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DAY NINE: Chicago

Posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Dave!I'm not supposed to be in Chicago now. I'm supposed to be at home, having driven there after landing in Seattle last night. But plans change, so here I am for a couple days of work and one day of goofing off in the city (which sounds like a fair trade-off to me!).

Of course, I almost didn't make it into Seattle last night thanks to multiple lapses in stupidity by airlines, airports, and people, so there's always that.

It started off with the inbound flight to Tulsa being late. Which meant we boarded late. Which meant we took off very late because A) There was some confusion over a gate agent letting a baby onboard with their own seat assignment, and B) We sat on the tarmac forever for no good reason anybody could figure out.

So, there we were, arriving into Minneapolis a half-hour late. You would think that the airline would have a team of people ready to handle the incoming flight so that they could get people offloaded and onwards to their connecting flights as soon as possible.

But that's not what happened, of course. Not only did they not expedite a damn thing for our flight... they didn't send somebody down to operate the jetway! This meant we had to sit on the fucking place for an additional 15-20 minutes while somebody pulled their head out of their ass and made it possible for us to leave. Maybe.

Because we arrived allllll the waaaaayyy down at GATE A-14...

MSP map A-14

And, now that I'm running 45 minutes late to make my 1-hour connection, can you guess where my connecting gate was? Can you? Come on... take a guess!

Give up?

Here it is!

MSP map F-14

GATE F-14. The furthest possible gate away in terms of both time and distance. And since the tram that runs the length of the airport is practically useless for getting to the F-gates in a hurry (unless you get there just as a train arrives), you're only shot is to RUN ACROSS THE ENTIRE FUCKING AIRPORT... WHICH I DID!!

And nearly died doing.

Such a joke. It was like a comedy errors at amateur hour in the airport.

But I made it (barely) just in time for them to close the doors... we could then sit on the tarmac for 30 minutes.


Anyway... after landing, I dropped by my car at the parking lot just long enough to trade a suitcase full of dirty clothes for a suitcase full of clean clothes, then headed to my hotel for a blissful six whole hours before returning to the airport this morning.

Where my flight loaded on time. Left on time. And landed on time.

Don't ask me how. My tavel map now looks like this...

DaveTour Map USA 2010


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  1. RW says:

    Weird. The Mrs is in Portland and you’re here in Chicago. You guys need to get boring jobs of little to no consequence like me so youse can all stay home and grow tomatoes n stuff. By the way you’ll be happy to know that the tomatoes in the garden this year are going to be all cooked up ad jarred, so that when you come to town and we know about it, the homemade pizza will be that much better. Just sayin. 🙂

  2. Marc says:

    I had a similar experience of stupidity a couple of years ago when a direct flight Rome/Düsseldorf was cancelled and the passengers were put on a Rome/Frankfurt/Düsseldorf connection. If you have ever been to Frankfurt you know that the distances can be very long, but also that the damn airport seems to be under permanent reconstruction with poor/misleading signs telling you which way to hurry. And to add some suckyness: the plane from Rome wasn’t parked at a jetway, but on the field with a bus transfer to the terminal – further reducing the time left for the already short transfer. I was pretty pissed for the remainder of the trip…

  3. Robin says:

    Does your goofing off include Bon Jovi at Soldier Field Sat night? If it does, give me a yell—I’ll be “Living on a Prayer”, rocking it out with Jon and the boys!

  4. Robin says:

    By the way, the gate thing….people hate traveling with me, because that ALWAYS happens to me. Doesn’t matter what gate—it is always the farthest from where I landed.

  5. *lynne* says:

    Oh Dave, I feel for ya! I’ve had to do the mad dash form one end of an airport terminal to the other a few times too, ugh!! I have a memory of doing that in Heathrow, when I was maybe 10y.o., my mother going totally insane with anxiety over the whole thing (we made it. I think.)

    a question: when you say “… just long enough to trade a suitcase full of dirty clothes for a suitcase full of clean clothes …” did you have that ‘new’ suitcase packed and in a locker in the airport?


  6. You really should take your roller blades in your carry on for situations like this. Now *that* I’d pay good money to watch.

  7. Jill says:

    I thought that’s how it always was… in the couple dozen plane flights I’ve taken, my connecting gates were *always* on opposite side of the airport.


  8. Stacey says:

    When we went on our honeymoon, our flight into Atlanta arrived late, giving us 10 minutes to get to our connecting flight. As we reached the correct terminal, we heard our final boarding call announced. We had to haul ass across the airport to our gate. They told us we JUST made it. We plopped into our seats, still gasping for air . . . and sat there for the next half hour because another flight had come in late and we couldn’t leave without THOSE passengers.

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