August 27, 2010—
I only take an international flight a couple times a year but they always seem seamless. On an average of 20 annual domestic flights, I’d say there’s trouble on 15.
Last week I had a connection in Miami, Fla. on American Airlines. The flight was slated to leave Chicago at 11:40 a.m. When checking in I was informed of a 20 minute delay because one pilot had not shown up.
To cut to the chase, we were all on the plane at 1 p.m. and sat on the runway for another hour, waiting for another pilot. Or maybe it was the same pilot.
The flight attendants told the eight of us our connection had already been
We were going to spend the night in Miami. And we hadn’t even left Chicago.
I texted my friend Tom. He travels more than me. He’s a former cameraman for
WBBM-TV in Chicago and now freelances for “48 Hours,” “60 Minutes” and
I needed a pep talk. Tom delivered and he agreed to let me share his story
Not an airline problem, but a good story. We were flying back from LA and
updgraded to 1st class. I put my seat back and the guy in back shoved it
back up. I put it down, he pushed it up…back and forth until I finally
gave up. We stewed for a while until we came up with an idea to fix this
prick. We noticed he had taken his shoes off so I carefully grabbed one
loafer from under my seat while he was sleeping.
I stuffed it in a pillow and sat it next to me. My soundman went to the
washroom then returned and asked if I would be needing the ‘pillow’ sitting
there. He picked it up, walked it back of the plane and stuffed it into an
The plane landed and we waited outside the gate to get our reward. It took
a while, but we finally saw him limping away with only one Gucci loafer.
The story made me smile and that’s all you can do in these situations.
Of course there’s more to my story, just as there is with your airline horror stories.
It turned out the connection was a half hour delayed—-no one bothered to tell us—but I caught the information on the flickering information board as we disembarked from our plane. We had 10 minutes to run from our gate to the departure gate at the other end of the concourse. Me and another guy sprinted down the strip like O.J. Simpson and Al Cowings. Three of us made the connection as the plane’s door closed behind us. The other five passengers were stranded in Miami.
With all their shoes.