Courtesy of US Airways

Today I am fly­ing to Philadel­phia for a brief week­end vis­it with my par­ents and a cou­ple of my sis­ters. Or rather, I am try­ing to.

Let me pref­ace all of this with a warn­ing so dire, you would be fool­hardy to ignore it: fly not on US Air­ways.

This morn­ing, while I was relax­ing at home, wife safe­ly off to work, chil­dren in her care for the next 54 hours, I got a call. It was a record­ing, and I almost hung up in a reflex honed dur­ing this past elec­toral sea­son.

But just as soon as I had deter­mined that this was not a Real Per­son on the oth­er end, a mul­ti-phon­ic chime of the sort you hear in an air­port told me that while not Real, this was prob­a­bly a call I should lis­ten to. US Air­ways was inform­ing me that my flight had been can­celled. Noth­ing else beyond an 800 num­ber if, IF!, I had any ques­tions. Like, what was I sup­posed to do now?

The young woman on the oth­er end of the 800 num­ber help­ful­ly got me a seat on anoth­er flight leav­ing at 2:30, two hours lat­er than my orig­i­nal, arriv­ing in Philadel­phia at 9:30, five hours lat­er than I was sup­posed to be there, with a stop in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Did I want that flight, she asked help­ful­ly. And I refrained from sug­gest­ing that my oth­er option seemed to be hand­ing her my tick­et mon­ey and stay­ing home.

When I got to the air­port, I was informed that my 2:30 flight was now going to be tak­ing off at 4:00, and that I might have to run in DC. This with a help­ful smile.

In the end, the flight was­n’t so bad once I got off the ground. Rea­gan Nation­al Air­port even man­aged to pro­vide a vanil­la milk­shake in the ter­mi­nal, which can’t be all bad. I sat next to a nice young woman from a com­pa­ny called… Van­gard? Vagrant? I thought I’d remem­ber it, but I’m pret­ty sure it was­n’t Vagrant. And then next to a very seri­ous young man in a suit, who remind­ed me a lit­tle fright­en­ing­ly of Pee Wee Her­man crossed with Tim Roth. He spent the whole flight in zen-crazy mode, hands flat on his thighs, star­ing straight ahead. Though I did catch him nod­ding off a lit­tle.

By Danny

My name is Danny, and I grew up living overseas, but have settled in Kansas, where it turns out some of my family started, back when. I am helping to raise my own family, and hoping to be proud of what I've done when it's all over.