Sunday, April 22, 2007

LaGuardia- airport from Hell

I had never flown from LaGuardia. But everyone said it was the best NY airport from which to fly. Or maybe they just meant "most accessible from midtown," because I can't conceive of why anyone would ever willingly choose to fly from what looks approximately as appealing as a concrete bomb shelter in ghetto Queens. But maybe that's just me.

So, really what I want to write about is my flight back IN to LGA last Sunday from DC.
I'm sure everyone in the Northeast corridor remembers the torrential downpour that characterized, oh right, the entirety of last weekend. I knew my flight was going to be delayed, as they were canceling every other shuttle to NYC and the remaining ones (mine, thankfully) were just delayed. No big deal, we just sat in the airport having drinks and appetizers. My 7:00 flight was delayed until 7:30, so I went to security at 7. No big deal... Until the woman pulls out my 4 ounce bottle of lotion. The maximum size is 3.4 ounces. I'm sorry, you can actually tell that by looking through the xray business?? But she said, "this is too big, but I'll let it go this time." Gee... thanks. What is with me and getting stopped at security for being suspicious??

Anyhow, so, the 7:30 "departure" was a farce, as it was 7:20 before we even started boarding. Ok, fine fine, still, no big deal. I can be patient. So we finally pull off and are chillin on the tarmac. And then the pilot comes on, "Um, folks, we're having a little problem here with the plane, so we're going to go back to the gate. You'll all have to get off, I think this plane is going to be out of service" Or something equally disconcerting and altogether ambiguously unintelligble.

We get back to the gate and he comes on again, "Actually folks, we're just going to keep you on the plane in order to prevent mass chaos." Perfect. Nothing like sitting on a plane with stale air and no idea what's going on. No big deal, it's only a 45 minute flight that is now turning into an all night extravaganza.

So I call Anthony to tell him that if I get off the plane I'm coming back to his place and just flying out in the morning, because really, the maintenance issue was just the tip of the iceberg that was the ridonk flying conditions coming into LGA, and I just wasn't hanging around to wait for conditions to improve. Oh but, lucky us, we got to take off... at about 8:45. Ok, we're on our way, and it's only a 45 minute flight. I can handle this.

Flash forward 25 minutes and several pretty entertaining bumps up and down aaaand we're flying through lightning. Special.
You know, I love rollercoasters, I really really do. But not so much when I'm in a plane. Now, I was in the front row, so I think that I may have (fortunately) not seen the worst of it, but (I kid you not), the sounds of people vomiting behind me were somewhat disturbing. I'm a good flyer, and even I was starting to get in a little queasy-like-I-want-to-ralph mode.
So as we're coming down to land I see about 10 firetrucks along the runways, and I think, "Hmmm, that's weird, I wonder if something happened here?"

Well, as it turns out, WE happened.
Our plane was hit by lightning.
I'm sorry, come again?
Yes, our plane was hit. By lightning. But I guess I just failed to realize it among all the other bumps and shakes and dips and all around good times we were having up there.

And you know, it's kind of fun to laugh when you don't even realize that you may or may not have rubbed elbows with a pretty scary situation. So, what did I do when I got on the ground? Get in a cab and call Meesh to tell her that we got struck by lightning.
Meanwhile it's raining like there is no tomorrow. Cats and dogs. Downpour. Can't-see-out-the-window kind of rain. My driver... not a clue how to get to my apartment, despite repeatedly insisting he did. And me in the back seat, with fogged windows so I can't see anything, and happily chatting with my best friend. And then happening to look out the window, and despite limited visibility CLEARLY aware that we are not going the right way. And driving in circles.
But you know, I couldn't for the life of me understand a word that came out of his mouth, and by that point I didn't even really know how to get us back to where we were supposed to be, so I just shut my eyes and laughed to myself at how truly absurd the evening had been.

Oh the wonderous joys of travel.

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