It is 8:30 pm.
My day, in short.
Up at 5:00. Shower and pack.
5:40. Drive to airport and communicate with Jeff and Laura about how to get Frank’s Car.
8:40- Arrive Detroit.
Noon Flight is canceled.
I am put on a 2 pm flight.
It is delayed.
It has a gate change.
It has another gate change.
I check in to get my boarding pass. Ticket agent swipes me twice. Then says “You are already on the plane.” I think this an odd comment, buy hey, everyone is frazzled. More on this later.
We board just as I am reading the news about how all Interstates in East and southern PA are closed. I-80 (mine) is almost impassable.
As it turns out, my boarding pass says I am Jenny Warren. She is a nice horse trainer from Wisconsin. Her boarding pass says Jenny Warren. The ticket agent took my old boarding pass when she gave me this one. I never checked to see if it had my name on it.
Ticket agent comes on board and says we are over critical weight and we have to fly with 49/50 passengers. He has to kick off someone. WTF? Shouldn’t a commercial plane be over-engineered to carry the weight of 50 really, really fat or dense people??? He asks where “Jodii Cromaz” is. I realize it is me. He is thinking about kicking me off but I point out I had a confirmed boarding pass which the other ticketing agent took when she performed a technical though not anatomical sex change and made me the very nice Jenny Warren. Who is sitting next to me. His swift weight-conscious judgment falls on the last stand-by passenger. He gets booted. The stewardess starts complaining about how she is on the 7th day of her rotation.
We fly. All seems fine.
We start descending into AVP airport. It is very bumpy. No visibility out the side windows. Swirling wind and snow. Plane feels like it is accelerating and decelerating several times. Woman across the aisle says she can see the ground at 300 ft. I can too, but in patches. Stewardess looks like she is trying to look calm.
Pilot comes on and says he cannot land.
We are going to Syracuse, NY- 20 minutes away.
We land. A huddle between stewardess, pilot, and local gate agent. We will call him John. John comes on the PA and says that they are looking into things.
I start texting frantically.
John comes back on and says we can not go back to AVP. The conditions will not improve in short term. So, since there are fewer hotel rooms than us, and Syracuse is smaller than Knoxville’s airport, our best option is to fly back to DETROIT. Ugh. He says it is too dangerous to take ground transport to AVP. He says if any of us do anything that makes the plane stay in Syracuse for more than 60 minutes the flight crew will be beyond it’s legal maximum for working hours and something vague and menacing will happen.
We deplane so we can pee and they bring us sandwiches.
I call a hotel and car company thanks to some quick texting and googling on Mike and Virginia’s part.
I ask the other gate agent (not John) if I can get my carry on bag. I explain to her that I am not Jenny Warner, but that I am Jordi and I am getting off the plane.
I’ll crash here and drive down to Scranton tomorrow, get my car (Bernie), and then Bernie and I will put out our hands in the fine people of PennDOT and their big snow plows to go home on I-80.
Which is how I ended up writing you this email from a Holiday Inn in Syracuse while I wait for some steak tacos to be delivered.