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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Recently, I offered to pick someone up from the airport.  Unlike my mother, who lives a reasonable 20 minutes from the airport, I live a solid hour from the Salt Lake airport, a $10 round trip with the current price of gas.

However, as many a person has picked me up from the airport, I wanted to begin paying back my debt to society.  Or at least my acquaintances.  And my mother's acquaintances.  

I should have suspected that all would not go as planned when, upon talking to my pickee, they were unaware of any of their flight numbers and provided me only with the time of their arrival, and upon prompting, the connecting airport.

So, after a very, very busy and tiring day arranging affairs for my husband and previous to taking someone else to the airport early the next morning, I set off for Salt Lake.  Not wanting to arrive earlier than expected, especially in view of the FAA computer crash in Atlanta, I checked the Delta website.  There were no 8:20 flights from LA, but the 8:15 flight was on time, so off I went.

Which might have worked another day (Delta has a reasonable on-time rate), but the day of the computer crash.  With fifteen minutes to go, my phone rang (thank heavens for cell phones).  My husband informed my that our charge had just called and was not in the air, about to approach Salt Lake.  They were still at their connecting airport.

So while gnashing my teeth and seething for not having been given the flight number, I turned around.  If they hadn't left from LA by now, they weren't going to be in Salt Lake any time soon.  I didn't relish spending several hours waiting for a flight that may or may not come in that evening.

Twenty minutes later, more bad news came: they were coming, and their flight was landing at 10:15.  Confused about how an airplane could make such good time from Southern California to Salt Lake, my husband cleared up by confusion by relating his conversation with the traveler.

Brandon: So you're coming from LA?
House guest: Oh, did I say Los Angeles?  I meant Las Vegas.

By this point, I was close enough to home to enjoy a solid 30 minutes with my husband before turning around and going back to the airport.  So I made good use of my time and ate an entire pint of watermelon frozen custard, kissed my husband, watched a movie trailer and headed up to Salt Lake.  Again.

After 3 1/2 hours in the car, I came home at midnight, went to bed, and woke up at six to go to the airport.  Again.  Following my airport run, I dropped my house guest off at their destination in Provo, another 40 minutes of driving.  

So when I saw the flashing lights in my rearview mirror, it was a fitting end to the previous 36 hours.  

If any one of you gentle readers would like to have my shuttle services at your disposal, I only have one request: Please give me your flight numbers.

3 comments:

The Reese's said...

I'm so sorry!!! I had no idea Suzy would be sooo flaky (well, looking back, I'm not totally surprised, but still!) I hope she was appropriately apologetic. At least the watermelon frozen custard was good?

PaulaJean said...

We're renting a car when we come in December. And we ALWAYS know our flight number.

King Family said...

Wow and I was "Wo is me"-ing yesterday. I think your experience has me not feeling so bad about yesterday!