I traveled from Honolulu to Washington, DC yesterday….or was it today, maybe tomorrow? It was all going so well till the red-eye Honolulu plane had a “maintenance problem”. Now I don’ t know about you but the last plane I want to be on is one with a maintenance problem. We left the gate and then we went back to the gate. It doesn’t help that we were running late already because of the checked bag fee. No one wants to pay the fee so if you are not on the plane immediately and cram your oversized carry-on into the not enough overhead space, you are out of luck. BUT, if you check the bag at the gate, it is free. So for the stupid people like me who just pay the fee, we are stuck waiting while all these schemers check their stuff at the gate for nothing. That irks me a bit. So we taxi out and then we stop and the captain says that there is a problem and he can’t fix it and maybe they can fix it at the gate. We go back and they open the entrance, which I was sitting right next to. If you are ever asked to sit here, DO NOT do it. First of all, the door thingy sort of blocks your extra leg room. And then, due to the sheer surface area you are next to, it is totally freezing. I am talking my nose was cold to the touch, like a dog. And I wasn’t even dressed like I was from Hawaii, I had on jeans and socks and my running shoes. It was so cold that I paid for a $7 blanket, because, nothing is free when you fly anymore.
So our maintenance problem had something to do with the hydraulics which according to our Captain is something that you could do without mid-flight (or you could do without one pump) but you really need it for takeoff. Since I was seated right next to the entrance I got this first hand view into what was going on. At one point the Captain left the cockpit and actually went down under the plane. He had told us that they got the pump working but they weren’t sure why it had stopped. I had this vision of him down there saying that he was sure that it would be OK since it was working now. And strong arming the maintenance guys into saying that it was OK for us to go. I was pretty certain that we were going to plunge into the Pacific just off of the runway. I get like that.
My number one flying fear is crashing. Remember that Air France flight out of NY a while ago? It plunged into a body of water about half an hour after take-off. The people reporting on it were like, yeah they were just settling in for their flight and bam! Who needs a story like that? I try to remember that crashing in a plane has odds along the same as winning the lottery. I never think I am going to win the lottery so why do I always think my plane is going to crash? The second thing that I really don’t like about the plane is turbulence. That is because turbulence makes me feel like the plane is going to crash, (see number one). Today, the pilot on my rescheduled flight out of Phoenix (I missed my original connection due to the maintenance issue), told us that the flight would be “so-so” because of the stormy weather across the nation. That is seriously what he said, “so-so”. I was worried that I might throw up but it never got as bad as I envisioned. My third flying fear is that someone on the plane has some horrible deadly communicable disease, like ebola. And then there you all are cooped up in this incubator for hours. I seriously sometimes feel like I would be OK with wearing a mask while flying. When I hear someone hacking up a lung somewhere, I kind of cringe.
Finally after leaving Honolulu somewhere around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, I checked into my hotel at about 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. Hence, the beers in icy goodness. I have to say that driving from the airport, I saw the Capitol, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial and it was awesome and reminded me why I love this town. I am hoping to sneak away on Wednesday to be a tourist on the mall. I want a picture of myself at the Lincoln Memorial for my son. I took a vomit inducing video of the Washington Monument from the taxi and sent it to him. His response? “whoa”. I agree completely!