Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lucky Me!

Lucky me. I woke up at 3 a.m. to be at the airport by 4:30 a.m. My flight from Sacramento started at 6 a.m. and was a 3½-hour “ride” into the Dallas-Fort Worth. Then it was time to catch my next flight. I rode the tram from terminal A to terminal C and had just enough time to grab a Starbuck’s and check my cell phone messages before we had to board for our flight to Miami.

They loaded us quickly; they seemed to know exactly what they were doing. At one point the plane felt like it would over-flow with people if they didn’t stop loading it. But as the last seat was filled the plane started to push back for our 3-hour flight to Miami. This is the lucky part that I was talking about. We backed up about 100 ft when we stopped. Not only did we stop but also it was an abrupt stop where we rocked back and forth.

The Captain came on the intercom system and informed us that the fuel pump was not working and the number one engine was lacking fuel.

I may not know a lot about flying except that you want to be on time when checking in and make sure that each bag has your name on it somewhere (they are picky about this) and whatever you do, don’t go over the weight limit! But talk about “fuel” and “not pumping” and most important “the number 1 engine not getting any”, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that’s not a good thing!

The good news was that the captain kept us informed through the whole process, which I really did appreciate. So we waited while they called maintenance. Then we waited while maintenance boarded the plane. We waited while the Captain explained the situation to maintenance and of course we waited while maintenance went below to check it out. An hour and a half later maintenance said it was fixed.

We are now up in the air, almost two hours late. We still have one last connection before we are to arrive in Cali, Colombia. But if we arrive at the new projected time in Miami we will have less than 12 minutes to de-plane, find our gate, run, run, run, get on our new plane (if our seats are still available) find a spot for our carry-on baggage, get strapped in sit down and shut up. But if things go as I suspect, and I am sure they will (Murphy’s Law) we’ll be spending the night in Miami. Not something that I had planned on doing. Thank goodness Team USA didn’t go through this. Not only for the skaters but for the staff! LOL

Stay tuned to find out what happens to us!


Wow.. Unless you like confusion, do not fly into Miami’s “E” Terminal. We landed at 6:18 p.m. and our next flight left at 6:25 p.m. There is this thing in the US called “common courtesy” and somewhere along the line when people are on airplanes they don’t care that someone needs to make a connection. They are next in line to get off of the plane, so “step back baby and wait”. There were a few of us that needed to see if our plane was still on the ground. The gentleman in front of me was told that his had left and NO he couldn’t have his luggage. They would put him up in a hotel and give him coupons for dinner.

Then I stepped up to the counter and asked about the flight to Cali. The woman informed me that the plane was still on the ground and we needed to go to gate E2. We had landed at E32, so I knew we would have to run a bit. Little did I know that we would have to wait for a tram that would take us to a place that wasn’t marked, the windows and doors were all blacked out. As I was stepping off the tram I asked a young man, “Is this the way to E2?” I am not sure what he said, but it wasn’t in English or Spanish.

Finally, someone who had overheard our conversation told us the way to go. We had to go downstairs and around a corner and walk a long hallway. When we ran up to the gate the doors were closed and the plane was preparing for take-off. The attendant was helpful and took our tickets and swiped a card that opened two glass doors. I felt like I was going to meet Spock around the corner. As we ran down to the plane the girl told a man and his son that “we had shown up and now they couldn’t go to Colombia until tomorrow”. I felt horrible but there was no way that we were going to get stuck in Miami without any luggage. Come to find out his wife and other children were on the plane, so he stayed back with the older son.

Needless to say we made our flight. Ananda had the window seat and I had the isle seat. Guess who would we see as we walked down the isle sitting in the middle seat? Rachel Di Julio, youngest daughter of Paul Di Julio (MPC Wheels). Rachel was flying by herself into Cali. It was a great relief to be able to sit next to someone that we knew.

This flight is over 3 hours. When all is said and done, I will have been on three flights today. Each one has been 3-plus hours. I guess I was lucky today. It could have been worse. I could have been stuck in Texas or stuck in Miami.

Now that I have a moment to breath and look around, it is raining in Miami. As we fly over Cuba and Jamaica and finally into Cali, it is still raining. Hopefully Team USA brought lots of Vaseline for their bearings!

See ya tomorrow.

Linda Wood


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