I arrived safely in Kansas City Friday evening around 11:00 p.m., just in time to wish my youngest son, Tim, happy birthday on his thirty-second. Tim and Erin met me at the Kansas City Airport (MCI) along with my oldest son, Nick, and my grandson, Boone. I didn't know that Nick and Boone would be there - what a wonderful surprise!
I woke up on Okinawa at 5:00 a.m. on September 23rd, and stepped off of the airplane in Kansas City at 11:00 p.m. on September 23rd - but it was actually 28 hours after I had gotten out of bed. The International Date Line plays hell with Circadian rhythms! (By the time I finally got to sleep I had been up 31 hours!)
Here are a few trip highlights after leaving Narita, Japan. First of all, I was disgusted to learn that American Airlines had seen fit to sit me in the middle seat in a row of five - directly behind a lady who spent the entire flight combing her hair and laying her seat back to where it was almost in my lap. I had requested an aisle seat, and if I had known that American would pull a stunt like that - I would have taken the bus! American Airlines - you suck!
Disclaimer: People who own stock in American Airlines might want to quit reading at this point.
The flight out of Narita left 50 minutes late, so I was fairly certain that I would not be able to catch my connecting flight from Dallas to Kansas City - but the America ticket agent in Narita told me that I would have plenty of time. I knew that I would have to clear customs in Dallas and suspected that she was lying through her teeth - and she was. I literally ran across most of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport (DFW) and managed to get through everything just a few minutes after my flight should have left. "Good news," the next ticket agent told me - that flight had been delayed by half-an-hour.
After racing across the airport again and doing a dance with the anal TSA animals, I got to the new gate ten minutes before the plane was to have left. "I'm sorry, Mr. Macy," the man at the desk said. "You failed to show. The plane is full." I explained that I had indeed "showed" - that it was me standing in front of him - to no avail, of course!
Two young men with even a sadder tale showed up at that counter just behind me. They had tickets on the later flight, the one that I eventually boarded, but a clerk at that counter told them that for $50 each he could get them on the earlier one. "Nope," the clerk snorted. "The plane is full." To top it off, they weren't able to get their extra fifties back! Those guys spent the intervening three hours getting drunk and then sat across from me on the later flight to Kansas City. They were really, really funny by the time the plane took off!
American Airlines, you are a bunch of thieving bastards, and you suck!
While at the DFW I needed to get in touch with Tim to let him know not to head to the airport in Kansas City because I would be on a later flight. I didn't have a stateside cell phone, and I couldn't figure out how to connect to the DFW Wi-Fi system. I tried the credit-card payphones, but could get any of the three to work. Finally a good Samaritan recognized the look of homicidality on my face and stepped forward and let me use her cell phone.
The good Samaritan told me as I was walking away that my leg was bleeding. I had cut it on one of the seats as I was trying to exit the flying can from Narita. It was a fairly significant cut. She told me to find the airport first aid station and get it looked at. Turns out there is no first aid station in all of DFW - at least that's what I was told. One employee suggested that I buy some Neosporin at one of their many stores and quit whining. There are, of course, no stores in the whole damned airport that sell anything in the way of medical supplies.
(If any rabid lawyers out there would like to sue American Airlines on my behalf for a share in the take, get it touch! Nice guys need not apply!)
American Airlines, you are a public menace, a bunch of thieving bastards, and you suck! And DFW, you are no prize either!
(In fairness, there are some good people working for American Airlines, and I had the good fortune to meet a couple of them.)
But I am now safely in Kansas City, God's in Her heaven, and all is right with the world!