Why I hate flying

Now before I get too far into this post, let me preface it by saying I had an absolutely fabulous time in Michigan City with my friend Stacey Hembruff and her fiancé (now hubbie) Erik Lawrence.

For the day and a half I was there, I met Erik and his family, went to Carlson’s, a local landmark replete with car hops and brewed-on-site root beer (made me reminisce about the A&W of my childhood), went to their wonderful beach, and partied the night away at the local Elk’s lodge.

I had a blast and it made the trial and error of getting there so worth it.

Still.  I had a bit of an adventure.

Hater’s gonna hate

I’m not afraid of flying.  Sure my gut lurches a bit on take off, and when the ride gets a bit rough, I can’t read (legacy of childhood car-sickness) but I have nothing against the mode of transportation itself.  Sometimes it’s the only way to get from point A to point B.

Getting the ticket and dealing with the airline and insurance was a breeze, too.  I was actually pleasantly surprised at how easy it was.  And I was looking forward to flying with Porter, as several of my friends have and have reported that it was a great experience.

I’m the problem.  I’m a control freak.  I hate being at the mercy of someone else’s schedule.  If possible, I’d much rather drive because then if I’m late, I have no one to blame but myself.

So this is all on me 😉

My tale begins when I checked through security at the Greater Sudbury Airport.

The woman behind me turns to me as we’re collecting our belongings from the bins and says, “Is this your first time?”

Excuse me?  She went on to explain that her flight, earlier in the day, had been cancelled.  She didn’t say why and the day so far both in Sudz and in Toronto wasn’t stormy.

I should have known then that I would be in for a few unexpected delays.

The flight departed a half an hour late, and when it arrived at Billy Bishop Airport on Toronto Island, I had 15 minutes until the next boarding.  Would I make it?  Would my checked bag?  I was escorted to the lounge to await the boarding call and about when I expected to board, the announcement was broadcast that due to thunderstorms, all flights were grounded.

Okay.  I texted Stacey to let her know that I would be a bit late and she said that she and Erik were running late themselves and that all would be well.

When the boarding resumed, Porter started with flights to Boston and Newark and the boarding time was now listed 50 minutes after the original.

The boarding call was announced and the lot of us trouped down to the gate where we stood.  And waited.  Additional problems would cause another hour’s delay. We returned to the lounge and I texted Stacey again.  The issue wasn’t weather, she told me.  The skies were clear in Chicago.

The next announcement that went out was that there were weight allowance issues and that any passengers who would volunteer to wait until the next flight would receive a voucher for $250 dollars off their next Porter flight.

If I knew what would happen next, I’d have gone for the deal, but hind sight is perfect, as they say.

When we board, nearly 2 hours after we were supposed to, I noticed that the next flight to Chicago was boarding in 15 minutes. Le sigh.

When we got on the plane, it was one of the smaller ones, and it was packed to the gills.

English: Porter Airlines Bombardier Q400 landi...

English: Porter Airlines Bombardier Q400 landing at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) in July 2008. Français : Un Q400 de Porter Airlines atterrissant à l’aéroport Billy Bishop de Toronto (YTZ) en juillet 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No wonder they had weight allowance issues.  Because of the smaller size of the plane, though, we’d have to stop for refuelling in Windsor…wait for it…for 15 minutes.  I’m willing to bet that the next flight was on the larger plane that could make the hop in a single flight.

As compensation, in addition to Porter’s usual snacks and beverages (and yes, before you ask, Porter serves actual alcohol on their flights) we were served a chicken pita sandwich, coleslaw, and Lindt chocolate.  I wished that I hadn’t purchased a late dinner in the airport lounge.

We stopped over in Windsor and flew to Chicago with no further problems.  I arrived, made it through customs and claimed my baggage.

But I couldn’t get a signal for my cell phone.  The airport had a Boing hot spot, but apparently, it can’t be used to text or email.  I tried texting Stacey again, because I didn’t know where she was, and I tried to text Phil, because I just wanted to tell him that I’d arrived safely.

I turned on the roaming and tried to latch onto some other network, but no dice.

I found Stacey, she introduced me to Erik, and we drove to Michigan City, about an hour and 15 minutes outside of Chicago.  We arrived without further incident at 11:30, 12:30 my time.  We were staying at Erik’s grandfather’s house and I tried again to find some kind of signal.  My poor phone searched and searched but couldn’t pick anything up.

After a day of travel, me by air, and Stacey and Erik by car, we were all of us pooped.  We dropped, and in the morning, Stacey texted Phil for me.

When I returned to Canadian air space, all my stored up texts were sent.

This is the way of air travel.  It must be accepted.  Still.  I had an adventure 🙂

And that’s why I hate flying.

How about you?  Do you like to fly?  Are you afraid of flying?  Or are you a control freak like me?  I’d love to hear from you.

Writerly Goodness, signing off.

Supper calls!  And tonight: True Blood 🙂

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Review of Scott Overton’s Dead Air

This review is considerably overdue.  My apologies, Scott.

The Amazon blurb:

dead airWhen radio morning host Lee Garrett finds a death threat on his control console, he shrugs it off as a prank—until a series of minor harassments turns into a set of undeniable attempts on his life. The suspects are many—he’s made enemies—and the police are strangely uncooperative. The radio career he loved has turned sour, leaving behind a dwindling audience and the wreckage of his marriage. Then the friendship of a newly blind boy and the boy’s attentive (and attractive) teacher offer unexpected hope. Maybe he can make a fresh start. Maybe he can admit that he’s the source of a lot of his own problems. But when the deadliest assault yet claims an innocent victim, Garrett knows he has no choice—he has to find his persecutors and force a confrontation. The extraordinary outcome will test the limits of an ordinary man. In Dead Air career broadcaster Scott Overton creates the disturbing scenario of an ordinary man whose life is threatened by an unknown enemy.

My thoughts:

I wasn’t in love with the character of Lee Garrett. In fact, I didn’t like him much at all, but that’s exactly the way it had to be for Dead Air to be a successful thriller.

Lee Garrett has made enemies over the years, enough to fill a room with the usual suspects, and his wife left him, taking their two children.  She’s making a new life for herself while Garrett’s disillusioned and jaded and not a bit depressed.  He’s a bit of a schmuck, steeped in a good dose of self-sorrow.  Not an attractive package.

Garrett has his redeeming qualities, though.  The reasons he’s made all those enemies is because he generally tried to do the right thing and exposed their varied douchebaggery in the process.  He’s still in love with his wife, and the friends he has are the dependable kind that come through when the going gets tough.

Then he makes friends with Paul, a boy who recently lost his sight, and Candace, his CNIB counsellor.  As the relationship develops, Garrett learns a lot about himself, and how he is the author of his own misery.

He also makes a staunch ally by virtue of an act of kindness.  He even wins over the detective assigned to his case despite having been black-listed for ruining another officer’s career.

By the time Garrett exposes that act that haunts his life and underpins many of his poor decisions, I realized I liked Garrett, despite his not inconsiderable flaws.  I could even think of him as Lee 🙂

Dead Air is a novel about hard-won redemption and a fascinating character study as well as being a thriller with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the end.

My rating:

4.5 stars out of 5

About the Author:Scott Overton colour high res

Scott Overton hosts a radio morning show on Rewind 103.9 in Sudbury, Ontario. As a broadcaster for more than thirty years (twenty-four of them as a morning man), he knows the world he writes about in Dead Air.

To most readers, morning radio is as much a part of their breakfast routine as a hot cup of coffee. On the air, Scott has become a friend to thousands as he entertains and informs. He brings those same instincts to his writing, with clear prose and honest feelings.

His short fiction has been published in On Spec, Neo-opsis, and anthologies such as Tesseracts Sixteen, Canadian Tales of the Fantastic, and In Poe’s Shadow. He’s also a regular contributor of theatre reviews for a local newspaper.

His other passions include scuba diving and a couple of classic cars.