23 December 1996
I was supposed to fly up and meet my parents in Chicago for Christmas that year since my dad had a 5 day layover there due to reduced holiday schedule. However, since we had nothing major planned until the 25th, I decided to nonrev up to MSN and meet some friends there for lunch on the 23rd morning at 8am, flying back to ORD in the evening. Loads on UA were wide open strangely enough, so I felt confident about the trip and bought my ID90. We left ORD on an Air Wisconsin BAe146 at 8am and were on approach to MSN about 40 mins later when it began hailing and we had to go around. We circled for over an hour while the hail turned to snow and then diverted to DSM for fuel. Back in the air and still circling MSN, we were informed that the airport was closed for now, so we diverted to MKE. UA had us set up with buses over to MSN and I finally got to the airport around 3pm and met up with my friends. Unfortunately, all flights OUT of MSN that evening had been cancelled due to weather, so we drove to a friend's place in Tomah, WI (about an hour north of Madison) where I spent the night. Next morning, flights out of MSN were still cancelled, so we headed over to LSE and I bought an ID90 for the AA flight to ORD at 1230pm. Unfortunately, ORD was now closed due to weather and that flight was also cancelled. Facing the prospect of being stranded in the middle of a Wisconsin blizzard for Xmas, I went over to NW and got another ID90 issued for Mesaba's LSE-MSP flight at 2pm. I got to MSP at around 3pm and spent 4hrs playing NBA Jam at the arcade there until ORD opened and they were able to accomodate a nonrev. I finally caught the 8pm A320 flight down and arrived back at our hotel around 1115pm on December 24. What a Christmas!
I was supposed to fly CX from BOM to YYZ via HKG, continuing to ATL a few days later on AA. Unfortunately, an *accident* by an AA agent cancelled my ENTIRE reservation, which I only discovered when I called to reconfirm 2 days in advance of the flights. Alas, BOTH my flights were now oversold and they were unable to rebook me on those, but AA offered me an alternate routing of BOM-DEL-HKG-LAX-BOS-YYZ-ORD-ATL. Due to a religious holiday in BOM, the local AA office was closed so I wound up nonrevving BOM-DEL on the 330am 744 redeye and getting the ticket reissued at the AA office in Delhi instead. I spent all day in DEL and then caught the DEL-HKG A330 redeye flight that night at 1130pm, arriving in HKG in the early hours of the morning. After about 6hrs in HKG, I caught yet another redeye from HKG-LAX on a 744 arriving in LAX the same day (due to international dateline) around lunchtime. After relaxing in the TWA Ambassadors Club for a few hours, I caught my FOURTH CONSECUTIVE REDEYE from LAX-BOS on a 757 at 10pm and finally connected to an American Eagle ERJ from BOS-YYZ arriving in Canada at 10am the following day. Total door-to-door journey time was just short of 65 hrs.
Due to a bunch of rescheduled trips over September 11, I wound up getting myself scheduled on a set of back-to-back trips from hell in early October. I caught a 3pm Delta 757 flight from ATL to PHX, arriving in PHX in time for a dinner meeting there. Overnight at the Hilton and a lunch meeting the next day in Scottsdale, followed by a 5pm hop on a 763 up to LAS on DL and then the LAS-ATL 757 redye arriving at 530am, connecting to a 7am 764 flight to TPA. Another meeting in Tampa, followed by a Delta Express 732 hop across to MCO where I was supposed to take a Delta 777 at 1pm up to ATL and continue on to ABQ for the Balloon Fiesta. Unfortunately the flight was oversold, so I volunteered for the bump and took $500 in compensation for a reroute. I was rebooked on the 2pm 763 to CVG connecting to a 738 on CVG-ABQ, but the first flight ran late and I misconnected in Cincy and got rerouted on a 757 from CVG-SLC. At Salt Lake City, I caught the 10pm Skywest CRJ (the FIRST revenue flight of N435SW incidently) down to ABQ arriving around midnight where I overnighted at the crappy Motel 6. The next morning, I caught the colorful Balloon Fiesta and then headed back to the airport for my Delta 738 flight to ATL. Unfortunately, the line at security were horribly long and I wound up missing the flight and getting rerouted on a 733 to DFW in a middle seat, connecting to a 763 to ATL in another middle seat. Headed home at ATL for a quick change of clothes and to swap out laundry and then back to the airport for an 11pm 764 flight down to TPA again where I overnighted at the Doubletree. Next morning I had a quick meeting in TPA before an 11am NW flight to DTW on a 757, which also ran late and I missed my connection to JFK. They rerouted me back onto Delta for the 3pm CRJ operated by ASA DTW-JFK and I arrived in New York around 5pm. Headed over to Air India where I checked in for the JFK-LHR flight scheduled to leave at 710pm. After I boarded the flight, we pushed back and taxied out, only for our 744 to return to the gate with a mechanical problem. We were required to stay on board due to US security regulations. Thankfully, they served dinner to us Business Class passengers on ground and we finally took off just before 1am, arriving into Heathrow the next day around noon. I headed straight to my hotel and slept like a baby till the next morning!