Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Aeroplane Navigation 201



The Mad Hatter Tomaso puts on his Buxton Big-time Bash Party Hat prior to flying home from Austin last year. (The Tomaso Collection)
Funny Ha-Ha NOT! As I Karmically released the first edition of what are just some of the typical Pitfalls your visually impaired 'Vurd Botchier deals with when traveling' to 'N fro, as hopefully today's trip home will be less eventful? Although traveling thru San Francisco is always an adventure; YIKES!

Having previously lamented what I'd experience on the trip home from last year's Austin Formula 1 race in;


Tues, Nov 4, 2014
Ah Ha-Ha! In what will most likely be jotted down in my No Fenders BLOB' (Blog) as Election Day Storm, 2014! Did Y'all hear 'bout Dallas-Fort Worth *DFW) being shut down for several hours Tuesday, November 4th! Yep, I was 'Thar 'N experienced I-T live and in person!

Leaving my Austin Hosts 'Claudio & Nelie's Housianda' around 9AM for the 15min drive to airport, where Claudio dropped me off with Nelie, who took me inside to check-in counter, as my Assist "Handler" Crystal whisked us thru t$a in mere minutes and think we were at my gate by 9:30-ish AM?

But I knew something was up when the Gate Agent, a very "Harried" individual said he was putting me on the 9AM flight in order to beat the inclement weather at DFW; Huh? As I know it's after 9AM dude.

So I got escorted onboard a fairly full airplane and seated in a middle seat and everybody 'round Mwah was on their "SmartArsePhonez" trying to reschedule their connections with the man in front of us saying DFW was CLOSED for 6hrs; WTF?

So after 'bout nearly 10mins of silence I asked the man next to me what was our status since they hadn't told me anything beside sticking me on the plane, which got a wry chuckle outta him.

Sat there for 20+ minutes before pilot came on loudspeaker to say Sorry Folks, we're still in a "Ground Hold," for another half-hour. Sat there 'til 10:30AM when the pilot said Dispatch had just given him more bad news, saying we're delayed for another hour... Then the Gate Agent said over the loudspeaker everybody needs to  Deplane for 1hr...

I waited for everybody to get off before the co-pilot named John personally escorted me off the plane and into a  sea of chaos in the waiting area and found me a seat in the middle, far away from the gate, naturally directly behind two crying Babies; WHHAAAA!

When it was getting near time to finally re-board, I started getting a 'Wee  bit anxious, since I wasn't quite sure how easily I'd navigate the mayhem when unexpectedly Crystal, my Handler' re-appeared and took me back aboard the airplane, flight #1356, whilst my suitcase was onboard flight #1484; Hmm? This is gonna be interesting...

We took off and went UP for a bumpy 30mins, for which the captain had the flight crew  remain seated the entire duration and then started  descending another 25+ minutes into a ramshackle DFW Int'l Airport, where everybody had already MISSED their connecting flights, myself included.

Waited 'til nearly everybody departed and then escorted by young man to top of jet way and out into concourse, where I told him I didn't know what Seattle flight I'd be on now? Can I see your boarding pass sir? I'll be right back in a moment, as he left me standing in the middle of the line  to the "Desk Jockeys."

He returned and said "You've missed your flight Sir; " UH DUH! (Which I didn't say...) Yes, I'm aware of that. Otay I'll be right back sir, as now I'd wished he'd take me with him so I'd know what was being discussed? Then he returned, handed me my boarding pass and told me he needed to go to Customer Service...

Leaving me standing there alone in the Gynormous Dallas Airport, feeling perplexed, I pondered whether or not he was gonna return? As I'd done this routine in Chicago's O'Hare airport once before, where United Airlines ultimately left me stranded for 7hrs; FUCK! But told myself I'd give him 10mins.

Yet as the minutes ticked away I began feeling uneasy over his swift departure, having seen this movie before and thus decided to walk up to the ticket counter instead where the nice female agent asked me if I was going to Orlando, which was currently boarding next to us.

Nope I'm going to Seattle and I  got left by Assistance, have NO idea if he's coming back or if he  ever sorted out what my new connecting flight was? To which she took care of promptly, saying it's now 1:50PM and I've got you on a 2:30PM flight, but the only trick will be getting a cart to show up and get you there in time... As I was at gate A-29 and needed to go to C-33; YIKES!

So some 5+ minutes later a nice young gentleman showed  up with a wheelchair and said he was gonna  take me down ten gates to a waiting shuttle cart; kOOL! We got there and they loaded me in and the driver was super jovial and just taking his own sweet time 'bout everything; NO Ariva-Ariva-Ariva here Man; we're on Airport time; Hooah!

So after waiting several minutes he took off and then stopped 'N picked up another woman who was running to C-15. Dropped her off and then stopped at C-16 where a cart had been requested, before stopping for his second passenger's C-26 gate; URGH!

Stopped another time where they asked if they could load a passenger for gate C-6; C'mon dude, you're KILLING ME! Then he finally  drove me to my gate and personally escorted me to the check-in desk while I could hear them boarding the first class & platinum members, as he said this is Mr. Tomas...

Then another young man scurried me "Conga-line" styled thru the boarding area, bumping people, down the gangway and to my 18D aisle seat!

Doing my fairly new procedure of leaving my cane up until my seat mates arrive, the flight attendant corralled Mwah and said: Does your cane fold or collapse? Yeah Sister, I'm just waiting 'til my seat mates are all in, to which she said we're done, and  I'd end up with an empty middle seat for the originally planned 3hr 46min flight.

And as typical, the one time I got up midflight to use the 'loo, after I'd locked myself inside the plane went into full bumpy turbulence mode with the annoying tape recorded the seat belt sign has been turned on, please return to your seats message; Oh Bugger Off!

AnyHoo, we fought a Headwind the whole way home so our flight arrived at 5:18PM instead, which was pretty good overall,  as my original arrival  time had been 3:38PM, while the man alongside me in the window seat, from Iowa was 5hrs behind!

Riding in the wheelchair with my backpack on lap and white cane folded, underneath  it, I  told the lady pushing me, I seriously doubted my suitcase would be there since I'd been on two wrong Aeroplanes! So she simply took me to the Baggage Claim office instead, where the female agent came out and naturally asked me; what colour is your bag and do you S-E-E IT?

NO! I'm NOT joking there, although it's a pretty typical comment overall, and I did have my cane folded. Nevertheless, it's always funny to Mwah, since as I'm constantly reminded, I'm BLIND!

To which afterwards, I told the very pleasant Shuttle Express driver on my way home; Do I go for the home run here? Bunt it, take an extra base;  Yada-yada-yada, since her "Softball" was slow 'N right down the middle and even I could S-E-E it; Hya! But instead I just told  her I DON'T SEE!

She came back minutes later, saying I'd given her an excellent description and all the record indicator told her  was that my bag was in Dallas. As the Delivery Service first called me at 8:20AM the following day, saying it'd be delivered between 12-2PM. Then at 11:53AM I heard  a suitcase being rolled towards my door outside, 'cause Y'all know, blind people have super HEARING; Hooah! Followed by a knock on the door at 11:55AM Wednesday and Wallah, suitcase delivered!

That's All Folks, stay tuned for round 3!
Tomaso

(Photo Courtesy of Austin Hostess Nelie)

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