I was on the way home from a contract. I was looking so forward to returning home at a reasonable hour, which for me, is anything before midnight. As it was, I was supposed to leave the reserve at 1030-ish, and I had a flight from Winterpeg that left around 1630. What could go wrong....?
My flight to Winterpeg was delayed by an hour, so I was told. No matter, I would still have three hours to get from the puddle jumper hangar to the main Peg airport. That requires an unfriendly taxi ride of under ten minutes. I was stoked. And all of a sudden, my flight was back on time because they could not stop at their first destination due to weather. What a big smile I had on my face as I danced up the stairs into the plane. I would be home during daylight hours. Like a vampire, I had forgotten what that was like.
As we were climbing to cruising altitude almost an hour later due to ?, the pilot came on, and informed us that we would indeed be stopping at the airport they missed on the way in, as the weather had improved. Oh, said he, this will be a short stop, only about 20 minutes. No matter, thought I, there would still be plenty of time for me to toddle over to the main airport, and perhaps hit the lounge for some liquid Ativan. I was glowing at the thought. And then we landed... 20 minutes for some reason took over an hour. I was now a squidge over two hours late. A bead of sweat formed on my brow.
No worries...I would go to the cargo hold outside of the airplane once we landed and pick up my luggage from there. I had been allowed to do that on numerous other non timely flights in order to catch my flight home on time. Still, one bead of sweat had turned into two. We landed in the Peg at 1445...my next flight was in an hour and a half. Another wee drop o' sweat.....
I told the ground crew what I was looking for, and then the pilot joined me by the cargo hold. They said they could not get my luggage until they removed the body from the plane. At this point I was thinking there may be more bodies and a cool cell for me to stay in.... "It will only take 20 minutes.... please wait inside." Forty five minutes later, I finally had my luggage but no ride to the airport, because the poor folks from the reserves were all queued up for taxis, awaiting transport to the boarding homes for the night before their medical appointments.
By now Niagara Falls was apparent on my brow. A helpful buddy suggested I ask the person at the front of the line if I could jump ahead. In normal circumstances, I would never do this, but I had not anticipated the intensity of the desire to get home at a decent time. I screwed up my courage and asked. And was denied..."I am in a hurry too...." To downtown Winnipeg...? No one is ever in a hurry to go there.
In the mean time, I called the taxi company and asked if a separate booked taxi could be sent for me. He said it would take at least 20 minutes. I said I did not have that kind of time, nicely. He said, not so nicely, "Then I guess you had better call someone else"... and promptly hung up on me before I could take a breath or shed a tear.
Back to the front of the line I went, almost ready to grovel, when the gentleman's wife cuffed him across the shoulder, he motioned to me with a sharp head shake, and I finally got my taxi to the main airport, hit the bag drop, walked through security aided by my trusty NEXUS, and sashayed straight on to the plane......and a lovely glass of red wine.
And how was your day?