Saturday, May 26, 2007

American Airlines - We Know Why You, uh, Fly

Don't tempt the American gods. American Airlines that is. Don't post that your travel woes cannot get worse. I love American Airlines - they're paying for my vacation next week, but the depths I have to go to earn that vacation ...

I was at the airport in Austin on Thursday afternoon for my 45 minute flight back to Dallas. I found out when I arrived that all flights had been cancelled. The ticket counter area was packed wall to wall like some bad mass exodus movie. I left and found a relatively quiet spot away from the crowds and called American. 30 mins later, I got through:

Me: I'm at the airport. All flights are cancelled. Can you get me on the next flight to DFW?

AA: The next flight to DFW is at 6:00 pm tonight.

Me: Huh?

AA: Yeah, 6:00 pm tonight. They must have just added some flights.

Me: I'll take it!

AA: OK, you're confirmed on AA9332, leaving 6:00 pm, arriving 9:15 pm. (foreshadowing)

I head on back to the ticketing area to get my boarding pass, which of course doesn't spit out of the self-service machines. I wandered over to an American agent talking to another sorry sap, and I overheard her saying "You're all set. This is your boarding pass. It leaves at 6:00 pm for Dallas. Go downstairs and out to curbside and the bus will pick you up there."

Whack! Bus? BUS? BUS?

Yes, boys and girls. American BUSlines, now serving the friendly highways. Even that wasn't on time. It left late, took longer than the estimated 3:15, and dropped me off at DFW at 10:30 pm. At least I was almost home.

Fast forward to today. I signed up for this race after getting a comment from Susan asking if was going to run it. It was a small race, maybe a hundred or so runners. I saw Massoman there, who was giving massages at the registration tent, but no Susan - where were ye?!

I was thinking of just running the race slow and for fun, but when it started, I went out too fast again. The mile 1 marker was way way off and I hit it in 9:45. Mile 2 seemed properly marked. At mile 3 I could see the finish, and knew I had a chance. I crossed in 23:44 unofficially, a PR again by 14 seconds. I'm pretty happy!

8 comments:

jeanne said...

oh my lord. a BUS?!?! you could have run home faster.

Runner Susan said...

I'm sorry Rich . . . I chickend out in the rain. I'm sooo bad.

Bex said...

Holy Smokes on the PR! Great time! I gotta get serious about my training. And re American Airlines. Sigh. Sometimes travel is just a pain in the ass.

Runner Susan said...

congrats on the PR too!

peter said...

Another race, another PR. So humdrum. I'm jealous. I haven't PRed in a 5K since 2001.

David said...

so you did sub-7 minute splits on Miles 2 and 3; down from a 9:45 start? Can you imagine if ....

massoman said...

smoked it! nice job rich.

i was there giving out free samples and then i went over to runon to continue giving demos and try to answer questions.

Anne said...

Sounds like American owes you more than a vacation -- they woe you another PR! I think your recent experiences are now the standard service we can expect. It's making me not look forward to my own upcoming trip.