Long Day’s Journey into Fog

Yesterday was a long day. Well, it wasn’t longer in terms of length of time than any other day, but it just seemed longer. Perhaps I should explain.

The day started out as most final days of ACSAC do: with the conference committee meeting and packing the office. Other than the morning migraine, that went well, and we were all packed and done by noon. Lunch was good: we went out to Stubbs BBQ and had a wonderful buffet lunch with brisket, ribs, and chicken (although the spinach was too spicy). Got to the Austin airport around 330p, and unenventfully waited until my 555p flight. That flight was on time to DFW, arriving around 7pm.

That’s when the fun started. It was a long wait until my next flight (3.5 hrs). Evidently, there were earlier flights back to LAX, but our booking tool at work never gave them to me as options. I get on the 1030p flight, and it’s only 60% full. But the pilot leaves the seat belt sign on during the entire flight, and whenever I did get up, there was a reasonable amount of turbulance. It also seems he is flying very low—I could often see cars moving on the highways we flew over.

Coming into LAX, he does the normal approach. Lowers the landing gear…. and keeps going past LAX. I think perhaps due to the fog he is landing from the other direction. But he circle to the south. I think perhaps he is diverting to John Wayne… but then he heads north… so I think Ontario. He confirms: diverted to Ontario to refuel (supposedly). We land in Ontario, and there’s no estimate on when we will leave again, but it would be at least an hour. My guess was that the MD80 we were in was so old the pilot could only do VFR, and this guy couldn’t land in that.

It’s now about 1245am Pacific Time. So I call Karen, and she gets out to ONT around 2am. We’re back home around 3am, and back to sleep around 4am. For me, it was a 26+ hour day, plus I’ve still got to pick up my car at the flyaway (plus I have no idea how to enter all this on the expense report). Oh, and that migraine… it’s back.

ETA: Oh, and what if I had stayed on that flight? It would have touched down on the runway at 2:42am, meaning it would have been after 3am when I got down to the flyaway. I might have caught the 3am bus, but more likely the 330am or 4am bus, meaning I would have been back to the valley between 330a and 430a. I probably saved at least an hour having my wife pick me up.