By Doug Ross

So often my friends say, “You are so lucky, being able to travel for work.” While I do not disagree with this statement, “Lucky” is not always the result. Case in point; this last August while in Washington state (I live in Southern Florida), I was contacted and told that a very close friend had a dire medical emergency. Things happen, this is life. I changed my return flight home and made my way to Spokane International Airport, which required a three hour drive.

Yeah, yeah, this resembles Gilligan’s plight. As I pulled into the rental car return lot, I received a text from the airline, “Your flight has been canceled. We will rebook your flight for you as a courtesy.” Seriously? The flight they so kindly booked for me was the same flight, the next day, I came to the conclusion that the flight was only half booked. After calling the airline to see what else could be done I had a flight booked for early morning the next day, but arriving at an airport 30 miles from my parked car.

I arrived at the airport six hours earlier than what was scheduled by their computer. I now had a day to wander the streets and think about my friend. I even found myself at a mall theatre for a matinee, that is how bored I was. The morning came slowly, waking up in an airport hotel and eating scrambled eggs from a carton. Anxious to get going I was packed and headed to my rental car as I heard a text notification, likely the auto text to confirm gate and departure, right? “Your flight has been delayed, your new departure time is….” Seriously?! Again, I was on the phone with the airline, making it very clear that I need to get home as soon as possible, and we again looked at options.

I ended up on the same flight that I was supposed to go out on the day before and at this point I was fine with that. I just wanted to get out of this Twilight Zone town. Relaxing in my seat and ready to get home with the other passengers, I wondered why the engines had not yet fired up, why after 20 minutes of sitting on the tarmac with the cabin secured we were not moving. Then it came, “This is your Captain from the flight deck. It seems one of the ground crew baggage handlers had their hat blow off and now resides inside the engine compartment. We have a technician working on getting it out but needs to find a longer pole to grab it.” Needless to say, I was frustrated.

By this point I am wondering where the cocktail cart is, and at the airlines expense.
Yes, we made it out with some drama, but at this point I was over it.
I am looking for someone named Murphy, I understand he is the joker responsible for this, and other mishaps at the worst possible time. Let me know if you see him (or her…).

May your travels be safe and free of delays.