she was talking to me thought I was thinking, “Sweetie, if there’s a crash my plan of action is to run up and down the aisle screaming and grabbing everyone’s oxygen mask and inhaling deeply.” Fortunately there was no such event.
Charlotte is really pretty from the sky. It looks like it’s populated with monopoly houses.
I then had to travel to Murrylund ( Baltimore airport) flying with US Airways at technically 2000 hours. The flight was late. We left the airport terminal (note the use of the word terminal) at 2020. We coasted to take off and were revved up to go. Then the storm hit.
The plane was packed. Literally sardines in tins. The seat pitch of US Airways flights is non existent. My knees were in the back of the seat of the person in front. To stretch your legs you have to dislocate your knees and slide them under the chair. And to add to the joy there were two very loud jokers behind us who regaled us with their humour. “There was this one time. In Band Camp.” (Yes, American Pie – hysterical. That didn’t get old quick at all!) “Lets get going cos I’ve got to f*** my woman” – (hold on to him sweetie – he’s a keeper) “If I don’t get a smoke soon I’m going to go Postal” (Surely he should have been chucked off at this point – I could have joined him.)
We were stuck on the tarmac for 2 hours and 40 minutes. 2. Hours. And. Forty. Minutes. It is technically possible to go insane under duress I discovered. I don’t blame US Airways at all. I am all for flying safely and not flying if it’s not safe. My beef was that we were being held hostage on the plane and after, say, an hour they should return to the airport and allow people of the option of staying or leaving and pursuing other avenues. There is evidently law that states the plane has to return to the terminal after three hours but, with the greatest respect, that law was written by someone who had never endured being stuck on the tarmac in a sardine can with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum for five minutes let alone three hours.
I spent the entire time willing the flight to be cancelled so I could get off the plane and beg sanctuary from Wesley in Charlotte. My friend Ray was picking me up from Baltimore airport. I had rung him to advise him of earlier delay and my anticipation that the flight would arrive near 10. As the flight got more delayed I wanted to ring him to tell him to go home but, due to my mobile not working in the US, I couldn’t get through. I eventually asked the irate woman next to me to borrow her phone which she kindly allowed. At that very second of getting the phone it was announced we were leaving and had to take off. Turn off your phone please, Sir.
The plane eventually took off at 2240 and we got into Baltimore after midnight. Everyone was exhausted and defeated. Even the jokers had shut up. I was so stiff and sore. I limped off the plane to ring Ray who, by rights, should have gone home to bed but (God love you sir!!!) was still waiting for me. I have never, ever, ever been so glad to see someone in my life. Seriously the Knight in Shining Armour award goes to Ray for services above the call of duty. He was waiting at the airport for hours.
He picked me up and found me a hotel and made sure I was safe and settled in the room before leaving me to get some sleep. Complete and utter thanks buddy. You have no idea how much you saved me. I am forever in your debt.
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