David Royko Psy.D

david@davidroyko.com

DELAYED IN DALLAS

Tucson to Dallas to Chicago via American Airlines, a blizzard, and Facebook

Sunday-Monday, February 1-2, 2015
 Landing in Tucson
Flying in Wednesday night took less time than the return to Chicago 4 days later.

Click on the photo (above) to see the small gallery of pics from the trip.
 
On Super Bowl Sunday 2015, a blizzard hit the Midwest, and by Monday morning, accompanied by 45 mph winds, it had dumped 19 inches of snow, with huge drifts to boot. The fifth-biggest snow in Chicago’s history was not a surprise. The weather-people had been warning us with appropriate hysterics. So against all advice, pleading, dire predictions, and rational thought, I was on my plane as it took off from Tucson at 1:04pm, headed for a scheduled 90-minute layover in Dallas before catching a connecting flight scheduled to land at 8:00pm in Chicago.

This is how it went, via Facebook.

I haven’t included the many, many replies from Facebook friends, unless they pertained to a reply of mine. Those who are included are: Brian S (long-time close friend); Mary (friend and music teacher from Jake’s grade school days); Molly (friend from work); Patty, Brian R, Howard (high school friends); Mike (grammar school friend); and Amy (family).


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2015

1:25pm
David Royko: At the Tucson airport waiting to begin my journey into the belly of the beast, aka the greatest blizzard in Chicago history since at least 1641, after a 90-minute (so they claim) layover in Dallas, which I guess is the esophagus of the beast. I wonder how comfortable the seats are for sleeping overnight at the Dallas airport. And as I predicted, the first shadow I saw this whole stay was in the car on the way here. I do appreciate the sun not coming out before this and ruining my trip.

Tucson pre-flight


4:41pm
David Royko: The adventure continues - Chicago flight canceled, waiting in rebook line. Molly, tell them hello from Dallas!

5:33pm
David Royko: In Dallas. Overnight tonight in a Quality Inn. Back at the airport on standby tomorrow by 6 a.m.. Hey, I knew this was a very good possibility, or maybe a very bad possibility, but who can pass up a no-expenses-paid night in Dallas!

5:36pm
David Royko: Can't help much from here, Molly. Except to recommend that everyone wears long pants and not shorts.

6:33pm
David Royko: From what I can tell watching the Weather Channel (hey, Tom Skilling is their big guest star tonight!) from my Quality Inn hotel room (and I now know how relative the term "Quality" can be), I actually might be better off here in Dallas than back home in the arctic a.k.a. Chicago. The storm’s even been named Linus and how cute is that?!?

Patty: Sounds like a fun adventure! All expenses paid detour to Dallas? Stay there as long as you need to and be safe!
Mike: I will be in Dallas tomorrow. If you are still stranded how about lunch?

7:25pm
David Royko: All expenses paid, Patty? Fat chance, but the Quality Inn ain't exactly pricey, and I am getting what I paid for. But nothing has bitten me so far, so all is well. And Mike, that would make all of this almost worth it, but if I am lucky, I will be on a 6:45 a.m. flight out of here, and worse comes to worst, I will leave at 1pm for Indianapolis, getting to Chicago at 6pm. So my lunch tomorrow will be either in Chicago, or Indianapolis. Guess which one I am hoping for.

Howard: Enjoy Dallas, I don't think you are getting any farther than that.

7:35pm
David Royko: Ever, Howard? Damn, Karen is already pissed enough. And I just saw on TV, is there some football game going on? I thought football season was over.

Molly: Why did you leave in the first place?

7:58pm
David Royko: Because Karen and her mother said I shouldn't. In other words, Molly, I'm a guy. I thought you knew that.

Molly: I know but look what you put yourself through.

8:03pm
David Royko: A night in Dallas? I'm the luckiest man in the world.

Brian R: I wonder if they have casinos there?

8:16pm
David Royko: No idea, Brian, but the gas station across the street had some beer.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2015

Brian S: Too bad you weren't routed through Denver or Seattle.

12:16am
David Royko: I should have grabbed that super cheap flight that went from Tucson to Chicago with the layover through Amsterdam, Brian.

Mary: Why are you awake? Is there a quality issue?

12:56am
David Royko: Just getting up to relieve myself if you must know, Mary, and check to see if my morning flight hasn't been cancelled already before I even get to be a standby passenger, but so far so good. Quality issues? At a Quality Inn? For 46 bucks a night? Only if you would consider the gap under the door being wide enough and the hallway light bright enough to provide an excellent night light, or the bathtub faucet turning all the way around so is never quite off but is no problem because you can't hear the trickle when the bathroom door is closed, or the mini fridge in the room that doesn't seem too cool but makes some fascinating sounds every 20 minutes easily combated by sleeping with a pillow over my head, or the parking lot with two different car alarms going off earlier and making me glad I don't have a car parked in that lot, or my first floor room having the outside window screen busted halfway out though I can't be sure if it was to break in or break out, or the TV with a picture with a messed up brightness control set high enough that all the Family Guy characters have faces with no features rendering them all the same person, or the walls thin enough for me to know that my next door neighbor was watching the news in Spanish, and also apparently had a dinner with a high bean content, to be "quality issues." Now back to bed I go with my alarm set for 4:30 a.m. Sweet dreams!

5:20am
David Royko: Back at the Dallas place for planes, American Airlines gate number lucky 13. I'm 19 of 58 on the standby list for the 6:45am flight to O'Hare. And the beat goes on. Keep hope alive.

Mary: I have been worried about you. Are you on the plane yet?

6:55am
David Royko: Thanks for worrying about me Mary but I don't think I am in any danger unless there's an ISIS unit in Dallas.

6:56am
David Royko: No standbys called for the 6:45 flight so I'm now at Gate D6 hoping for the 7:40 flight which I doubt will be any different. Then of course there's the 8:56 flight after that, which I'm absolutely sure I will get on, unless I don't get on.

7:17am
David Royko: I know I haven't had quite enough sleep, but I swear a bird just flew by and down the hallway. At least something is flying this morning.

7:21am
David Royko: And now he/she is back, and perched in the D6 waiting area, serenading me.

7:47am
David Royko: Now time to head to gate A23 for the 8:56 flight. Actually, feeling a bit optimistic for the first time in 14 hours since a whole boatload, or of course, planeload, of standby passengers were called for the 7:40 flight. I think I was around number 19, so I might actually get out on the 8:56. Sorry to all, this is one of those Facebook threads that has become about as interesting as drying paint on a growing lawn. But what the hell else do I have to do? At least everyone else has the option of ignoring this crap. Keep. Hope. Alive. Again.

8:27am
David Royko: At a mobbed gate A23. Having oodles of minutes, I walked from D to A, having taken the tram from A to D an hour ago. Asking first a pilot and a little later a flight attendant directions to walk here instead of tramming it, both warned me how long a walk it would be and that I really should take the tram, even after telling them I had all the time in the world, or at least in Dallas. And how long was it even with a quick duck into the men's room? 20 minutes. I handled it.

8:37am
David Royko: Hallelujah, praise be whomever/whatever you prefer, my number was up. I am on the 8:56 getting into O'Hare direct flight at 11:04am. For those who have kept up with this, thank you for your support.

 

 Dallas pre-flight


9:00am
David Royko: Addendum. Very very last row, on a huge plane (767), right next to the bathroom, so won't have to go far to, well, go.

 

 The huge 767 and the bathroom, as taken from my seat in the very back.

Amy: Wow! I just wanted to get in on the comments! Welcome back Dave!

12:15pm
David Royko: Almost there Amy, in the taxi heading from O'Hare. Looks like we've had some snow.

12:27
HOME! Only 15 hours late.