Yeah, we were supposed to fly US Airways through Philadelphia.
The plan was to spend two days around Christmas with my family – dad’s still working in Bermuda, which makes for a splendid holiday location. We were scheduled to arrive about 2 PM on Christmas Day, having spent Christmas Eve with Melanie’s family.
US Airways labor problems got in the way. On the final return leg from Philadelphia to Washington I scrawled this in my notebook:
The List of Indignities
- Checkin lines to the airport door at 6:45 on Christmas morning.
- Flight from Philadelphia to Bermuda cancelled as we checked in at DCA. No flight crew.
- First-class upgrade evaporates.
- Sent to Delta counter to try to connect through Atlanta. Told Delta overbooked all day, US Airways should have known that.
- 11 AM US Airways shuttle to La Guardia, taxicab to Kennedy for 7 PM American Airlines Bermuda flight.
- Kennedy really needs a makeover.
- Girl at food court bar very little help. Closes bar half hour after we sit down. Five hours to go.
- What do you suppose the SSSS on our ticket means? Search Search Search Search.
- Nothing open at international pier.
- Loud French men on cellphones.
- Christmas dinner: dry turkey and cheese sandwiches from a refrigerator.
- WORST CHRISTMAS EVER.
- AA 757 bulkhead squeaked with every bump.
- AA 757 flight attendant no fun at all.
- Woman with two young hellions jumps in front of us at gate before return flight. Couldn’t decide whether or not to board plane as the entire check-in line waited.
- 5:30 flight from Philadelphia backs off from the gate at 8:15. “Security problem.”
I folded my notebook at that point and settled in for the short Philly-DC run. Once in the air I pulled out the digital camera and attached the new fast 50mm lens, a gift from Melanie’s sister. Taking pictures over Baltimore I managed to generate material for one last entry:
- Interrogated by air marshal for taking photos of people on plane.
It was our worst Christmas ever, but we eventually got where we were going so I’m going to shut up about it now. A lot of people in those lines never made it home for the holidays.
We landed in Bermuda around 10 PM and managed to get through all the gifts by midnight.
Mom treated us to a Boxing Day visit to the Fairmont Hotel spa. Those neck & shoulder massages are mighty relaxing – I dozed off to the new age music by the pool and Melanie had to shake me back awake. I was jelly the rest of the day, a big improvement over the previous 24 hours.
Two days later we flew to Oakland for New Year’s Eve
too late to back out
No, no – we wouldn’t have backed out of our first chance to see our friends Eric and Cindy at their new house in the Oakland hills. Fantastic view of the bay and Golden Gate. New cat.
Cindy quickly tired of me photographing everything in the house with that new lens. Maybe this shot of beloved Azur the dog will buy me more shutter time on our next visit.
We celebrated Christmas a little differently out there.
Eric has a new monster construction-man flashlight. I’m having a tough time remembering what we were looking for in the yard that first night.
New Year’s Eve: we rolled into San Francisco for a house party on Telegraph Hill. That played out pretty much as you’d expect.
New Year’s Day: face down on the dining room table between card games I found the time to do some quality thinking. It struck me that these weekends with Eric and Cindy (whether at our house or theirs) are like the anti-spa for us – instead of massages and new age music we get hangovers and Ron Perlman movies, and that’s fine.
No problems flying United through Oakland.