A RROY REPORT Special Report: LawyerCon 2017: Lake Tahoe: Part IV

Part IV: The Long Ride Home

I fear I may have given a wrong impression of the airline industry earlier in Part I. To be fair, we didn’t have many problems with Southwest Airlines or the airports of St. Louis, Las Vegas and Reno. Well, aside from losing Andrew’s luggage — and they got it to us the next morning so no harm, no foul. No, the real criminals in our ride to Lake Tahoe were the parents who think it’s fine to put infants on airplanes.

Yes, I had no real complaints with the airline industry on Saturday.

But that was about to change.

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A photo of the Roy clan in happier times, while taking a boat ride on Lake Tahoe. Something to make you smile before the horror begins.

Got up early Friday morning and had a relatively uneventful drive to Reno. I screwed up a turn, but we got back on the right track without too much time lost. Arrived at the airport in plenty of time to return the car, check the luggage, deal with the TSA, and find our gate.

Board the plane. Wait.

Looks like the airport is full of traffic. We’re going to sit here a while until we’re cleared to go. Thank you for your patience.

We leave Reno about 40 minutes behind schedule, not a big deal but we’ve only got an hour between flights, which has now been cut down to 20 minutes.  Arrive in Las Vegas at gate D-4. Check the screen and see our flight is at gate C-9. That shouldn’t be too bad. Get out of D section and find we are at Gate C-23. Minus the four D gates we just passed, we now have 14 more to go. And the clock is ticking.

We briskly make out way through the crowded terminal. My son, who is usually 50 feet ahead of me on all walks, picks today to be pokey. Somehow, exhausted and out of breath, we make it to our terminal just in the nick of time.

The flight to St. Louis has been delayed by one hour. Thank you for your patience.

The gate is packed with people. There’s nowhere to sit, not because there’s no room, but because they had to make room for all the slot machines. An hour later we still have not boarded the plane.

We will be boarding shortly. We are waiting for the flight crew to arrive. Thank you for your patience.

Some time later — by this time time has lost all meaning — we board the plane. Everyone finds a seat. Someone walks by and says there are 9 seats left. Some time later, about 9 people board the plane. I guess once Southwest realized that they had forgotten to overbook a flight, they went back out into the terminal and started pulling people off the floor to join in.

Everyone’s seated. Still no movement.

We will be leaving shortly. We’re still waiting for some luggage to be loaded. Thank you for your patience.

F******************************************************K YOU! I AM NOT PATIENT! I STOPPED BEING PATIENT LONG AGO! I AM TRAPPED, IS WHAT I AM! I NEED TO GET HOME! YOU ARE MY ONLY WAY HOME! I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO PUT UP WITH EVERY F’ING DELAY YOU PUT BEFORE ME! 

Eventually, the plane takes flight. I would like to say that was the end of our troubles, but you know better than that. I haven’t mentioned the wonderful people we’re traveling with. Yes, there were your standard-issue crying babies, but they were not the bane of my existence this time.

Directly behind me was a young boy. A young boy who enjoyed kicking the seat in front of him — the seat I happened to be sitting in. By the window was a young girl, who spent the entire flight saying:

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

Daddy!

In between them sat a man who I assume was their father – who didn’t do a G-D thing about any of this. When the flight was over and I could stand up, turn around, and face my tormentors, I considered telling the man that he was the worst father in world history. Instead he just looked up at me, smiled meekly and said, “Thank you for your patience.”

No, he really didn’t.

If he had I’d be in prison right now.

 

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