As I went to bed last night I had incredibly high spirits. I was headed to the conference most closely connected to my job description. Thanks to a cheap flight making travel on Saturday with the extra night’s hotel being cheaper than flying up Sunday, I had thought I could participate in some added fun with an conference tour. Sure, I’d be a bit late but I went to bed knowing how fun my Saturday would be.
I was heading via cab to a session on how agriculture is using new media as part of the Agricultural Media Summit. And since new media is a passion and I had several friends met through Twitter on that tour, I was picturing a great time. And I contemplated visiting some friends dairy farm – which would be a first for me.
All that changed at 1:49 a.m. when American Airlines woke me up notifying me of a flight cancellation. I tried to look at the good and bad. Sure I’d miss the tour discussion, but I would be able to sleep in rather than take a 6 a.m. flight. That sounded good.
As I went back to sleep I thought maybe I could just visit the farm. As I type this up, I simply hope to arrive in Minneapolis tonight. I’ve given up on the benefit of the extra day. But I am only bummed about it, not taking it out on anyone else. That shows progress!
Here are some points that may have pushed me to a temper outburst:
- Was to have left at 6 a.m., then 11:30, then 12:30 p.m., then 2, then 4:05. We finally left a gate around 4:30 p.m.
- I am forever thankful for flying with my carryon. First two proposed flights wer on American. When it became delays would result in me landing for a connection 10minutes after the connecting flight was to take off, I was given 2 options. Fly to Chicago and spend 5 hours waiting for a flight that was fully booked. (obviously a loser) or take a 4 pm flight to Dallas & connect to Minneapolis arriving around 9 p.m. I explained door #3 was for him to get me on Delta so I could get a direct flight. And Griff did just that. He convinced them to give me a seat in the 5:15 and I thought i’d head home. Checked with Delta first and the agent Cathie thought I may be able to get on the 2 o’clock as a standby. She went ahead and moved me to the 4 though and assigned a seat. I went back through security and found myself some lunch.
- Waiting for the 2 p.m. I figured out quickly I’d be waiting for the 4 p.m.they were asking for volunteers to get off and found none. They pulled 5 folks.
- I’ve held in my hand tickets for three flights today – never got boarding passes printed for the first flight.
- At the gate for the 4 p.m., I was waiting for the gate agent to get the flight to Vegas out (obviously didn’t need to go there with my luck). As one agent left the area, and the other went down on the jet bridge closing the flight, a flight attendant came up short on patience. She was supposed to be working the closing flight. She went to the windows begging the pilots. It was a sight to see.
- After we left the gate, we actually sat on the Tarmac revving the engine. This was done to burn fuel since we were a few hundred pounds heavy. Seriously. Never did that before. Pilots said we burned off 40 gallons & could be on our way.
- The whole time we were burning off fuel, a teenager next to me was trying to disguise wearing her iPod by putting the hood of her sweatshirt up (yes in Memphis in July). Nevermind it was loud enough for everyone to hear and she was bopping her head and feet.
Added Sunday night: My plans changed half a dozen times and I missed out on some really cool stuff but I was able to have a great dinner with lots of fresh air, visiting with Steve Fairchild. And Sunday was incredibly productive with work and fun with work friends and new faces. John Blue of Truffle Media even made my travel story Here are some photos of the day. Tried to put twitter IDs as well! As you will see, we have started talking with lots of editors — plan to hit that hard tomorrow. Now to get this scheduled!
The folks in the photos:
Another set of photos from later in the show are posted here.