June 11, 2007
To St. Louis & Back in 12 Hours
Yesterday, I had to unfortunately fly to St. Louis last minute. Late Friday afternoon, I got word from my wife that her grandfather passed away. Although the passing was expected, one is truly never fully ready for such an event. I won't talk more about the funeral, because some things are best kept private in some situations.
My brother-in-law, the same one who mistakenly thought "The Algorithm" was Google, booked the flights. He booked his flight and my flight on the same schedule.
The whole immediate family in New York flew in to St. Louis on a Sunday morning flight at 7:55am. The funeral was early afternoon. The funeral was over at about 3pm. On the way back from the funeral, we looked up the next flight out. It was at 4:10pm. Our flight was scheduled for 7:20pm. So we decided to go to the airport and see if we can get on the 4:10pm flight. Why? Well, it was raining and there was a chance that we would not make it back at all that night. Just my brother-in-law and I were scheduled to fly out that night. When we got back from the funeral, there were tons of people in the house. One of the people offered to drive us to the airport, so my brother-in-law, my wife (who came for the ride) and I took off to the airport.
We arrived at the airport about 3:40pm, asked the lady if it looks good for standby on the 4:10. She said, there are about 25 seats open, so it looks good. We got to the gate after going through security (I picked up some geek travel tips) and the guy at the gate said it should be no problem. Ten minutes later, he called folks on standby and we got on.
Now get this....
We ask for a seat together, they give us the first row behind first class. Row 7. In addition, there was no person between us in the 3 row seat. Wonderful seats. I am not done.... Typically, if you are sitting in the higher rows, your "Group Number," the numbers they call when they board you, is the last one. So folks in the back of the plane have group number one, while folks in the front of the plane have group number six. We actually got group number one.
People are walking by me while I sit in row 7, and I feel like I cheated them. I always wonder how so many people get on before me, and are sitting so far upfront, when I should be in a higher group number. Now I was one of them!
In any event, it was a nice flight. Seats were excellent. Landed at 7:30pm as opposed to 11pm (which rocked). This was my first flight where I went and came in under 12 hours. Had a nice conversation with my brother-in-law. And the drive back was pretty decent.
All of this in light of a sad day.