My company flies me and the top 20 sales guys in the company out to LA for meetings. This is the first time they have done this in many years. I live 25 minutes from the airport. My route is impervious to rush hour, and I have never seen it take over 45 minutes to get to the airport. I also have traveled a ton and never miss flights.
I leave at 7:15 for a 9:15 take off on Alaska Airlines with one carry on. After a $96.00 1 hour and 34 minute Uber ride due to a terrible accident, I arrive at the airport with under an hour before the plane leaves. An Alaska Airlines rep says, “I am sorry, sir, you are too late and we will not print you your boarding pass; you have missed your flight.”
“When is your next flight?”
Our company’s travel department is based on the west coast and is not open for business for 3 hours. Any affordable flight is leaving in the next 2 hours, and every point of contact I have in the company is wheels up and not reachable by phone.
So I am about to use my plethora of miles to buy a one way as I watch my plane take off. It takes me 30 minutes to sort the details of accessing awards travel I haven’t used in forever. As I am about to click to buy a ticket and confirm, I hear, “Mr Stern!!!! WAIT! FOR MEDICAL EMERGENCIES YOUR PLANE HAD TO TURN AROUND. IF SOMEONE IS COMING OFF THAT MEANS THERE IS TIME FOR YOU TO GET ON.”
So I got on the plane. Luckily my text to my district manager was just, “Hey, I will be an hour later than expected due to medical emergencies on my flight.” So I lean into the lady next to me when I get on and I say, “Hey lady, I gotta know what happened so I can flesh out this story to my bosses and coworkers… was it a heart attack or something epic?”
“No, some drunk asshole stood up while we were taking off to run to the bathroom, and the steep angle coupled with a lack of balance caused him to face-plant into the back of the plane by the strapped-in flight attendants and restrooms, rendering him unconscious.”
So here’s to you as I raise my glass to that drunk asshole.