Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tulsa Time

Don Williams wrote the song “Tulsa Time”… and what we're experiencing might be what he was talking about.
Livin' on Tulsa time

Living on Tulsa time

Well you know I've been through it

When I set my watch back to it

Livin' on Tulsa time...

Yup, you guessed it. I’m having a travel rerun. Left Dallas this morning headed towards Tulsa. My coworker and I sat down in our seats, just in time for this announcement:

Pilot: “Ladies and gentlemen, Tulsa is experiencing a bout of bad weather, so this 45 minute flight has just turned to an hour and 45 minute flight. We are heading west towards West Texas….”

My coworker looks at me in shock…he had just flown in this morning from Midland.

Pilot: “…and then we’ll head up Lubbock way, continuing north to Oklahoma – we are going to try to get around this storm.”

Ummmm…let’s see. That will put us in Tulsa at 11:00 am. We have a 11:30 am lunch date with our customer. I pick up my phone and call our customer and tell him we might be a bit late. He’s quite content to wait for us, so we’re good to go. We settle in and have a pleasant flight until the end, when it’s quite bumpy, but not intolerable. The flight arrives in Tulsa at 11:10 am, we get to our customer’s office around 12 noon, and have a great lunch and meeting.

Before we leave our customer’s office, we decided to check our flight status. Sure enough, the flight’s been delayed a bit. We waste some time in Tulsa, then check again. Our flight is leaving at 4:45 pm, so about 3:50 pm, we head about 10 miles to the airport, return our rental car, and get to the check in counter to print boarding passes. The computer is down. Matter of fact, the air conditioning is down. The wireless is down. Evidently the airport suffered some storm damage late last night.

Our flight is not leaving until 7:50pm. In 10 minutes, things changed dramatically. I was able to get online (much to the jealousy of other business travelers who don’t have aircards) and check the radar maps on Weatherbug. After looking at the radar, we are glad to stay in the airport for a while longer. The line of huge lightning strikes runs all the way from Abilene past Dallas. If I were a pilot, I wouldn’t go there either.

If we don’t catch this flight tonight, from all reports, we are unable to get home to Midland until 6pm tomorrow. And that's reliable Southwest (really!). Were we traveling via Continental or American, we'd never get to Midland.

So, we’re sitting here…living on Tulsa time…
052507 update: We got home at 1 am this morning...arrived at the house shortly thereafter. House was dark. Power outage. At this point, I didn't care. Let Zack in, found the flashlight, went to bed, got up at 5:45 am (power back on!), unpacked what I needed for the day, got ready, and made a 7 am meeting. Yeehah.


Panhandle Poet said...

Sounds familiar to me. Sometimes it's almost faster to drive!

Karen said...

Man, being stuck is the pits. I hope you get home in a timely fashion and without too much hassle!

Janie said...

Panhandle - I bet that's right! You're pretty much stuck like us down here.

Karen - I made it home this morning. I'm rolling once again!

Bob said...

Midland made national news on the flight delays. We're sold on our air cards but I was wondering, do they work while you're flying?
Oh yeah, welcome home

Gwynne said...

You're a trooper!! Welcome home. :-)

Janie said...

Bob - air cards they may be, but at this point, you're not supposed to use them while flying. And thanks!!

Gwynne - thanks for stopping by, and for the welcome!

Bill said...

We drove through Dallas on Thursday at about 15mph. Dallas is big, and 15 mph is slow. Big, slow, big, slow.

At least it was easy to make our 5-lane drift exits in slow motion.

Janie said...

Bill - that had to be weather related as well, nothing is slow in Dallas!!! Well, except 3-5pm traffic.

Glad you made it safely!