Traveling to the midwest can be a pain sometimes. Being from the midwest, we know that, so we planned for it. We’d been checking the weather reports, and were worried because the minneapolis area was due for thunderstorms right around the time we were supposed to arrive, so we split our stuff across our bags and carried one on. That way, even if we got stuck in MSP we’d be able to drive to green bay in time to make the wedding we had to be at on saturday and have our dress clothes. Then while boarding, a flight attendant started coming back up the jetway telling us that there’s no room for bags unless they fit under the seat. And this isn’t planeside check she’s doing, this is full on checking of our bags, we’re not getting them back until our final destination. After all our planning, we were about to be undone at the last minute. But our flight is boarding on time, so we’re not too worried. once we all get seated, the captain comes on and says “Well, folks..”, and at this point i know it isn’t good news, “..it looks like they are having high winds in minneapolis, so we’re looking at right now an hour and a half delay. So we’re going to let everyone back off the plane.” Then the flight attendant starts announcing flights that people are going to miss their connections, “If you’re on flights to amsterdam, blah blah blah, bring all of your baggage, as we’ll be rerouting you. Everyone else, leave your stuff so you can board faster later”. So we all get off the plane.
As soon as we’re all out, they come back on: “Sorry everyone, we have a new departure time, so we need to reboard right now. Nobody will miss their connections, everyone back on!”… so we all reboard. And we push back from the gate, taxi to the runway, then move off to the side. I turn to laura and say “Uh oh, this isn’t good”, as i see other planes passing us and taking off. The captain comes back on “Well, looks like we’ve got a new delay, we’re gonna be here until 4:15.”. We were supposed to leave at 3:21, it was about 10 to 4 at this point already. At 4:15 he told us it would be another 15 minutes, and it was. We made up some time in the air, but still ended up landing about an hour late.
Our flight to Appleton started ominously, with the pilot telling us the seatbelt sign would be on for the whole (40 minute) flight, as it was probably going to be pretty bumpy. I love when they say that, as in most of my experience, that means its going to be smooooooth sailing! And it was. The plane was really quiet (i think it was a canadair rj?), and the ride was nice and smooth. It took us longer to actually get our luggage (all of it, whew!) at ATW than the flight took! The reason? There’s only one guy! Appleton is a small airport, and when you land at 11:30 pm, that guy does all the work. he guides the plane in with the little flashlights, he drives the jetway, he unloads the luggage. and this trip he got a surprise! When he emerged from the back room with the first piece of luggage, the whole area had a collective giggle. He was carrying well wrapped, and well traveled, huge antlers! “Did anyone have some antlers?”, and of course, the one guy wearing camouflage came forward to claim them. Ah, traveling to the midwest never gets old!