Getting Home

I wanted to let Aaron’s accomplishments stand at the top of my recent posts for the time it deserves, but our trip home together has been a journey that I have to write about.

bunch of pros

Sunday afternoon, after celebrating with pros, Brian Fleischmann, Brandon Rakita, Chris Foster, John Dahlz, and Jillian Petersen (Above) Aaron and I hopped in a taxi feeling quite relaxed. Actually relaxed isn’t a strong enough term. We were ready to pass out. On the way to the airport Aaron received a phone call from ABC asking if he would do an interview with Good Morning America, and the excitement gave us enough energy to check in for our flight and shuffle out to the gate. Once at the gate we promptly boarded the plane and fell asleep before the cabin door had been shut. I was so tired that when I woke up and we were on the ground I thought for sure we had already arrived in Seattle. Wrong. A mechanical problem with the plane had required us to sit on the runway for nearly an hour, at which point the pilot decided to have us taken back to the jet way to deplane.

Back in the terminal Aaron was desperately trying to figure out the logistics of being interviewed by Good Morning America in the middle of the night, when we decided it would be better just to switch to the morning flight and have the interview filmed in Dallas. Alaska seemed thankful, and gave us a room at the Ramada Inn. We were thankful for the hotel, but the room was about as comfortable as sleeping on a park bench, only without the view.

Aaron’s interview went well, and should be aired Tuesday morning, but our journey home is still in progress. On the way to our hotel Sunday night a storm hit Dallas, and all planes were redirected or kept on the ground until further notice. Our original flight was eventually cancelled, and when we returned to hop on the 7am flight we found there was a tentative 45 minute delay.

That delay was stretched to an hour, then two, then at 11am we were told it would be, “at least four more hours.” Aaron and I used our vibrant smiles and personality to turn the two $6 food vouchers from Alaska into 15 $6 food vouchers. In between napping in a cot we found in the back of Starbucks, writing blogs, and chatting with some of the hundreds of other stranded travelers we ate to our hearts content at TGI Fridays, and the Lone Star Lounge. I must say that the people we met in Dallas were some of the most calm, level headed people I’ve met in an airport. While everyone was disappointed that we were stuck, very few people complained, and most people understood that Alaska had nothing to do with the weather. Alaska Air also did their part by offering food, and keeping the gate occupied by airline personnel for most of the day. Nobody really seemed all that angry. Disappointed, but there was an unusual lack of hot-heads.

We eventually left 24 hours late, but at no point did I feel neglected, or upset. Sharing my time with Aaron definitely helped, but I’m happy enough with the way Alaska Airlines handled the situation that I will not hesitate to fly them again.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. thats funny ben, I don’t see Alaska Airlines in your list of sponsors…….are you trying for them? Also, I’m coming back to seattle for thanksgiving, so hopefully you will be around for some well needed catching up. are there any Macy’s day triathlons or anything?

  2. You are a really relaxed traveler apparently, I am sure your recent accomplishments did help ease the travel craziness. I wish I could remain this calm while traveling, but then I have had some real disasters with air travel. I love the fact that you were able to get all that money for food!

  3. Your story is better than mine. I did water patrol and then hung with the winners (no time for losers) at the Triathlete Mag party. I still think that you have one of my slippers. You two guys are awesome.

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