Home At Last

Helaine is home. Her connecting flights connected. Her interline luggage transfer transferred.

Earlier, I mentioned the paper ticket Midwest Airlines issued in Milwaukee for the connecting Continental flight. Though confirmed, it came without a boarding pass. That was quickly taken care of at Cleveland’s Hopkins Airport.

The Continental agent took a piece of partially used blue paper, ripped off the corner, scribbled two numbers and a letter and handed it to Helaine. That’s her boarding pass on the left!

Helaine asked the podium agent if it really would be OK? She replied she’d tell the gate agent that very moment… which she did.

Helaine boarded the plane with no problem.

With Helaine in transit, I stepped up my stalkerazzi methods. Not only did I watch the plane on FlightAware, I listened to the ATC chatter as her plane cleared Boston Center and entered Bradley airspace.

Obviously, I am a sad and lonely little man.

While waiting for Helaine’s plane to get closer, I heard one inbound jet call the Bradley tower with a question… if the controller had time. Honest, I’m not making this up.

No more than 10 miles out, in that stowed tray table and fully upright seat portion of the flight, “Captain Shouldn’t I. B. Busy” asked about a building with a dome he saw on top of a ridge line. I’ve posted a photo of what he saw on the left.

As he flew a few miles closer each minute, the tower gave him the story behind the Heublein Tower on Talcott Mountain in Avon and the Heublein Family. The captain said he’d pass it along and then added, “But no one will believe it.”

I didn’t.

Delayed In MKE

I spoke to Helaine this morning. She was due back in Connecticut this evening around 6:30… until Midwest called. Mechanical problems, they said. Flight canceled.

The skeptic in me still looked to see the ‘equipment’ with the mechcanical problems will be flying passengers into Milwaukee before being pulled. I am always suspicious with airlines. Can I cancel my reservation for mechanical problems and suffer no consequences?

Helaine is much more gracious than I am, even when the reservations agent asked if she could fly to Newark (101 miles) or Washington (318 miles) instead of Bradley… where her car is?

Helaine explained the situation, so they booked her Midwest to Cleveland and Continental to Bradley. Neither the Midwest nor Continental flights are actually operated by those actual airlines. Again, can I fly under an assumed name without consequence?

With no Helaine, I have been left to my own devices. The pre-cooked food she left ran out last night. I have become needy with age, but even I can go to the grocery store – and I did.

Exactly who goes to Stop and Shop on Mother’s Day? I can’t say for sure, but it was jammed. I picked up my “Little Red Riding Hood” basket at the door and headed inside.

The losers were lined up in front of the Mother’s Day cards. Yikes! 2:00 PM on Mother’s Day and they still didn’t have a card? I joined them and began to search. I had already gotten Helaine a gift, so the card is more like icing.

Who am I fooling? It’s the card that’s important and the (in this case) peripheral that’s peripheral.

After picking up the cards and food I wanted, I moved over to the Dunkin’ Donuts stand. The girl behind the counter was scratching her arm as if she had psoriasis. Nice. Hope that rash clears. Thanks for sharing.

In a George Bush Sr. moment, I watched the guy in front me use a debit card to pay $1.80 for coffee and marveled. I have a credit card (only one) and no debit card. I’m so last century.

I pushed a $10 bill at “Itchy,” who handed me change and a receipt.

Do we really need receipts for coffee? Is someone going to return their coffee with cream and one Splenda?

At the automated checkout, I realized I don’t have a Stop and Shop card. Without it, everything is priced as if I were buying on Rodeo Drive.

I asked the guy in front of me if he would swipe his on my behalf. “No worries,” he said.

I’m home now. Helaine just called to update her progress. She hasn’t moved through security yet, but she’s confirmed on both flights. In a quirk of interairline weirdness, she’s got a handwritten paper ticket and no boarding pass on the Cleveland to Bradley leg!

Oh… and Midwest Airlines gave her a $75 flight voucher and another $8 for food. It’s little consolation, but as with everything on Mother’s Day, it’s the thought that counts.