How to Ruin Your Flight in Ten Easy Steps


I mentioned vaguely in an earlier post that we were going “up north” for a bit. Those of you who know me may have presumed I meant North Carolina, but we ventured further up than that to Boston. Not exactly the Northern Territories, I know, but I crossed the Mason Dixon. (My fellow Southerners will know what that is, but I linked it for the rest of you. Nice, no?)

The few days we spent in Boston with a friend and her adorable girls was great. That means it isn’t post worthy.

It is the trip home I would like to address.

First, let us pause and take time to thank Delta Airlines, who made all these things possible. Well, except for number one. Love ya Big D, よろしく on Wednesday.

How many things can go wrong with one little flight? Let me count the ways.

1) Get stuck in morning rush hour traffic on way to airport

After we check in, some guy butts in front of us in the security line very blatantly. This makes HRH mad. In spite of me telling him to just let it go, eventually he says something to the guy, who calls him an asshole.


Boys, really.

Later on this same “adult” shoots him The Bird. Right in front of the kids. Classy, right? It made me laugh, actually. Who shoots birds nowadays, anyway? Junior high boys and old WASPs in the airport. The same guys who keep the action film industry in business.

2) Arrive in time for boarding, only to hear flight has been delayed.
3) Delay for two more hours. At this point, I arranged for us to have spots on a later flight just in case. Which is four hours later (seven hours after original flight was to take off.)
4) Flight cancelled. Get food vouchers.

So the down-on-our-luck Hamakko family got to spend a few hours wandering around the airport. Food was crappy, as per our expectations, but the play area was decent. We bought the kids a few books and had to pull out the iPad, which wasn’t ideal. I wanted to save the heavy artillery for the flight itself.

5) Late flight has a change of airplane to accommodate more passengers. Unfortunately this plane has to return to the gate in Atlanta.

I’ll pause so you can roll your eyes.

6) Sometime around 8pm, the kids were exhausted and grumpy, I was getting less than friendly looks from other would-be passengers. Nobody wants to fly with these kids, now do they? I asked to be rebooked for the next day. Delta puts us up in a hotel for the night.
7) Then they can’t find our luggage.
8) Eventually they find it, we claim it, and realize it’s broken.

I’d been handling everything, which makes sense when we are in America I guess, but really I was doing it because HRH gets short tempered and pissy when things like this happen. Maybe I’m too nice, I don’t know, but I don’t think taking it out on the Little Man helps anything.

HRH had gone to get the bags, but was taking a long time. I walked over and found him trying that intimidation pissy thing the Japanese do so well on the baggage claim lady, and she was taking none of it. I had to step in and smooth things over.

Anyway, we had a nice night in the hotel. I was stressed out and hit the sheets with the kiddies and slept pretty well until HRH and his endless baggie rustling woke me up in the morning.

Do you know a baggie packer? The type who keeps everything in a separate plastic bag and is endlessly opening and closing them? Perhaps you are one yourself.

From the rest of humanity: stop it already.

HRH is convinced he is the packer premiere of the Earth with his ziplock separation skills, but I beg to differ. I especially differ when he wakes us up with the plastic rustle and bustle and zip! zip! at four odd in the morning.

We had a nice breakfast at the hotel, caught the airport shuttle, checked in without incident, get on the plane, make it as far as Atlanta, but then we don’t land.

9)We’re circling, dammit, for more than an hour. As if circling isn’t crappy enough, this was bumpy circling.

10) Then we divert to another airport, equidistant from my Mom’s house, to refuel. We don’t pull up to the gate, so I have no way of checking if there are connections to the tiny airport down the road from Mom’s, or if we can rent a car and drive…. This airport, in spite of being the capital of state number fifty on this list, seems to be staffed by teenagers. That’s how it looked from the tarmac, anyway. Actually, that probably shouldn’t surprise anyone. For better or worse, we ended up staying on the plane and eventually arrived at our destination.

So the two-and-a-half hour flight ended up turning into a 36 hour fiasco, complete with four extra hours on an airplane.

But such is life, I guess.

As the Japanese proverb goes,

When you are in a hurry, turn.

Yeah, I have no idea what that means either. I think they must have learned that at the airport.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kym (@kymmytha)
    Aug 13, 2012 @ 08:40:43

    Ha ha! Baggie packing. Only the anally retentive.


  2. illahee
    Aug 13, 2012 @ 16:32:59

    well, i don’t know anyone who does the baggie thing, but i *do* have a husband who rummages through things while i am trying to sleep. seems twice as loud when i’m sleeping with children in the room,,,,


  3. gaijinwife
    Aug 13, 2012 @ 22:12:24

    Woman – you survived to tell the tale!!! I did the baggie packing thing – everything in ziplocks. Was after the tsunami and my head was fu**ed and I thought it might keep all our clothes dry if the plane crashed. Was also very good to sort three lots of kids everything in the one suitcase. I did refrain from rummaging through it at 4 in the morning though so perhaps that makes me only half as anally retentive :)

    Just think – fingers crossed – there will never be a trip that bad.


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