I made it to VMworld 2016 in one piece, which to be honest I felt that, despite the travel I have done in my life this was going to do me in. This flight experience was the worst.
Now, I have never flown American Airlines in the past so this is a first for me and may just be their norm that I am not use to or like most things in life, if you do them enough you are bound to have some bad experiences. Let me elaborate.
The first flight left my hometown and was scheduled to take the passengers to South Carolina and at first all seemed normal. I arrived at the airport early to get through the security checks which since receiving my new drivers license with an updated picture went very well. I was even given a nice, "Have a nice flight Marine", from one of the TSA workers that noticed my tattoo. You know the saying, "Once a Marine, always a Marine." My family came to see me off and my little ones were expectedly sad to see me leave for a few days. In fact, my oldest kept hiding things after I packed them in hopes that I would not leave and to take things a step further had decided to hide her favorite teddy bear thinking that I wouldn't go on this trip and instead stay to help find it. What can I say? I am deeply loved.
Now, back to this awful flight. I have made it through security and go wait for the flight. All is normal and eventually the call the passengers to start boarding. I gather my belonging and head down the ramp and find my seat where I get situated for the flight. I always choose to sit next to the window so I can record the takeoff for the kids as you can see below. Again, everything is progressing normal at this point. After some time we are greeted by the comedian pilot and we taxi out to the runway, which is where things take a turn for the worse. We sit there for what seems to be an eternity when the pilot comes over the speaker and says, "The computer systems are down and they need to reboot." WTF!?
Now I am in full panic mode along with the rest of the passengers whose imaginations are running wild along with their mouths. At this point I am thinking about the Microsoft "Blue Screen of Death," and wondering how long this process will take and if it takes will it remain online for the entire flight or event make it to the end of the runway.
Fortunately we did make it into the air and I began the first leg of this trip.
Now the craziness doesn't stop there. After an hour or so we land and I am off to find my next flight that will take me to vegas. Gates have changed due to the delay caused by the computer systems on the previous flight.
Things seem to go back to a normal trip. I find my new gate and chat with some people while I wait. One lady in particular was heading to Vegas where her parents retired. I had asked her when the last time she had seen them and she told me that it had been years due to a falling out. As we spoke she actually started to tear up and I could sense this cloud of sadness hovering over her. See her mother had passed away and she was coming in for the funeral with her life baggage full of regrets.
I diverse, back to my trip. We board the plane and again I find my seat and get situated. after a few minutes that comedian captain comes on the loudspeaker and greets everyone. We are on time and not expecting any delay except that we are all being required to get off because they forgot to clean the airplane. OMG!
We all get off and are told to wait for about a half an hour until we reboard. They clean the plane and in the meantime people charge their devices while others stand around and complain. Finally, we get to board again and I find my seat. After some time we taxi out with apologies from the crew. At this point we are all tired and a little irritated but unbenounced to us we are in for some more fun. As we wait our turn to take off, the lights keep flashing on and off in the cabin. You guessed it, more issues this time with the electrical.
The captain tells us over the loudspeaker that things have to be rebooted just like in my prior flight. I am certain that this will be my last time flying with American. They need to invest some money in their aging fleet.
Despite all of the issues I land in Vegas after a 4 hour flight and the site of the city at night is spectacular. The video below doesn't do it it justice.