**Disclaimer – Courtney and I returned home from Oklahoma today, and we had a great week. We have absolutely nothing to complain about, and so much to be thankful for, and so many fun things to remember. However, the nature of this blog requires a certain amount of complaining. Therefore, I offer today’s article.
Saturday’s “Official” Itinerary, according to Orbitz:
1. Flight 465, Depart Tulsa @ 9:25 am CST
2. Arrive Dallas 10:40 am CST
3. Flight 2421 Depart Dallas 11:20 am CST
4. Arrive LAX 12:45 pm, PST
Saturday’s “Actual” Itinerary:
1. Drive from Muskogee to Tulsa, 7am
2. Encounter life-threatening thunderstorm while driving to Tulsa
3. Stop at McDonald’s anyway while driving to Tulsa
4. Arrive at Tulsa, go inside terminal and wait in line to check Courtney’s suitcase
5. Proceed to security, say goodbye to sister and bro-in-law
6. Pass security fairly simply
7. Get on plane, begin flight with no incident
8. Friendly pilot makes periodic announcements, about having “weather” near Dallas, and the flight may take a little longer.
9. Friendly announcements about “weather” become more frequent, and flight becomes longer.
10. Courtney, who is sitting 500 rows in front of me, comes to back of plane to ask me if we’ll make our connecting flight, gets reprimanded by flight attendant, responds – “I’m talking to my dad!!!”, I tell her it’ll be fine, and she returns to her seat 500 rows away.
11. Plane lands in Dallas about 15 minutes before connecting flight is supposed to leave.
12. Plane takes about 20 mnutes to get into position to let passengers off.
13. Courtney and I end up at a little desk, asking little airlines person how to get to L.A. today, and are told there’s no way.
14. Courtney and I are told we can, however, fly to Orange County, with a flight leaving in about an hour and a half. We agree happily, and are given “the best seats.”
15. Courtney and I travel a moderate distance to our gate, where she snoozes and I get food. She also receives numerous texts from her friend, making plans for tonight.
16. There is a plane, not ours, at our gate, running late and needing to get out of the way of our OC plane soon because we’re supposed to be using that gate soon.
17. Our plane going to OC arrives, and waits for the other plane to get out of the way
18. Much later, an announcement comes over the P.A. for the people going to OC to go to another gate, very far away.
19. At the other gate very far away, we are told that we need to sit and wait for a “few minutes,” and then we can board.
20. Approximately an hour and a half later, we begin boarding the plane headed for OC. Courtney continues to receive and send texts.
21. As we settle into our seats, a friendly pilot’s voice tells us that we’ll be delayed for about 15 minutes, because a guy needs to change one of the plane’s tires. Everyone laughs.
22. About 30 minutes later, we begin to slowly move toward the runway. A friendly pilot’s voice tells us there will be about a 10-15 minute delay, due to a line of planes waiting to take off. No one is laughing anymore.
23. About 20 minutes later, a friendly pilot’s voice tells us that his prognostication skills aren’t that good, and that it’ll be another 15 minutes “or so.” Many people are angry. An announcement is made that flight attendants will give everyone complimentary headsets by way of apology. I’m pretty sure the headsets are always complimentary, but I don’t bring it up.
24. To skip a few steps, our total waiting in line time is about an hour. We eventually take off for the OC, and watch “Elf” on the way. By the way, during this flight we see our only snow of the trip, which was not in the cold midwest, but in the mountains of California.
25. Arriving at OC, we go to baggage claim to look for Courtney’s bag, which we don’t expect to find. Our expectations are right, and the bag isn’t there. We wait in a line for over an hour, with other displaced bagless people, to see one person in a little room trying to help 3,000 people find lost bags, and we eventually ask about the bag. She does several things with the computer, and is soon able to tell us with absolute certainty that no one knows where the bag is.
26. After over an hour in the lost bag line, we fill out the necessary forms and proceed to Ground Transportation, where we give the guy our Super Shuttle reservation number. He points to a van and we get in it, excited to finally be on our way home. We have a hope that no one else will get in the van, which would give us a quick, direct 20-minute ride back to Torrance.
27. After a few minutes of waiting in the van, the Super Shuttle guy points another guy toward the van, and he also gets in. His stop in Anaheim is of course before ours, which makes our ride a little longer.
28. We eventually get to our house, and our van driver can’t seem to understand when we tell him to “turn right.” He seems determined that we in fact live across the street. After many creative efforts at communication on our part, we finally end up at our actual house.
29. Courtney gets ready to go to her friend’s house in Valencia, but the Mini Cooper battery is dead. She is mad, not only at the dead battery, but at the 28 steps that proceeded the dead battery. We call the Auto Club.
30. The Auto Club guy arrives, tells us we need a new battery, but starts it anyway. I decide to send Courtney on her way with my car instead, and I brave the trip to the grocery store in the Mini Cooper, without further incident.
31. As I pull up to the house, a guy is walking toward the neighbor’s house with Courtney’s suitcase (the same neighbor’s house where the Shuttle Guy was convinced we lived). I catch him and direct him toward our house, sign the thing, and bring the bag in.