12 December 2011

3 of 3 - done - I'm here!!!!

Three of three was a challenge... things were going to good to keep it up for the night and into the morning. I arrived in Newark at 5:11 PM and my final flight was to start at 7:30 PM. I was comfortable and relaxed and ready to settle in for the long flight across the Atlantic.

I looked at the TV monitors and it showed the Manchester flight but it didn't show a gate or anything else. I went to customer service to ask where the flight would be leaving from. My ticket said gate 120... customer service said 102.

So I went to 102 and it was crowded... two hours before my flight and it was standing room only. I went up to the counter and asked again at Manchester. I was told I was at the right gate but it would be the flight after this one. The folks that were there were waiting to board a plane for Houston. They finally boarded their plane about two hours late and I began wondering what would happen to me.

I looked at the monitor again and this time for Manchester it said the flight departed from gate 108. Now I was in a panic... and again I was told I was in the right place that the monitor was wrong.

So I sat and waited and more people arrived... a bunch wearing “I love NY” shirts and hoodies and as I talked to a few of them I realized I was in the right place. I was surrounded by that lovely English accent.

Then over the microphone came those dreaded words, there was a mechanical problem with the plane and we would be taking off about 8 PM. Half hour late, not to bad I thought. Then at 8 PM a new notice, the plane was still being worked on and we'd be taking off at 9 PM. And guess what? When 9 o'clock came around we were told it would be 10 PM. And there was one other problem. The plane was overbooked. They were looking for five volunteers to take a later flight. This was not looking good.

Thankfully a bunch of college kids volunteered because they would get $400 off a future flight and other discounts. One problem solved. Now all I needed was to get on the plane.

A little before 10 PM we took off from Newark. I was so excited just to get out of that terminal, yet I have a feeling my first day in England I will be kind of a zombie. Looking at the good things though... I am truly happy that it happened on my last flight because I had no other flights to catch. Second, yes I was stuck in the terminal, but that was still better then being stuck on the plane.

Anyway, right now I'm writing this at 35,000 feet and we are just leaving Maine and heading out over the water. The crazy part is that this seven hour flight will be done in five and a half hours so I won't arrive too late. There is a really good strong tail wind so we will be making good time and traveling at 560 mph, hopefully I will be passing through customs before 9 AM.

My holiday has begun. I'm in the terminal having a mug of coffee and relaxing with my hostess...

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