Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Plans Change

Plans change and planes break down.

As I rounded the corner on the freeway to the Oakland airport, I got a text from Southwest that my plane was going to be delayed by nearly an hour.

This was a sign ... it should have said, don't bother, just go back to J's house.

I had carefully planned the trip home so that I could catch the last metrolink from Burbank to home.

My one fallback was that there is one more Amtrak that passes that way before 8pm.

So, a delay of more than an hour meant no way to get home from the airport without potentially disturbing the apple cart of my life.

I was also making this trip home quickly so I could be home in time to take my nephew to grief group and to my own therapy.

When Southwest shows more than a fifteen minute delay, non full fare folks can change their flight with no penalty. 

Apparently it is a little known rule -- chalk it up to the "kind" of folks who travel Southwest versus those that go with the airlines that will give you a seat assignment -- they have no 15 minute rule, you just suck it up.

So, whenever there is a delay it is usually posted at 15 minutes -- and then updated every fifteen minutes to another ... just to look like they are not corporate scum while they might be after all.  Whatever the game is ... what I decided a while ago was that if they actually told you that the delay was long ... nearly an hour, say, then the best best was that the flight would actually be cancelled.

I will play it out for you, lest you disbelieve as many are wont to do (the ladies working the gate looked at my aghast when I told them my reasoning ... but who was right?!)

If you know the 15 minute rule and you see a 45 minute delay, you should immediately rebook as is your right -- and so seldom actually given to you!  So if everyone or almost everyone rebooks then the manifest is nearly empty and the flight is cancelled -- due to low load not mechanical difficulty, or whatever -- cancelled does not go on the books in the same way delayed does for those who check those statistics!

So, whether or not the mechanical difficulty, in this case, was really going to knock the flight out of commission or not, the flight would be cancelled if everyone followed the unspoken guidelines.

No one did ... and we watched the plane mechanics scratch their heads, invite others over to look at it, etc... for an hour and a half ... by then I had already decided to just delay for a day.

It turns out the world will keep spinning without me at home ... huzzah... at least they all claimed it would.

And I got a lovely dinner and more time with my friends last night and this morning ...

Plans change, planes breakdown, and wonderful things happen.

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