Monday, October 15, 2012

Airline Fun in 140 Characters

Last week I took a quick, work related trip to Chicago. Flew in one day, had hours of meetings, flew out the following evening. Well, it was supposed to be late evening but, as my live tweeting captured, it turned out to be a rather long and involved night... I don't tweet much or very often, but that night I broke all my records. I thought I'd just let the tweets tell the progression of the night.

As part of [airport] security there is a t-rex skelton gazing down on us  4:53 PM 

This lady is watching me eat. Which makes me even more awkward than normal

Just had to tear into a piece of broccoli with my hands. Because I have no knife and lady still stares 

Shes probably tweeting about me.

This is the 3rd time they've changed my gate since I got here. I'm putting in extra miles 

And we have a 4th gate change. I'm getting a little nervous, do they know what they're doing?

Almost time to board, feeling sick. Lets all pray that I'm not   

It's cause I had to shovel my food to get away from the lady! 6:28 PM 

New plane. Screen in the seat back. Perhaps i'll survive 

They are holding us hostage on board until 5 people volunteer to get off. She [flight attendant] used threat and guilt 7:06 PM

Seems that no one is tempted by a night at a hotel and meal vouchers. 7:07 PM

We need a better offer before we will negotiate! 7:08 PM

They have threatened "off-loading" 7:09 PM 

FYI, it's not like any of us snuck on the plane, though they sure made it sound that way. We all had over-priced tickets that gave each of us 16 inches of seat to huddle in for 4 hours...

$600 card on the table. 4 volunteers to go 7:10 PM

1 more, people! Can we hold out for a trip around the world? 7:12 PM 

Someone backed away. Back to 2 volunteers needed 7:13 PM

Limbo... They got their 5 but the seats are still empty. What kind of racket is this? 7:17 PM

At this point my seatmate and I realize that the middle seat in front of us has been open THE ENTIRE TIME.

I haven't named the airline yet but I'm getting super close... 7:19 PM

Oh no! Its like the Hunger Games, they're calling us by name! 7:20 PM

They're bringing bags up from underneath. What are they making room for?? 7:21 PM

Bodies? Stowaways? Those 5 volunteers? 7:22 PM 

Must go NOW!! 7:22 PM

They SAID we were leaving...

4 empty seats on this flight... You do the math. (still at the gate.I'm not endangering the flight!) 7:28 PM 

They've now counted us 4 times. Next up, roll call. 7:31 PM

They may need more volunteers, 4 empty seats are not enough...I'm baffled. 7:33 PM
A volunteer reappears...and has re-seated himself. I hope he got the voucher!

Door closed. We might actually be going somewhere! 7:35 PM

Cue 4 hours of quiet. They did give us all free TV but only AFTER the guy across the aisle "suggested" it to one of the attendants.

Here. 1 1/2 hrs late. 12:23 AM

Taking off I counted 13 planes waiting in line behind us. 12:24 AM

Watching to see what they unload from underneath. Still suspicious 12:25 AM

So, to sum up:
  • "Volunteers" were all but forcibly removed from the plane in order to make room for the crowd of people still waiting to get on the plane (like it was our fault for buying a ticket and taking up their room on the plane!). 
  • We sat for an hour while they shuffled around some luggage. 

I have concluded that we know even less than we thought we knew when it comes to air travel. Is ignorance bliss? Perhaps, if it keeps us from sitting at the gate for an hour while fellow passengers randomly disappear...


  1. Ha ha, great play-by-play narrative. What is going on behind the airline passenger curtain that they so carefully keep in place??

    Still, your tweets do NOT entice me to open a twitter account.

  2. Oh my, Sarah. Hilarious recap but I am sure it wasn't that amusing while sitting there waiting to get home.

  3. Funny now but not so funny in live time!!
    I'll have to ask Zack what he thinks . . . my initial thought is that the weight was too much and they had to adjust passengers for that reason. I do know that my hubby does all he can to get out on time - he doesn't like sitting in the cockpit any longer than necessary!!!

    1. I have to say that the passengers were extraordinary during the whole thing. I've been on flights where people were complaining and yelling and rude, but not on this one. That made it so much easier because there wasn't that stress to deal with. Plus it was just so STRANGE I think everyone was caught up on wondering what on earth was going on! (We thought about weight but why on earth wouldn't they just tell us that was the issue??)