Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ground control to Beatrice – Flight is a no-go

Three years ago, a year before any Beas buzzed in our heads, Amy and I were on a return flight from Belize that was supposed to land in Houston, but because of severe thunderstorms, was re-routed to New Orleans.

Where we stayed on the tarmac for hours waiting to refuel and for the weather to clear in Texas. We couldn’t get off the plane because since the Katrina tragedy, New Orleans was no longer an international airport (no customs).

Finally we made our way back to Houston where we had less than 15 minutes to make our connecting flight home.

Which meant we had to get through customs and security. Well, we cleared customs quickly, but then Amy kept setting off the metal detector at the security checkpoint and we didn’t know why.

Our carry-on bags made it through the screening, as did I, but they had to pull Amy to the side and wave the wand over her. I wasn’t paying attention to our bags as I watch and waited for her.

Which was when she called out, “Get my bag!”

And through my noisy, rushing crowds I heard, “Get my back!”

I smiled and called out proudly, “I’ve got your back, baby!”

Frustrated, she shook her head when finally the TSA official cleared her to move ahead.

It’s been one of many little mutual jokes since.

Fast forward to yesterday. We’d been preparing all week to fly to Illinois to see family – Daddy, Mama and Beatrice’s first flight in an airplane together.

Everything packed and triple-checked, we loaded up the Saturn VUE (thank you Roger Penske for saving Saturn) with our bags were ready to roll. But Amy walked out leaving her carry-on on the floor next to the door.

I said, “Sweetie, I’ve got your back.”

We shared a laugh and then were on the way to the airport, Bea immediately falling asleep in the back (it was naptime anyway).

The drive was uneventful and I first dropped off Amy, Bea and our bags to check curbside and headed off to long-term parking.

Before I even parked Amy called me and said, “All flights to Dallas are cancelled. I have the bags and the baby but can’t wait in line until you get here.”

Crap. The long-term parking shuttle shuttled me back to the ticketing area. Amy was already in the gridlocked line thanks to some kids’ help with our bags. Bea was doing pretty well and Amy started the long-wait call to American Airlines while I dragged the bags along.

Thirty-five minutes and five feet of line progress later Amy connects with a ticketing agent. She’s been on the phone, sitting watching our bags, while I held a somewhat fussy Bea in line, inching along.

Amy catches my attention, waves me out of line and gives me the kill sign, flaying her hand back and forth across her neck.

“No flights until Saturday out of SFO.” We were at the San Jose airport. Crap.

Amy had American give us a refund and then we hauled our butts over Southwest to see what they could do for us.

Great customer service, but there was nothing available. Amy’s eyes lit up.

“Anything available for Vegas? Hey, we’re all packed, right?”

“No, all overbooked. Sorry,” the ticket agent said.

Crap. We love Vegas. It’s baby friendly, right?

We sat down, our bags strewn around us, and Amy nursed Bea. We were bummed we couldn’t go see the family.

“What about Hawaii?”

“Time to go home,” I said.

Reluctantly we headed out for the long-term parking shuttle.

I've got your back, baby.

Check ignition, and may God’s love be with you…


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  1. Well that sucks...

    I'm sorry you weren't able to make your trip. Hopefully you can have a nice relaxing weekend.

  2. Sorry you missed your vacation to see the family.

  3. I too am sorry you missed out, but not sorry you shared. Classic!

  4. So sorry you missed your trip to see family!How disappointing, but now you and your wife have another classic airline/airport story to laugh over (later, much later). Thanks for sharing!

  5. Bummer, I hope that you enjoy youself either way. Also- love the inside joke. Thanks for letting us in. -Jason

  6. Oh man. I was hoping this ended in Hawaii. You certainly would have deserved it.