Apple Tablet Week: They Broke My Airplane

Bastards. There I was, thinking I was getting away with something by avoiding carryon baggage fees. But the airline got me back by making my plane go broken before anybody boarded and then canceling my flight. Whoof. That mulched the money I spent on shuttle fare to the airport, one day’s parking, and one night’s hotel in San Francisco.

There was a very quick “Damn and blast,” then I launched a litany of punchier comments at the airline’s automated reservations line which, in my estimation, was severely underperforming, and then a Very Nice Lady re-booked me on an early flight tomorrow.


I truly think that anger and frustration are voluntary choices as often as not. How do we choose not to react that way?

First, we acknowledge that there are things that can’t be changed. Then we move on from there and make a frank assessment of the potential for credible self-pity:

1) If the original rumors had been true, then I would have missed the Apple Event. I’ll still get there the day before.

2) I’ve been rebooked on an early flight. I can still meet my friends for dinner on Tuesday, as planned.

3) I’m even in a window seat. I could have wound up crammed into a middle.

4) If this had happened on my return flight, I’d be scrambling for a hotel room, imposing myself on friends, or sleeping in the airport. As-is, I get to sleep in my own bed. And the last thing I did before I left the house for the airport was load up the fridge with Heritage Dr. Pepper.

5) It was the very first time that I’d packed for San Francisco using nothing but carry-on luggage. So when they canceled the flight, I was able to just grab my things and catch the next shuttle back to my car.

6) I get a “do over” on my packing. I realized on the bus that I’d left my camera at home. Plus, I’ve checked the weather in San Francisco and feel very good about leaving my leather winter coat behind and traveling in my sportcoat. It’ll be a bit nippy when I return home, but sitting through the 45 minute flight delay reminded me that a reproduction vintage leather bomber jacket was not designed for breathability in heated spaces.

7) I suppose it’ll be easy for me to file a column tonight before I go to bed.


Final tally: oh, stop whining and grow a pair, for God’s sake. You lost a hundred bucks but things could have turned out far, far worse. Look here: you’re watching tonight’s “House” and “Big Bang Theory,” too! We’re admittedly far from a blessing in disguise but there’s no need to deploy the left-paren emoticon.

Plus, I’m sure that my luggage enjoyed the little day trip to the airport.

So far, incidentally, I’m a complete convert to the carry-on style of travel. At least 20% of the hassles of airports were eliminated by virtue of the fact that I had a very light laptop bag on my shoulder and a single wheely case. No paperwork or procedures for checking my bags, no delays…and the Pelican 1510 LOC case makes one hell of a comfortable footstool when you’re stuck in Terminal B for an unknown, but profoundly nonzero, length of time.

Okay. That’s a wrap, folks. Let’s pick it up from here tomorrow. See Gene or Stu for your callsheet.

18 thoughts on “Apple Tablet Week: They Broke My Airplane

  1. RLH

    Call the hotel you were supposed to sleep at tonight. Most (all?) hotels will waive cancellation losses if you tell them flight was cancelled due to weather or equipment.

  2. Jared

    I avoid checked bags at all costs anymore, not only because it’s too darn expensive, but I almost always realized I didn’t need half of what I thought I did.

  3. Quatermass

    Been meaning to ask; where do you stow your hat when you fly? I tried carrying my fedora on my lap for a flight to & from Hong Kong and it didn’t work out too well. And you didn’t mention a hat box, so…

  4. Eric

    Nice glass 1/2 full take on life! Things could always be worse. I also enjoy your take on events. Godspeed to you in your travels.

  5. Tom

    8) At least you get to behold in person the one and only Steve as he introduces something new that many across this globe would give a body part just to be there and partake in the reality distortion field at full power.

    God speed Andy Ihnatko!

  6. Donn

    Enquiring (inquiring? Can never remember which) minds want to know more about the provenance of your bomber jacket. I’m a Wested Raiders man myself.

  7. John Baxter

    And 8): you’re still paying less for the flight than you would have had you waited for the invitation–most likely even including the loss on the hotel room.

  8. Mark

    9) You spread the word about the Pelican 1510 LOC case to at least one gent who is in dire need of such a sensible and perfectly-sized case. Thanks!

  9. Greg Walrath

    How about the sharps? I always carry a knife wherever I go (and I don’t want to think about how many times I’ve had to mail it to myself after forgetting to put it in my checked luggage), and that is a definite no-no. Any solution for that yet?

  10. fairuse

    Nice landing. I don’t miss spending 2 1/2 weeks of a month in the air. Even if my flying was 1980’s; and I thought checking-in was a hassle then. Watch the real sugar Dr. Pepper disappear too fast. No, delete that – pretend it is an unlimited supply. I’ll cry when production ends.

  11. Norman Ferguson


    Hate to suggest a downer, but are you -sure- your Pelican will fit into the overheads of any/all planes you will be flying on this trip? I’ve discovered (painfully) that what the airline says generically about sizes for bags to fit in overhead compartments does not necessarily match the reality of particular airplanes. A double-check of the particular plane models might be in order.

  12. Rod Hardman

    Amen brother!
    As a slightly reformed corporate road-warrior turned tech ronin, I am a huge believer in “sane” carry on, best demonstated by a light rollaboard, a lighter laptop case and a jacket with nearly batman-utility-belt functionality (check out the 5.11 tactical series). However my most useful travel tool was always ATTITUDE. The universe acts, but I choose how I react.
    Thanks for the reminder!

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