Yesterday turned from a day of annoyance at my miscalculation to one of aggravation over creeping delays that got me home three hours late. There was no silver lining to any of my travel yesterday: but it made me all the more excited to reunite with my family.
A Sweet Homecoming After A Rough Day Of Travel
As I mentioned earlier, I was guilty of a rather big blunder in Pittsburgh yesterday afternoon and am having a lot of trouble getting my mind off it. It was a foolish error, that cost me $1,000 by not being in the gate area early enough. However, I probably could have taken an “easy come, easy go” attitude toward that if not for the fact of what happened next.
We departed late from Pittsburgh due to storms in Houston and I figured that would just cut my layover shorter, but I’d still be into LA in time to kiss my kids goodnight and spend time with Heidi. But a rolling delay occurred on my connecting flight and we ultimately left nearly three hours late.
Rolling delays are the worst because I just hung out in the gate area – I could have gone to the United Club or to Landry’s or to Cadillac Jack’s (two great Priority Pass restaurants), but because the delays were incrementally increased, I feared straying too far from the gate area.
I had been up at 5:00 am ET to blog prior to morning appointments and by 11:00 pm CT I was toast…as I slouched into my seat on my flight to LA, I just wanted to sleep (making me all the sadder that I did not get bumped and fly home via Newark in a lie-flat seat on an on-time flight).
But pity parties are a waste of time and although tired, I spent the flight watching Otto, an unexpectedly touching movie.
Instead of arriving before 10:00 pm I arrived after midnight in Los Angeles. By the time I got home, it was almost 1:00 am.
Now here is where I could wax eloquent in a trite way about how travel delays melt away when you are reunited with your family and that despite the delays, I still managed to cross the country in a half day in a tube traveling at 600 mph…that’s still pretty special.
But there was nothing redeeming about the delay. It did not make me more patient; it made me impatient. It did not make me grateful for all I had; I found myself rather livid that United could not find two reserve crew members to work our flight at one of its largest hubs when the plane and rest of the crew were sitting ready to go for over two hours.
And yet when I got home, I went into my two-year-old daughter’s bedroom and kissed her goodnight.
When I woke up this morning to her running into our room and climbing up into our bed, she was three years.
Happy birthday precious Claire Marie.
In terms of travel, yesterday was objectively bad. I made mistakes, United made mistakes, and the weather did not cooperate. I can’t redeem what happened through some nonsense verbiage.
But I can say that it was sweet to be home. My homecoming was particularly special this time. I’ve been traveling more lately, which makes my time at home all the sweeter.
And so sometimes there is no silver lining to a series of travel blunders and flight delays…but there is still no place like home.
p.s. I’ll write more about the actual trip home later this trip…I witnessed a nasty fight onboard, a new aircraft, and French Fries on United. Stay tuned for that. It wasn’t all bad, at least onboard.
Three years already!
We need to read some review from you Claire Marie.
Happy Birthday to Claire Marie!
“When it rains it pours” There are days like that. You are very introspective. Very nice to read about your adventures. Good Job!
You made it home safe and sound to a loving family… in both the big and smaller pictures, that is all that really matters.
Happy birthday Claire Marie!
Happy birthday to your daughter. And I’ll second the suggest for a trip report from her point of view.
Matt, as you told your story (both in general and the $1000 disaster), I was pondering to myself about how increasingly disconnected we are from our fellow human beings.
Being social takes effort and trust and it can be tough. In this case, imagine if you had reached out to a fellow passenger, connected with him, and asked him to relay to you by SMS announcements at the gate so you could relax. Most people would be happy to help.
On the flip side, consider the fight between the two guys you witnessed. A little patience and kindness could go a long way.
Another example: In Poland you having to go to this sheister exchange with their outrageous fees. It’s a shame you didn’t find a Pole to just exchange 2 bucks for you to Zloty.
Due to apps and an increasingly “atomized” society, we lose connection with each other even as we replace those connections, somewhat, online.
Good points, PolishKnight.