Monday, January 6, 2014

Air France Flight 666

I thought it was shady when I noticed that our flight number was AF066, which is a little too close to 666, but I've finally gotten over my fear of flying and resigned myself to telling people if I die falling from a great height (I used to have nightmares about falling. I would bounce back up and then fall some more) they will need to throw a party and laugh and laugh because isn't it ironic?

David always puts my screen to show the camera on the outside of the plane and it freaks me out

So we're on the runway about to take off. I've been bumped from my exit row seat and the American guy behind me has not stopped kicking my seat, jostling it by poking at the video screen and using it to get up and down the short amount of time we've been on the plane. But hey, c'est la vie. I'm heading to Vegas and then HOME to Northern California. Land of fat burritos and English speaking people.

But then..... we stop. There is a problem. We taxi back to the airport. I'm not sure how long it takes before they announce that all 516 passengers are going to have to disembark because of a "serious problem" with engine 2 and eventually we end up going back through customs and taking a cab home because our flight is rescheduled for the next day at 9 a.m. That means leaving around 5:30 a.m. only 12 hours later. We would have taken a hotel voucher but they were keeping all the luggage and I had brought absolutely nothing with me but my tablet, some powder and a lipstick and I was already coated in airport grime and looking frumpy. Plus I need to cancel our trip to the Grand Canyon (no refunds! awesome!) and call the hotel so we didn't lose our room.

After an eleven hour flight, still seated in front of the same charming passenger, we arrive in Los Angeles only an hour late. (They had to get a new plane and waited until we were on the plane to transfer the luggage). Of course the boarding ramps aren't working (it's a double decker plane landing unexpectedly so we were off at some random place on the runway) and when we finally get off all 500 of us have to take buses to the terminal. We grab our luggage, go through customs, drop our luggage off again and get on a 45 minute flight to Las Vegas. And when we arrive, our luggage isn't there. This is no big deal really, but David's colleague has some stuff in his bag for the demo set up. No stuff, no demo. Did I mention we were on the same flight as three people from David's work, all named Bruno?

Going to dinner that night with them at 4 a.m. Paris time and trying to speak French, in glitzy Vegas, wearing the same old wrinkled clothes with the same makeup I put on 24 hours earlier was the cherry on top of the worst flight of my life.

And Sunday, at three a.m. our bags arrived. I hadn't seen mine since Friday except for a brief moment at customs and I missed the little fellow.

In other news, I finally got to see what goes into setting up a demo. Lots of wires and screens and laptops, most of which the 3 Brunos had been hauling around with them for this whole debacle.