The Black Hole of the Midwest

Today’s mid-travel adventures go like this:

  • Get through security at the Fort Wayne airport at 12:38 p.m.
  • Settle in to the waiting area for my flight, which will begin boarding at 1:40 p.m. for departure at 2:11 p.m.
  • Please note: this flight has nothing to do with Chicago. The plane will not approach Chicago, it will not take a shortcut through Chicago, it will not give Chicago a passing glance as we make our way south and west, headed towards Big Sky country. Instead we will fly under Chicago, to Dallas/Fort Worth. When we take off, we will be exactly 190 miles away from Chicago O’Hare by car (if you take US-30 W; 211 miles via IN-14 W or 227 miles by US-24 W) and that distance will immediately begin increasing at a speed somewhere between 460-575 miles per hour. I have, in fact, purposefully scheduled my flight plan to not involve Chicago in any way. At most, I will gesture rudely out the window at Illinois as we bisect the state on our way to Texas.

  • Announcement at 1:41 p.m.: We’re all here and ready to go, but the airplane scheduled for use in this flight from FWA to DFW is delayed in holy bananas how are they still ruining my plans Chicago. It is waiting on the tarmac at O’Hare International Airport, ladies and gentlemen, while flight control attempts to unsnarl the traffic jam on their runways. It should arrive at 2:15 p.m. and we’ll do our best to offload, load-up, and take off at 2:45. Come talk to us at the Gate 8 Desk if you require assistance.
  • Nerves start in, but no need to stand in the line at the desk for a missed connection: I will no longer have time for dinner in Texas, but if I speed walk (and/or run, depending on arrival and departure gates) I can still make the next plane.
  • Still no sign of a plane at 2:15 p.m., but the rolling grey of a storm has spread across the horizon and is rapidly approaching. Less than two minutes later, an almost-literal sheet of rain hits the large airport window to my right, the wind blowing so hard and suddenly it shoves an unused but prepped boarding ramp at the building. Everyone looks up at the window as it groans in protest, watches the rain continue to rapid-fire against the glass for a moment, then goes back to their phones.
  • The rain tapers off in time for the announcement at 2:23 p.m.: Due to weather, the airplane from Chicago—which had been circling the skies above the mess of clouds over Fort Wayne—has been diverted to Detroit. They will wait out the storm, refuel, and try again. Flight board now reads, “Departure Time 5:11 p.m.”
  • By 2:24 p.m. I’m third in line at Gate 8. At 3:00 p.m. I head downstairs to reclaim my checked bag and text my ride, hoping he’s available to pick me back up at the airport and drop me off at my apartment for the night. I have been rescheduled for a flight that leaves first thing tomorrow morning.
  • At 6:53 a.m. To Chicago.
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17 Responses to The Black Hole of the Midwest

  1. Your Local Friendly IT Guy says:

    Hooray! Off to Chicago! Your favorite!

  2. The Ride says:

    I got mentioned in the blog! I’m famous!

    • A.L. Schultz says:

      To my two whole watchers!

      • Your Local Friendly IT Guy says:

        Hey, she may not talk much, but The Sister is still around, right? Got to up your count!

        • Your Local Friendly IT Guy says:

          Oh wait. I get it now. 😛
          I guess your count is spot on. 😉
          Your feel good thought of the day. The more you know…

          • The Famous Ride says:

            In fairness, I don’t actually subscribe because I wander by infrequently and sometimes forget I’ve already read something until I’m much of the way through enjoying it again. Subscription would just ruin the whole repeat reading thing.

          • A.L. Schultz says:

            So you’re saying three whole watchers. Oh, or four, including Mark My Words, who’s rattling around here somewhere. Such a heady number.

  3. The mom says:

    And, of course, The mom is always watching.

    • Your Local Friendly IT Guy says:

      Though doesn’t seem to understand how the “Reply” button works. 😛

    • A.L. Schultz says:

      Hahahah, how terribly ominous. Like the mom version of the Santa Claus song: She sees you when you’re sleeping…she knows when you’re awake…she knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good FOR GOODNESS SAKE.

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