Yup. The clock reads 1:51 am. I’d been at the airport since about 9:30 pm last night because that’s when Brian’s flight was supposed to arrive. He called me while the plane was on the tarmac in Dallas to tell me that they’d been delayed to add additional fuel to the plane as they would have to fly around a storm. His new estimated arrival time was 9:40 pm or so. I figured, no worries. I could wait at the airport a few minutes.
By 10:30 pm, there was still no sign of Brian and I still hadn’t heard from him. I found out from others at the airport and finally when I checked the departures and arrivals board that Brian’s flight was one of several that had to be diverted due to the storm. Some were diverted to Kansas City and others got diverted to Oklahoma City. I think the idea was to divert them there and then try to come back after the storm subsides. Considering the distance, the flight from either location would only take about 20 minutes or so. I figured that it would take me a half an hour to get home and then another half an hour to come back to the airport to pick Brian up, so I might as well just stick around and wait it out.
I finally heard from Brian sometime after 11:00 pm. He said that the plane was diverted to Oklahoma City. The plane circled around Wichita several times, waiting for a good opportunity to land. Brian said that they were running low on fuel so instead of continuing to circle, the decision was made to divert to Oklahoma City to get more fuel. At the same time that we were talking on the phone, I saw several people walking by. A plane was able to land. I told Brian that it was probably safe enough to come to back. We figured that he’d probably be in by midnight.
Unfortunately, refueling a plane takes a lot longer than pumping gas in your car at a gas station. A little bit later, I heard back from Brian. They ran into another hitch. Their pilot had been flying since very early that morning and he was deemed illegal to fly. They had to wait for another flight crew to arrive, which caused further delay. I think it was well after midnight by the time they left Oklahoma City.
Their plane touched down safely in Wichita at 1:35 am, but it was 1:50 am before I saw Brian. You know how the deplaning process goes. You’re on the tarmac for a while and it takes several minutes before the plane gets to the gate and there’s lots of other safety procedures they have to follow before letting anyone off the plane.
Brian had to check his carry-on back in Boston so we had to wait at baggage claim for a while. There were several planes that came in back to back. I suspect some were regularly scheduled arrivals while others were the ones that got diverted earlier in the evening and were now coming back in. I think were were at least three flights waiting for their baggage at baggage claim around the same time.
It was well after 2:00 am when we finally got out to the car. I didn’t anticipate having to pay for parking, which was $12 because I was in short-term parking for about five hours, since I was thinking that I would wait for Brian for only about 30 minutes tops. In hindsight, if I knew how long I’d have to wait, I would have parked in long-term parking, which costs less. Actually, if I knew it would be 2:00 am before he’d arrive, I probably would have gone home after Zumba and just gone to bed and simply waited for his call. I told him, in the future, that is what we will do instead. If he calls me as soon as the plane lands, then I can immediately head to the airport. If I don’t have to park, I can probably get there in 20-25 minutes. Considering that it usually takes 15 minutes to deplane, he’d only have to wait 10-15 minutes. That’s not as bad as me being stuck at the airport for five hours because I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I mean, I don’t want to leave only to find out that the plane arrived shortly after I left the airport.
Anyway, we had to swing by his parents’ house on the way home. They’re out of town and wanted to make sure that the storm didn’t cause any major damage. It was about 3:00 am by the time we finally got home. Needless to say, I couldn’t go to work on only three hours of sleep so I decided to take a day of vacation.
I slept until about 10:00 am and then decided to thaw out some chicken for lunch and do some laundry. Brian took a half day today, but had to go in to work early this morning for a conference call. I felt so bad for him. What’s worse is that when he got there shortly after 7:00 am, he found out that his 8:00 am conference call had been moved to 10:00 am. So he could have slept in.
He watched part of “Inside Job” (this documentary that I got from Netflix, which I’ve had for a couple of weeks now and have never had time to watch until today) with me after lunch and is now catching up on sleep. I was going to do ATC and Zumba today, but I’m thinking that I’ll skip ATC so he can get more sleep. If I only do Zumba, then we won’t have to leave here until 6:00 pm.
Tomorrow, we’ll both be rested and back to our regular schedule. Then we do this all over again in about four weeks. Hopefully, sans the storm and flight delays. =P