Well this turned out to be the best Valentine’s day ever. No I didn’t get season tickets to the World Champ Giants or dinner at Bouchon, from my beloved, but I got to go home! Giving up that first class seat for a middle seat is worth it. This is the first time in four years I’ve been home on V Day. You take the work as it comes, and if you miss a special day you miss one, it’s not ideal but you have to pick the days that you’re home and not. But in this case with 9 out of 10 weeks on the road being home a day early is truly a treat.
I was in Winnipeg all week and flew into Chicago tonight on the last flight from the Peg, it was to arrive at 7:55 pm, and my connection was tomorrow at 7 am. I had a hotel booked and had dreams of Lou Maltinis, Geno’s or Al’s Beef. All places I had heard about but had not ever tried. The last flight to SFO is at 8:05 pm and I knew I would not make it, let alone figured I had no shot at being on the flight. Well I was wrong. We landed half an our early and sat on the tarmac, our gate was occupied, then I realized or thought I’d have to change terminals. For those of you not familiar with O’hare, United occupies three terminals and it’s hike from one to the other. Since I came in on a regional jet I knew I would be at a far away gate. The last strike was my gate checked bag, how long would it take to get it from the jetway. Tick tick tick.
Well we finally got off the plane at 7:45 I told the wife I was not coming home, she figured as much. I waited for my bag, and once I had it I went off the jet bridge and saw I was at B1 and SFO was leaving from B5, WHOOPEE. I hoofed it over and waited to talk to an agent, the plane was here and people were milling around. I asked if I had a shot, and cheerfully he said “yes”. The were still boarding, and were taking their time, which worked in my favor. Too many people with carry ons so they had a ton to gate check and this slowed them down. The awesome agent, did I say awesome took care of me, got me a seat checked my bad, something I never do, but for this it was ok. And off I went, as I chatted with the agent as he did his magic, I let him know how happy my wife and daughter would be, and he said enjoy the surprise. It was cool, he was a really great agent, took care of my needs and made me happy. This is why I like United, they do stuff to accommodate passengers, when they can and in this case when I called the wife the scream on the other end was worth it.
Here’s to being home and getting an extra day before I take off again on Tuesday.