I flew back to Columbus, OH from New York yesterday. It is finally time for me to get all of my belongings, and officially move everything to my new apartment. No more air mattress life for me. Thank god. The only thing standing in the way was my one way flight from La Guardia to John Glenn International Airport in Columbus.
I had been looking forward to this flight. It's usually a very quick flight. No more than an hour and a half. Also, it was only an extra $30 for me to upgrade to first class, so I took that option, and was going to be flying in style.
Unfortunately, it did not turn out to be a quick flight. Here's a play by play of how everything went. My flight was scheduled to leave at 3pm.
1:30pm - 2:30pm: It was a perfect start to the trip. I arrived at the airport in plenty of time. I had a delicious airport cheeseburger and a bag of beef jerky for lunch.
2:30pm - 2:40pm: We boarded the plan right on time. I was the very first person in my seat. I felt great sitting in the front row of first class. I made sure to make eye contact with all the poors as they made their way back to coach to establish my dominance.
2:45pm: The flight attendant asked me if I wanted a drink before takeoff. I said, "No thank you, sir. It's work hours right now, that would be inappropriate."
3:00pm - 3:30pm: We left the gate and made our way to the runway. We got right up next to the runway and sat there for a minute. That minute turned to 10 minutes. 10 minutes turned to 20 minutes. Next think I knew, it was 3:30pm and we still hadn't left.
3:35pm: Things turn south. The pilot comes on over the loudspeaker and says, "I wanted to give you guys an update, air traffic control has re-routed us, requiring us to fly at a lower altitude. This will require more fuel, so we are checking to see if we have enough fuel in the plane to make it there."
Not exactly what you want to hear on a plane.
3:45pm: The pilot comes over the loudspeaker again, "Turns out we do not have enough fuel in the plane, so we're going to have to go back to the gate and fill up.
Well played, Nick.
4:00pm: We arrive back at the gate. The pilot gave us the option to de-plane if we would like, which seems like a terrible sign. However, he didn't give us an ETA for when we might be leaving, so everyone was afraid to get off. I decided to just wait it out in first class.
4:20pm: I sneak a hit of my weed pen and give a hang loose sign to the teen sitting next to me.
4:30pm: After being at the gate for 30 minutes, the pilot announces that nobody has gotten back to us regarding our request for more fuel. He said that they have fuel up all of the planes that are on time before they get to us. That seems pretty backwards to me. I guess it's better to ruin 50 people's day rather than slightly inconvenience hundreds.
4:35pm: The flight attendant is reading a book and dipping pretzels in hummus
4:40pm: The man behind me asks the flight attendant if he could get a drink while we wait. The flight attendant said, "Unfortunately, we can't do that right now." and he got back to his pretzels and hummus. That also seemed pretty fucked up. We we're literally just sitting there. He served people drinks at the gate when we first boarded. No clue why he couldn't have done that now.
4:45pm: I'm starting to get really annoyed, but I keep my composure. It sucks, but shit happens. I get it. But that's when it got really weird. For some reason, they turned off the plane. We received no explanation for this. Maybe they needed to do it to refuel? Whatever the reason, the plane started to get really hot.
4:50pm: People in the back are getting upset. We'd been on the plane for over 2 hours. People started having to use the restroom. A non-first class person walked up and started to open the restroom door. The flight attendant immediately puts his hand over the door and slams it shut, "I'm sorry you can't use the facilities right now, you'll have to leave the plane for that." Again, we were offered no explanation for this. People started leaving the plane to use the restroom.
4:55pm: Flight attendant continues to eat pretzels and hummus
5:00pm: As we sit there sweating our dicks off, the pilot makes another announcement. "I apologize again for the inconvenience, but while we're stuck here, we have a little treat for you." Ok great, what could this be? I hear some loud honks coming from down the gate. All of the sudden, a clown boards the plane.
5:05pm: "Howdy ho Delta passengers! It's me, Raffles the Clown! I heard some of you might be having a bad day?" Honk, honk. Raffles the Clown turns towards me, squeezes a flower pinned to his lapel and it shoots water into my eye. Then he honks his big clown horn in my ear.
5:10pm: Some of the kids seem to be enjoying it, but overall I don't think many passengers like having a clown on board. Personally, I'm annoyed. Raffles walks up and down the aisle honking his horn and squirting water at passengers for about 10 minutes.
5:20pm: Raffles makes balloon hats for everyone on the plane. At least I have that going for me.
5:30pm: There hasn't been an update in over 30 minutes. I decide to pull out my laptop and write a blog. As soon as I opened it up, the flight attendant slams it shut and screams, "NOT NOW WE'RE REFUELING" That seemed excessive, but at least we're finally refueling.
5:45pm: We sit their sweating our balls off in our balloon hats for another 15 minutes. Raffles is pulling a never-ending chain of colorful scarves out of his sleeve. Finally, the pilot announces that we had refueled and were ready for takeoff.
5:50pm: Before we leave the gate, the pilot comes on the loudspeaker and makes one more announcement, "Unfortunately for everyone, Raffles the Clown will not be joining us on our trip to Columbus, but luckily we have one more surprise that will make this long delay worth it!"
5:55pm: Raffles exits the aircraft. About a minute later, I hear a ghastly laugh. A dark figure emerges from the back of the plane. Raffles the Clown has been replaced by a Dracula.
6:00pm: The Dracula says nothing. He just laughs an evil laugh and ominously walks up and down the aisles in his long black cloak. His face is pale white and he has sharp vampire fangs. He stares through the souls of each and every passenger. All of the children on the plane are crying.
6:15pm: Over 3 hours after our scheduled departure, the plane finally takes off. The Dracula climbs into an overhead compartment and shuts the door.
6:45pm-7:45pm: Since we've been rerouted to a lower altitude, it makes for a crazy flight. Lower altitude means heavier turbulence. I knew we would be flying low, but I didn't think it would be this low. Our plane is weaving in and out of buildings as we pass through Philadelphia. The bottom of the pane skims the Delaware River as the pilot maneuvers underneath the Ben Franklin Bridge. As we exit the city, he performs barrel roll. The lights in the cabin flicker on and off like crazy. The oxygen masks have dropped from above, but the flight attendant insists that everything is under control, and tells us to remain calm. From my front seat, I can see the flight attendant sneak around the corner and snort a line of cocaine. Next thing I know, I hear a loud thud followed by a choking sound coming from the back of the plane. The Dracula has fallen out of the overhead compartment. He's having a heart attack. The flight attendant, racked out of his mind, springs into action and gives the Dracula CPR.
"Don't leave us Dracula!" He exclaims.
Another passenger chimes in, "Hang in there Dracula! Don't go towards the light"
Every child on the plane is screaming bloody murder. The CPR isn't working, so the flight attendant runs to the front of the plane to get a defibrillator machine. Unfortunately, by the time he gets back, it's too late. The Dracula is dead. The flight attendant punches me in the back of the head out of frustration. This is the 3rd Dracula he's lost this year. We ride in silence for the next 30 minutes as we fly 100 feet over the top of every city on the way back to Columbus.
8:00pm-8:15pm: We arrive at John Glenn International Airport in Columbus, OH. It's a somber mood on the plane. Although the Dracula was a menace, we have all grew fond of him. It feels like we lost a friend. Before we can get off the plane, the EMT's come on board and take the dead Dracula off on a stretcher. We all pay our respects as they carry his body down the aisle. Luckily, since I'm in first class, I am the first one off the plane. I call an Uber and make it back home to pack for my move.