Tim Horan

I was sitting in the far back seat of a 727.

“It used to be fun to fly,” said the flight attendant sitting in her jump seat almost next to me.

When she first started as a flight attendant, passengers had free soft drinks and coffee and were fed a meal. Beer and wine were cheap.

In fact, my wife and I once carried four bottles of wine from Napa Valley onto a plane.

These days I don’t think even peanuts are provided.

During my conversation with the attendant, I would have been sitting in what previously was the smoking section.

The little ash tray had been covered.

In addition to all of the previous restrictions instigated after 9/11, passengers now will have to have their temperature checked and wear a mask because of the pandemic.

Some airlines advertise they aren’t selling the middle seat. The cost to fly will most likely increase.

All this news prompted me to recall some of my flight adventures over the years.

Weather

Three of my flights were delayed because of weather. One was stalled by fog and two by snow.

Airlines don’t compensate customers when Mother Nature causes a delay.

My family was stuck in the Detroit airport on Christmas Day because of winter weather. The ticket agent wasn’t just sure where our airplane was, let alone what time it would take off.

We caught another flight at another gate by calling the airline on a cell phone. While we were waiting, it seemed like a great time to grab a beer or a glass of wine.

“I’m sorry, sir. We can’t serve alcohol on Christmas Day,” was the response I got from the bartender.

Luggage

Never leave the keys to your vehicle in your luggage. You might not get out of the airport parking lot.

I flew to Florida for an early morning meeting. After waiting forever to get my luggage, it never arrived at the baggage carousel.

The airline took down my hotel information and said they would send the luggage by carrier the next day. It was dark by the time I arrived at my destination.

Nothing like attending a meeting with everyone in suit and tie and me in shorts and sandals.

Time

Most of my flights over the years have been business trips.

However, my wife Kathy and I were actually going on a vacation out of the country. Our flight was to leave early Sunday morning and arrive in Houston at 9:30 a.m.

Our flight out of  Houston was scheduled to leave at 9 a.m. Sunday morning.

I noticed that printed on our tickets the FRIDAY before.

Not a problem. We would just take a flight from Kansas City to Houston on Saturday.

But, naturally, there were no flights available.

Our plan was to drive to Dallas on Saturday and fly into Houston from there.

Fortunately, at the last minute, we were able to find a late night flight from Kansas City to Houston where the airline actually put us up in a hotel.

Oops

My son and I were flying out of an airport in Ohio. The airplane was on the runway and about to take off. As the wheels left the pavement, the engine stopped.

We taxied back to the gate and all passengers were rerouted to their destinations on different schedules. Ours left a couple hours later.

And there was the time I lost my wife.

We were at the San Francisco International Airport where we had to take a tram to the gate. 

I was actually looking at the map to see where we would go. When I turned around, Kathy was gone. 

Thoughts of the 1997 move “Breakdown” came to mind.

That is the movie in which Kurt Russell searches for his missing wife after his car breaks down.

“She got on the tram,” said a man standing next to me when he saw me frantically looking around.

She had been pounding on the glass doors of the closed tram door but failed to get my attention.

I found her at the next tram stop.

I don’t think my flight attendant friend was right. I don’t think it was ever fun to fly.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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