4:00 am--wake up and meet at the Riverton Airport at 5:00 for our 6:02 flight.
Found out the plane was late and was coming from Montana with 17 passengers that weren't supposed to be on the flight. That forced them to bump some passengers to the noon flight. Well, you can guess that we were among the lucky ones. (Which of course, caused us to miss our connection in Denver for Portland. They were able to book us on the 3:13 flight into Portland. Dad had to call the rental car company and let them know of our changes. We were planning on renting a car there and driving 4 hours to Medford and taking Maryanne to dinner.)
None of us were very happy. Obviously. Here is the evidence.
Ate some food, tried to be positive and waited.
Note: the tiny little 20 passenger plane in the back window.
The flight finally came in at about 12:30. We were a little concerned watching the pilots crawl under the plane on hands and knees and several airport employees gathered around on cell phones looking like they were trying to make an important decision. Dad, being an employee himself, gave Matt a look and said, "I don't like this". Well, they loaded us on and explained that the plane had some electrical problem and that it was nothing to worry about, but they needed to find a little plastic ring to fill the hole and the plane would fly just fine. Well, I think I would have rather not have heard that little explanation. They finally found the little ring under one of the seats! Are you kidding me? It seemed to take forever for them to get clearance to take off, while we kept an eye on the clock ticking away and our connecting flight time getting closer.
Finally in the air
We landed in Denver and the pilots (there were no flight attendants present and no beverage service, if you can believe it) found out that we had 25 minutes before our flight was scheduled to take off. They said they would call our gate and tell them we were running. And run we did. We had to walk across the tarmack to a gate in Terminal A. It was the END of the line. We had to run through the entire terminal, take a train to Terminal B, and get all the way to gate 83. Do you have any idea how far that is? And poor Dad had a hard time moving that quickly. In fact, the clerk asked Dad if he wanted her to call an ambulance. She was serious. We made it to the gate at 3:11 and the door was already closed. The plane was still there, but the lady at the counter said that we were too late. We breathlessly told her our sob story about our day so far and that we were going to a funeral. She tried to get us on, but they said no.
Meanwhile, a couple ran up right after we did and this guy was so irate! He was a little scary. He got on the phone and was chewing someone out like crazy for a long time. On a side note, this morning we had our TV on in our room and CNN reported that there was an "incident" at the Denver Airport yesterday about an irate passenger using threatening language to airport employees. We KNOW it had to be that guy!
We tried to be nice to the poor girl and she, in turn, was pretty nice to us. She was trying to rebook us into Portland for that evening. Amy mentioned that we had to drive 4 hours into Medford. Amy and the clerk at the same time had the same idea. Amy asked if we could get a direct flight into Medford and she said yes. No additional charge. We were pretty happy! The flight was scheduled for 6:45 so we had some time to relax and eat.
Stereotypical airport people. This wasn't staged either.
Dad also had to call the rental car place again and tell them that we weren't flying into Portland anymore and we needed to rent a car from Medford and return it in Portland on Tuesday. That added a fee, so Dad decided to get a cheaper car. We found out that he was going to surprise us with an Escalade. Cute of Dad, but we were fine with the downgrade. As we sat waiting for our flight, it dawned on us that after almost 15 hours, we had only traveled for one hour going in the wrong direction. Southeast from Riverton, instead of Northwest. We could have been there by car quicker.
Another problem was our luggage. The airlines thought it made the flight to Portland, so they had to notify the airlines to send the bag from Portland to Medford on a flight that was coming in just 15 minutes after we were scheduled to land. We didn't have a lot of faith that that would actually happen. We had a pretty uneventful flight to Medford. We were the last 4 seats booked, so none of us could sit together. Amy sat by a very sweet lady and enjoyed visiting with her Matt sat by a guy his age moving from New York to Medford and they hit it off and teased the flight attendants. I think Dad slept and Mom sat next to a dud so she read the Jungle Book. We landed and sat there, got the rental car paperwork all done, and waited for the other flight with the luggage. To our great surprise we got a call that our luggage was already there waiting for us. We drove to our motel in a light rain and checked in. We were tired and a little hungry so Dad, Matt and Amy went to a restaurant and ate. I'm going to tell you what Matt ordered only so we can tell you our favorite "Dad quote" from today. He ordered an oriental "Pot Sticker Salad". He told Mom about it today and she thought it sounded so good. So tonight when we were driving past that restaurant, Dad said, "Hey, how about a "Pot Licker Salad"? We laughed so hard, especially Matt and Amy in the back seat, only to find out that Dad didn't say it on purpose to be funny. He really just called it that! Which caused an even bigger outburst of laughter from the backseat. So Dad. Well, that ends our little saga. We will do another post about the funeral tomorrow. Love you guys! (This is Amy typing, by the way. )