Thursday, September 20, 2007

Stuck in Houston

Traveling to/from Hawaii can be a big pain in the ass. Having to get off the plane after you have already gotten on it? Even a bigger pain in the ass. It is perhaps one of the most annoying features of traveling I have experienced. Twice. Both times going to Hawaii.

I have to wonder what kind of special checks / balances a plane traveling to Hawaii must go through. Did they forget to put in extra fuel? Do they stash a few parachutes for the pilots that didn't quite make it there? Naive to these issues, I just get to sit here and stew and contemplate the greater "good" that will come out of this: I will arrive safely at my destination hopefully only 2 hours late (or so they guess). But those 2 hours in Hawaii mean the difference between no traffic and traffic, which is the most important feature of scheduling an arriving flight to Honolulu as far as I am concerned.

In the future I will not have so many beers the night before getting on a plane (Thanks, B! Durham was kick ass!) AND / OR not leave on a 6:15am flight from the east coast when I haven't slept the whole week. These are valuable lessons learned in a life that seems to short to spend sitting in airport. Ah well. Just a part of traveling to the Big Rock in the sea.

UPDATE #1 (12pm): Two hours have now come and gone; they said it will be another 90 minutes. The altimeter/ barometer are leaking and / or not aligned. From Wikipedia:

A pressure altimeter (also called barometric altimeter) is the traditional altimeter found in most aircraft. In it, an aneroid barometer measures the air pressure from a static port outside the aircraft. Air pressure decreases with an increase of altitude — about one millibar (0.03 inches of mercury) per 27 feet (8.23 m) near sea level.

They are currently "trouble-shooting" by taping said static port with bright yellow tape and attaching another port to what I guess is a pressure gauge of some sort. Continental has given us free food vouchers, coupons for up to 25% off your next flight, free drink vouchers, and they are having a raffle to give away 5, $100 vouchers before we get back on the plane. It's just like the circus! But without cotton candy, elephants, or most notably, children laughing.

UPDATE #2 (2pm): "Mechanics don't know what is wrong. They're going to keep trouble- shooting. Another update in an hour...looking into getting a new plane." I am preparing myself for a night in Houston. I think it is time for a drink.

UPDATE #3 (2:30pm): I WON!!!! I was one of the 5 lucky bastards who won a travel certificate!!! Forget the circus, this is just like VEGAS!!!

UPDATE #4 (4:20pm): The rush from winning the travel certificate wore off very quickly. But luckily, now I can relax. They got us a new plane with a new altimeter and I should be home by 8:30 Honolulu time. I will use my drink voucher to drink a bloody mary or a red wine and pass the hell out. This is the last update. Deadwood in Houston, signing OFF!!


Keeloo said...

Bad times seem to make for good blog posts.

D said...

Let it ride! I'm amazed you're not drunk already. Go get yourself a tasty $10 beer. Hell spring for the large for only $2 more! I'm digging to updates...thanks RSS feed.

Brian said...

Bad times seem to make for good blog posts.

Indeed. This post is basically the pinnacle of the medium.

Good to see you last night, 'line...sorry you got done in by 3 beers...

Hope you're home safe by the time you read this...

Holy shit, I just realized that the word verification contains "vegf" which is what I was talking about today. I think it's time for a drink...

Caroline said...

B, it was not the 3 IPAs that did me in. It was the 4? more that I had after I got back to the hotel and stayed up until 2:30am talking with a guy from the meeting.

But I am hope safely now, and that's all that matters.

anna-bananas said...

hey c-line..
..its a good resulotion not to get wasted the night before a flight. I remember our trip to Big Island, were I was pretty calm because of some cookies :) made me laugh to read your post!!!
looking forward to see you soon!

Brian said...

C--I'm relieved to hear it.

(That it wasn't the three, I mean)

megaleg said...

Dang it. Take two -- it experienced an error after the first attempted post.

Congrats on the win. I recently watched "Airline" through Netflix. I could hardly believe how many people are denied boarding because they're too drunk. They're told that they will have to wait until the next flight, hours later. Guess where they head? The bar, of course. Ridiculous circle. It's available to watch instantaneously if you don't want to commit to it being one of your three.

After spending almost 4 hours at the Houston airport waiting to come see ya'll, I remember this TV room from your picture. I guess I was tired and grumpy. I simply didn't understand the artistic value. What am I missing?