Sleepless in Seatt… Charlotte?

So, today began a trip that I was sure I would have nothing to write about. Lain ahead of me was an itinerary full of Microsoft reps pushing some new and some not so new technologies in all sorts of capitalistic ways and trying their dandiest to convince everyone in attendance that Microsoft’s products were completely necessary to make any educational institution at all competent in the field of education… alas, the universe had different plans.

The beginning was just fine, a ride to the airport, hop on a plane and a short layover in Charlotte NC before a connecting flight. Boarding begins for the flight from Charlotte to Seattle, we sit down, standard protocol. An announcement is made that we will be waiting for 19 poor souls who are running late. We wait. They get on board. We wait some more. We are informed that there is a malfunction in a sensor that says that one of the emergency life rafts/slides on one of the doors is unarmed. Some mechanics board the plane, we wait some more. We joke around about possible outcomes, then… PSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

“No way in hell!!” I thought to myself. “There is no way in hell that what I think just happened actually happened.” In an instant, during the 2 or 3 seconds that the loud sound was occurring, I looked to the front of the plane only to find one mechanic recoiling from the open escape hatch and the other mechanic and the pilot looking in his direction with the most cartoonish wide open eyes I had ever seen on actual people. (the ramifications of what had just happened had not hit me yet but I now understand the looks this poor stupid bastard was getting).

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If I was being too vague, what you are now looking at are pictures of a slightly open airplane escape hatch with the escape slide deployed… while we are still on the ground. A sight most people only get to see in the darkest of hours, but we got to see because some idiot screwed up. Now please allow me put into perspective the hours that followed this occurrence:

In the hours immediately following the incident, homeboy who blew the slide was escorted away where he was surely dragged across the coals inquisition style about his drinking that day and probably made to put some amount of bodily things into small cups. Then they tried to fix the plane, a seemingly simple task since Charlotte is this particular airline’s home base, meaning where their spare parts and airplanes are. Nope, still took forever to get the slide replaced as we all watched, the ground crew looked pretty entertained too, the ones who weren’t responsible for fixing this mess anyway.

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That first picture is our view from the terminal and the second is a shot of the ground crew and the gate manager taking pictures of the catastrophe with their phones.

What came next was a gross display of “I’m more important that the other 200 people on this plane”smanship which was pretty hideous to watch, but we waited patiently and due to our lack of checked luggage and our ability to run, ended up being amongst the first 5 groups of people go get their hotel and food vouchers. We ate heartily and took our time, knowing we had done all the legwork already then caught a shuttle to our free hotel for the evening. Lets just say I was kinda caught off guard by the room.

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Yup, that’s right, 2 lcd tvs!! This room was pretty baller for just me, unfortunately the bar closed at 11… and no minibar?! What is wrong with this city?!

Well, as it stands we’re looking at a flight Tuesday to Seattle, but the airline assures us that they’re working on it so we’ll call in the morning to see what the hell is going on.

Seriously guy?! You blew the god damn escape slide? My life is a cartoon… God only knows where I’ll be writing from next… Good. Night.

One Response to “Sleepless in Seatt… Charlotte?”

  1. yup, definitely would have started crying.

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