Saturday, March 28, 2009

i think i'm going to have

a short series of short stories about

vacation week - 2009
[spring break]

The beginning is a good place to start.

Day 1
Sunday, March 22, we decided to take an extra day before actual plane departure. We booked a room at a north-side Indianapolis Hotel for Sunday night. For the main event we went to a movie and saw the Nicholas Cage thriller "Knowing". After shopping at a supermarket, we went to our room for dinner. Miscellaneous TV completed our Sunday adventure until we fell to sleep.

Day 2
Monday was a sleep in. When we finally went down for breakfast, they were almost done serving. After checking out, we went downtown. Lunch at the Indiana State Museum Cafe was followed by viewing a movie at the IMAX theatre. Then it was time to head to the airport. We booked long-term parking at the Adam's Mark Hotel. For $5 per day they not only allow you to park there, they shuttle you to your terminal and pick you up on return.

The new airport terminal is absolutely fantastic [my humble subjective opinion].
We had pre-checked in online and were also able to print our boarding passes in advance. This allowed us to go directly to the gate for boarding. So far so good.

Then it started getting interesting - and only a little stressful.

The previous incoming flight at our gate was to discharge, then reload and take off for another destination. While they were reloading, it was determined it had a mechanical problem, and could not pull away from the gate area. All those passengers then had to be placed on other planes and flights to get to where they were headed. That was very time consuming, to say the least.

It had our gate blocked up. The incoming flight that was to be our outbound flight now could not come in to the original gate. They had to find another gate for it...and all of us who were scheduled to go out on it had to change gates. Lost time was realtively not too bad...about 1/2 hour and we were ready to start boarding at the new gate.

As the first group of passengers to board were lining at the gate, one of them - an older gentlemen - seemed to pass out. As everyone in line moved out of the way, the ticket agents came over and tried to move him off the floor and into a chair. They realized he was more than passed out. Emergency crews were summoned from the Airport Fire & Rescue Station. While they were en-route a passenger who seemed to know what to do, began doing chest compressions. A fight attendant ran on board the plane and came back with a portable defibrillator. When the emergency people arrived they continued with occasional shocks and chest compressions. After about 30-minutes they had him revived and stabilized for transport to a local hospital, but had to wait for the ambulance to arrive.

Thank God he was talking and breathing as they left with him.

Forty minutes late already, they were able to resume the boarding process. We were then in the air to Dallas-Fort Worth airport where we had a connection to make going on to Phoenix. The pilot did a good job and was able to make up about half of the lost time.

For us, the saga was to continue.

We arrived at our connecting gate in time for our next leg of the journey. We then discovered that not only had the gate been changed, but it was in an entirely different terminal. But we weren't late because there was a delay involved on this flight, too. Once boarded and ready to depart, the plane pulled away from the gate and headed to the tarmac - where we sat for over an hour awaiting the delivery of commissary supplies. All of this happened because of the original gate change. We eventually left from Dallas for Phoenix, and arrived about 1-1/2 hour after the original planned arrival.

Then we caught a shuttle to our hotel for the night. The next morning, Tuesday, we would get our rental car and head to Lake Havasu City.

[to be continued]

No comments: