Friday miscellany: Lots of time in airports (and not much at the destination)

It has been quite the week. I recorded the audiobook of Tranquility by Tuesday on Monday and Tuesday. That now seems like a lifetime ago as Wednesday and Thursday were consumed by travel and the associated mishaps.

I was booked to give a speech in Tampa at 8:50 a.m. on Thursday. I planned to fly from PHL to Tampa on the last direct flight on Wednesday (4:15 p.m.). The plane boarded on time, but then there was some issue with an armrest that had to be repaired. Then maintenance took a little longer and we were slightly delayed. Then we needed to be rerouted around storms that had moved in (possibly during our delay? It was unclear.). The route that air traffic control gave us required more fuel than we had. The pilots and air traffic control went back and forth on this several times. No route was agreed upon, so after almost two hours on the tarmac, we went back to the gate to get more fuel. Alas, at that point, one of our pilots timed out. We all had to deplane as theoretically the airline was finding a reserve, but that did not happen. About 30 minutes later they canceled the flight.

So, what to do? I wound up rebooking on the 7 a.m. flight that got in to Tampa at 9:30. This was, of course, after the original speech was to start, but the hosts agreed to move things around. My speech would now start at 10:15. Fortunately, the venue was only a short distance from the Tampa airport. I’d talk, get back in the car, and with any luck make my original flight home (12:05 p.m.!)

It did seem like much could go wrong in this scenario, what with being on the ground in Tampa for only 2.5 hours, but after the Wednesday disaster, Thursday was fairly charmed. I left my house in Pennsylvania at 5:30 a.m., and was back home in my house by 4 p.m. In between, I went all the way to Florida and back! And gave a speech. We finished at 11:05 a.m., I got in the car and made my flight with plenty of time to spare. Hurrah.

I’m doing Mommy Day #3 this weekend, which will be a bit more elaborate, so more to come on that…

My Medium column this week looked at How to Stop Wishing Time Away.

The Before Breakfast podcast covered several topics, including “Don’t be minute wise and hour foolish,” that “Your friends are my friends,” and why you should “Track time while off the clock.”

Photo: I have no actual photos of Tampa, so this early morning picture of the parking lot at PHL will have to do. I always snap a photo of my car’s location and what deck of the parking garage I’m on. I think I’ll remember but…I don’t. 

4 thoughts on “Friday miscellany: Lots of time in airports (and not much at the destination)

  1. I am glad they were able to move your speech to a different time. What a crappy experience. Sitting on the tarmac is the absolutely worst in my opinion. Time feels like it stands still when you are waiting to take off.

    1. @Lisa- I kept thinking “at least I don’t have any kids with me!” I read a book so I wasn’t exactly suffering….Annoyed, yes. But not suffering!

      1. “Annoyed, but not suffering” … that’s so wise Laura. I am amazed at your natural tendency of looking at all the positive things (no kids, a book to read) even when things are going wrong. This perspective is so difficult for me to arrive at. My first reaction is always panic 😔

  2. Maybe this is just my circles or my country of residence, but here you’d have gotten so much debate (to put it nicely) for flying somewhere for such a short time. The climate mindset has gotten intense around me, also in business environments.

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