Friday, May 16, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 – South San Francisco, CA – Sunny – 84F

Another beautiful day in the Bay Area…

Slept better but, even with earplugs, the “always on” bathroom fan became a constant background noise.  Seems like a big waste of electricity.

Considering what we were paying, the breakfast was OK – frozen toaster waffles and pancakes (can’t complain too much because that’s what I have at home), cereal and milk, bagels and cream cheese, and coffee.  We are the only English speaking people at breakfast – I hear some French being spoken.

Even had time for a shower – good pressure and warmth.

Thinking ahead about lunch, we walked a couple of blocks over to the Valero Gas Station to pick up some sandwiches and chips.  We were just about to take our sandwiches when the sandwich delivery man told us we couldn’t buy them – they were out of date.  What if we had come in five minutes earlier – ooooh.  We got some fresh sandwiches – tuna on whole wheat and tomato mozzarella on a roll – along with some bags of chips.  We are all set for lunch.  We still have to buy a $2.99 diet coke – the FAA has made sure that the coke sales will continue.

We took the 10:44 AM shuttle to Terminal 2 at SFO – an eight minute ride.  This should give us plenty of time to clear security – no TSA pre-check for me again – who did I annoy at Homeland Security?  At least, the bags will be checked and I only have to do the shoes, computer, and belt drill.

We checked in at the Priority desk for AA193 – the flight was now delayed one hour to 2:00 PM.  We originally had an arrival time of 6:35 PM connecting with AA2339 at 8:45 PM (arriving in Chicago at 11:00 PM).  The delay puts us into DFW at best at 7:35 cutting our window to just over an hour.

We arrived at Gate 56A and had our Tuna Sandwiches for lunch (yes, with the $2.99 coke).  As about 1:15 PM, an announcement was made that our plane was “in the vicinity” and would be landing in about 15 minutes.  AA would try to do a “fast turnaround” to get AA193 in the air so connections would not be missed in Dallas.

The plane arrived at 1:38 PM


and passengers got off pretty quickly. 

We boarded at about 2:15 PM and pushed about 10 minutes later (everyone was really good about overhead bags and many bags were gate checked).  The pilot came on and said that two of SFOs runways were under repair and that we were number 12 to go – it would be about 10 or so minutes until we were on the active runway.  It took a bit longer than that but we were underway. 

Takeoff was smooth and the flight was one of the smoothest in a while – only thermals over the desert provided any turbulence.  The cockpit predicted an arrival in Dallas just after 8:00 PM.  Passengers were told to let connecting passengers off first. 

At the gate at 8:15 PM (boarding time for AA2339).  We scampered to Sky Link to go to Terminal A and Gate A16.  Trains come every minute – in about 10 minutes were in Terminal A and our gate was the first one near the Sky Link escalator.  They were boarding Group 3 when we got on board so I popped my computer bag in the very first overhead in coach.  We had almost done the impossible – made an “illegal connection”.

We were in Exit Row 20 on the MD80 – this was the first time I had been in an MD80 in several years.  The plane pushed right on time, headed out to the runway and was off.

I had my noise cancelling headphones on and I didn’t even hear the engines on this jet at takeoff.  The flight was very smooth and we had our delicious Tomato/Mozzarella sandwiches for dinner (forgot to mention we also bought Oreos). 

As the plane descended into O’Hare, we went through some very unstable air in the clouds.  The plane was really shaking – I had to stop reading on my phone because the words were blurry.  After a few very bumpy minutes, the plan got through the clouds and soon we were on the ground – about 20 minutes early.

I was pretty sure our bags didn’t get on our connecting flight (we barely got on the flight).  I checked with Baggage Control and they said that our bags did make it on-board and they were coming off on Carousel 7 right now.  I walked over there and there they were – no muss, no fuss.

We called our cab and, though some craziness occurred at the end of this trip, we made it home.

The entire trip – start to finish – was far from routine but we had survived all of the curve balls thrown at us.

We are tired (go to the condo at 12:30 AM) but we are home.

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