Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Usual Drama

So I flew over to London from Chicago on Tuesday night, and - wouldn't you know it - we had some drama. (Come on, when isn't there drama?)

I almost kissed the check-in lady when she revealed that I had been upgraded to business class. My bad back means I can barely sit in a chair for half an hour at the moment without seizing up. Now I could relax the chair back to flat if I wanted to. All was well with the world.  The business class ticket also gave me entrance to United Airline's Red Carpet Club so I took myself along to that quiet enclave and got myself a pinot grigio. For my nerves, you understand.

I hadn't even drunk half the glass when the bar staff all came rushing out from behind the bar, shouting that we all had to leave. Immediately I knew what it was, given that the skies had been getting unusually black before their usual time. A bloody tornado! Argh!

Now before you all sit up and worry on my behalf, it was a tornado warning, which means that there's one in the area and it's headed this way but it might not have actually touched down and it may well head off in a different direction. (We tend to get a bit laid back in the mid-west when it comes to tornaodes. One woman on Twitter was wondering whether she should get the kids out of bed and take them to the basement, despite the warnings on TV advising everyone to do just that!) Anyway, given the liability of several thousand people in a glass structure, the airport powers-that-be decided we all had to go to the underground walk-way in our Terminal.

Now, as well as my fear of flying, I can also be a bit claustrophobic when it comes to tunnels. (I promise I have no more quoibles.) This fear was not so ridiculous given the idiots at the bottom of the escalator who weren't moving further into the tunnel. Just as I foresaw muself being crushed to death by hordes of sweaty travellers, the airport workers turned up to keep everyone moving along.

After about an hour of sitting doing nothing (no reception down there), we were allowed back up. This of course, took a lot longer than getting down there but, since no planes were going anywhere fast, people were polite and patient.

It's probably just as well we were underground because most of the planes were battered around and some had been blown about 30 feet from their gate. A friend's sister was actually sitting on a plane during this time and reported the whole event as being quite scary.

I'm happy to report that, contra to my usual luck, our plane was one of the few that actually got out that night.

And here I am.


  1. blimey. glad it all turned out ok and you got your plane. I would be pretty claustrophobic in that situation, heck.

  2. Wow! What a start to the holiday. Glad that you were able to fly out unscathed without anything going wrong with the plane.
    Hope your back heals up quickly. I have been reduced to anti-inflamatories which I won't stay on a moment longer than necessary.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  3. That IS drama. But hurray on the upgrade!

  4. Oh lordy that is a drama and knowing how crazy busy O'Hare is, I bet it was a nightmare getting into the tunnels!

    Given our propensity to tornadoes here in Okieland, you probably won't be surprised to know the loo's at Will Rogers are the shelter. So nothing so uncivilised as going undreground, you just step into the loo and Bob's your Uncle!

  5. I have been wondering how your flight was, but must confess I'd been thinking about your back...never considered a tornado at all. So glad you got your upgrade - I am the Queen of the Ruptured Disc and too well do I know your pain... we are entering Monsoon season here in Seoul (I know, lucky me, 3 days after I arrive) and have been told to expect our first Tropical Storm this weekend... Should be interesting...

  6. That does not sound like fun at OHare at all. Although the plane ride was probably a piece of cake after that. Glad you arrived safely in the UK.

  7. Glad you got off to the UK safely in the end. Give my love to Blighty!

  8. I'll say one thing for America - it knows how to do big weather. Glad you made it in one piece

  9. How scary! Not to mention a right pain. I'm glad you got the upgrade, though.

  10. It's too bad that you had to sit in a tunnel all that time, but I'm happy for your upgrade. What a relief.

  11. "Quoible" is an excellent word - is it a cross between a quirk and a foible? We should be told!

  12. And never a tornado in London. I hope you have a wonderful time. :)

  13. Blimey. Poor you. What a cocktail of hurdles (bad back, flight, tornado, all at once). Glad to see you were in such good form in London. I hadn't read this post when I saw you.

    Quoibles is a good word.


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