Monday, June 27, 2011

Horribly Awesome Travel Story

A few years ago, my mom and I were setting off on a winter vacation to Maui, HI. The flight plan consisted of two stops, one in Los Angeles and one in Honolulu, both times we would have to get off the plane, however, we didn't ever switch planes.

When we arrived in Honolulu, we had been travelling all day, were exhausted and completely sick of being on a plane. Honolulu was the final destination for a majority of people on the flight. Luckily, the layover was only supposed to be 1 hour. My mom and I decided that instead of walking around the terminal, we were going to park our asses in the seats right outside the gate. We just wanted to get to Maui.

There were only 20 people who would be getting back on the plane to Maui. They were all sort of milling about in the gate area. After awhile of waiting, they announced that there was a mechanical problem and the plane would be taking off later than scheduled.

My mom went up to the gate agent and asked if there was an estimated time for take off. The guy said "At least two hours." So, we left the gate area, went to the closest restroom and then went to an outdoor walkway to breathe in the fresh Hawaiian air. Standing in the walkway, we could see our plane. It looked so majestic and regal. As we were standing there we noticed people walking around on the plane. "DID THEY LET PEOPLE BACK ON THE PLANE?" My mom exclaimed.

The two of us ran around the corner to the gate. It was empty. Totally and utterly deserted. "Where the hell is everyone!!!" We both declared. It was impossible that they had boarded the plane. We had been gone for less than 30 minutes and we were no further than 20 feet away from the gate at all times. Plus, they told us that it would be two hours before the plane took off.

A gate agent came out of the gateway. "Is that plane taking off?" my mom asked the woman. "Yes." She casually replied. "WE'RE SUPPOSED TO BE ON THAT PLANE." My mom stated. "Oh are you the Smith's?" (ed. note, my name is changed because I don't trust internet creeps). Then the woman started lecturing us that they were paging us for the last 20 minutes and because they didn't hear from us, they took our luggage off of the plane.

No amount of pleading would work with this woman. She kept telling us it was too late and we would have to try to get a flight the next morning. Finally we saw the asshole who told us it would be 2 hours before the plane took off coming out of the gateway...and he looked guilty. Then he started pleading with the woman. After they talked amongst themselves for five minutes, the woman told him he could do what he wanted, but she wasn't involved. This is when the story gets awesome. The guy tells us he can get us on the plane, but we have to run.

So, there we are running down the gateway towards the airplane. After arriving at the end of the gateway we realize that the gateway is no longer attached to the airplane. What was this guy expecting us to do? Jump onto the airplane.

As we are standing at the end of the gateway, the guy mans the controls and starts moving the gateway towards the little doorway of the airplane. Once it gets there, he begins to knock on the window. Yes, that's right, he was knocking on the window. We see the flight attendant's face look out confusedly and that's when the gate agent starts shouting "OPEN THE DOOR! OPEN THE DOOR"

If we weren't embarrassed before, we were very embarrassed now. It got worse when the attendant opens the door and asks what's going on and the gate agent tells him "These ladies almost missed the plane." I can't speak for my mom, but I wanted to die.

We got on the plane and all 20 people were staring at us like "WTF, you idiots." We shrank into the first available seats and my mom said that we should probably just be silent for the 50 minute flight into Maui.

Isn't that a horribly awesome story?! I actually felt a little bit like a rockstar stopping the flight from leaving the gate and then having them allow me onto the plane after they had already read all of the safety instructions. Plus, I was wearing this jacket:

You cannot do anything incognito in this jacket. The flight attendant actually said to me as we were walking onto the plane "Oh, it's you, I was wondering where you and that jacket went." 50 minutes later we had landed in Maui and spent the entire drive to our hotel laughing our asses off about what had just happened.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, the great memories of a horrible awesome travel moment! I almost lost it in the Honolulu airport. Then when he knocked on the window and the Flight Attendant was laughing and let us in and said something about wondering where you and the jacket were....I could hardly wait to sink into my seat with all of the people looking at us! Then one of the flight attendants came over and said "we've already read the flight instructions...should I go over them with you" and I replied that we had been on the same plane all day! So he said "can you point out where the exits are?" I said "there, there and there". The guy replied "Welcome aboard". It's funny now but believe me when I say, that it wasn't funny then.

However, the bad evening took a turn for the better when we landed in Maui and hustled over to the car rental desk before they closed. The guy in front of us in line was yelling at one of the agents. His supervisor tried to help and then he waved us over to begin. He said that they were out of Ford Focuses or whatever teeny, tiny car I had rented. The supervisor asked "how do you feel about a Mustang convertible for no extra charge?" Heck, yea....I want that!

So we pulled out of the parking lot, in the Mustang convertible, on the island of Maui laughing like crazy about everything that had happened. I'm not sure anyone could top that travel story if they tried. Love the picture of the jacket too!

Love ya,