5:30 AM: Woke up and got ready for the day.
6 AM: Checked out and drove to MCI/KCI (Kansas City Airport), with a minor bit of disorientation along the way.
6:42 AM: Returned rental car and caught shuttle to terminal.
7 AM: Settled in at gate for 8:05 flight.
7:30 AM: Mechanical issues prevent us from boarding.
7:50 AM: The flight gets delayed by 4 hours and I get my food voucher.
8 AM: I get a drink and turkey jerky, then return to the gate to find everyone standing in a gaggle. The flight was cancelled. -___-
9 AM: I notice text messages letting me know I was rebooked for a 2 PM flight to Houston and then a 5 PM to Dulles. After sitting around then waiting in line, I am put on standby for an 11 AM to Houston.
10 AM: My coworkers arrive for their 10:30 flight and I chat with them before they board. Nobody on standby gets on the flight (one poor woman was supposed to catch another airline to go to Italy, with this being her only other chance).
11 AM: The Houston flight is also completely booked and boarded. I get back in line for assistance. This time I’m put on standby for a 1 PM.
1 PM: I get called up for my ticket, but I hesitate because I’d gotten a first class upgrade on the 2 PM flight. The gate attendant recommends I just get on this flight in case something happens with the next one (you never know).
3 PM: We land in Houston after a mediocre flight in which the attendant completely skipped me for drinks after chatting up the lady next to me (who didn’t want anything). Ugh. Wasn’t even worth it since I didn’t really want to drink anything.
3:30 PM: I request standby for a flight into DCA that arrives an hour earlier than my 5 PM flight to IAD. Just want to get going! Gate attendant was rather rude about it, but did it for me.
4 PM: After a stressful 20 minutes waiting for my to-go order, I bring it and board the plane. Discover my seat is waaay in the back and not economy plus despite there being plenty of space. I run back up to the gate to ask for a better seat. Even though the only seat taken in row 7 was 7A, he puts me 7B, a middle seat. I sit in the aisle and then move over to the other window seat just as the captain gets on to tell us that we’re delayed until about 6:30 due to weather in DC. We de-board.
4:30 PM: I go over to the gate for the flight to IAD that I was originally on. I’m sent to the customer service desk, where thankfully there’s a premier access line with just two people. I get a seat back on that one, which is also delayed to 6:30 due to storms. I wish I’d taken the 2 PM flight and kept my first class upgrade. Alas, there easily could have been further delays or cancellations so I won’t dwell on it.
4:40 PM: Panda’s on his way home (it’s 5:40 Eastern) and I update him on what happened all day.
5 PM: I finally get to eat the tacos I got. First meal of the day.
6 PM: Board the plane and hope for a last-minute upgrade to first class. I keep checking and *boom* it happens! I happily go up to seat 1B.
6:30 PM: We head off and I realize how desperately I need a window seat next time. Neither side had their windows open and I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. I’m not claustrophobic, but I do get some motion sickness when I can’t see the steadiness of the landscape outside. I also had a massive headache from artificial lights. I kept reminding myself that it was ok, we were staying level, and it’d only be three hours. A few times I thought it was a cross-country trip of 5 hours. I just tried to focus on playing games to stay distracted and eating the food that came along. Still, when I pulled up the flight map and saw we were over New Orleans, I really wanted to see what was outside!!
7:30 PM: I try to eat all the dinner, but my teeth are sensitive and I’m still full from my earlier meal.
8 PM: It’s cookie time! There’s something magical about a cookie that is heated up so it’s nice and gooey. Yum. The window in the row behind me has their window open and I can see some gorgeous colors of the sunset, with the outlines of some really cool clouds. I wish I’d been able to watch the light changing that whole time.
9 PM: We start our descent and the guy next to me finally opens the window! I notice a flash – what? I keep looking outside and it’s lightning! How jealous I am of what I missed.
9:30 PM (10:30 local): We land and I make my way out of the airport in record time.
11 PM local: We get home, finally. It’s 11 hours after I should have arrived and if I had driven straight from the hotel, I would have gotten home around the same time. What a day.