The fiendish Airline-

My time was good but not wonderful getting back to New Century, so I gave them back their car with a half empty tank, I live in fear of what they will charge me to fill it up.

The taxi came lickety split and we got to the airport in 37 minutes, more than an hour before the flight to Sacramento at 610pm. I paid the taxi with the $50 Janet gave me, plus some more since he didn't want to take my credit card. It was good to be early since I was wearing 3 inch stilettos and still draggin my pull along with 3 heavy books inside, my V1 and car stuff and oh yeah, some clothes... I checked the monitor for the gate and found my flight listed as "On Time" and departing from gate 84. It was a bit of a walk to gate 84. No problem, I took my time and stood in line with some other folks, we all wondering why the gate sign didn't say "Sacramento." I volunteered to go up and ask if it was the right gate. I hadn't even reached the desk when the gate agent barked, "I AM NOT ANSWERING ANY QUESTIONS!" I waited for her to add: "That's a LOADING ZONE". I said that I just wanted to be sure I was in the right line for Sacramento. "Your flight is delayed, leaving at 750!" She said it like it was a punishment for speaking to her. Thus began the madness.

I went to a pay phone to call my travel agency to see if there was another flight to Sacramento. I was holding easily 20 minutes for an agent to come to the phone. Meanwhile I noticed that these phones had a "data port". So holding one phone on one shoulder, I started digging in my bags for all the bits and pieces to plug in my Libretto. I was on my knees at this point. I tried everything to use that data port with my calling card, credit card and pocket change- nothing worked. I called the MCI operator and he said I should go their web page and download some software. I told him if I could get to his web page I wouldn't need the data port. I went through several operators, 0, 00, 007... no one knew how to use the pay phone data port. Just as someone's supervisor got on the line, my agency answered the other phone.
I asked the agent about other flights and she said all she saw was United. I had looked at the flight schedules before I left and I *knew* there were other airlines. I couldn't think of a name. Then I remembered Janet telling me about the Southwest shuttle and sure enough the agent managed to find those flights.
Southwest had a shuttle at 730pm, but it looked sold out.
United had been so rude and unkind to us and besides I had 2 hours at least to wait for that 750pm unexplained delay flight so I decided to take my chances with Southwest.
Getting to Southwest was another story. The United agents kinda knew where the Southwest terminal was and kinda directed me to the airport bus- except they were wrong by about a half mile that I walked on the road median inside ring looking for the "A" bus.
There were 3 buses that are scheduled to arrive every 10 minutes, A, B, and C. I saw about 6 Bs and Cs and then of course 15 minutes of bus exhaust and heat later, came 2 "A" buses to terminal 1.
The instant I stepped on the sidewalk of Southwest's terminal, things got better and stayed that way.
Everyone was very nice and competent and directed me the easy and short route to their ticket counter. The Ticket Agent, Evelyn heard my sad tale and was really sweet about the whole thing. I was the only person on the stand by list for that flight, and as I was really ragged, she called ahead and put me on the waitlist. Their one escalator was down and a nice girl helped me with the pull along on the stairs- even though I told her I was OK. The terminal was comfortably cool, everything was right and by the time I got to the gate, they cleared me onto the flight. When I knew I was changing planes I called my friend, Pam, who was picking me up in Sacramento and left a message, which she didn't get. I thought it'd be a good idea to ask her if she carries a cell phone when I see her. Nice company again on the plane. When I arrived at Sacramento I paged Pam on the white courtesy phone (I get a kick out of that anyway) and she was there to pick me up lickety split in her convertible Sebring. Ahhhhhh.
Goin' West
Part 1 ~~ Part 2 ~~ Part 3 ~~ Part 4 ~~ Part 5 ~~ Part 6 ~~ Part 7 ~~
Breakfast of Champions
Part 8 ~~ Part 9 ~~
The August 5th Malibu Canyon German Roadster Rebellion
Part 10 ~~ Part 11 ~~ Part 12 ~~ Part 13 ~~ Part 14 ~~ Part 15 ~~
Part 16 ~~ Part 17 ~~ Part 18 ~~ Part 19 ~~ Part 20 ~~ Part 21 ~~ Part 22 ~~ Part 23 ~~ Part 24 ~~ Part 25 ~~
Part 26 ~~ Part 27 ~~ Part 28 ~~ Part 29 ~~ Part 30 ~~ Part 31 ~~ Part 32 ~~ Part 33 ~~ Part 34 ~~
Stockton, San Francisco and Getting Home
Part 35 ~~ Part 36 ~~ Part 37 ~~
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