The least expensive way to get from our house to FlapJilly's house includes a ninety minute drive to Phoenix. Allegiant Airlines flies out of Mesa Gateway Airport, off to the side of the megalopolis. A one-way ticket takes a passenger directly to the tiny South Bend airport for as little as $72, if you catch the sale on the right day. You pay extra for everything - a reserved seat, a bag in the overhead bin, early boarding, soda or chips or pretzels or lunch - but the planes are new and the seats are comfy (if you aren't too wide or long), the flight attendants are helpful and friendly, and the planes are always on time.
The down-side is that the planes fly between those two cities only on Monday and Friday, and the flight to South Bend leaves Mesa at 7:30 in the morning. So, today, we set our alarms for 3:55am and were in the car by 4:15, TBG at the wheel. I navigated us successfully to the parking lot, we found a great spot, shaded by a tree, and we shlepped the suitcase through the pouring rain to the terminal.
I took off my shoes and walked barefoot; suede and water are not a good combination.
There's an Arrivals/Departures display right inside the doorway.... and it did not share good news. For the first time since we've been traveling this route, there was a problem. Our plane would not be leaving at 7:30.... the board read 11am. Discovering this at 6am was quite unpleasant, to say the least.
And so, we waited. The plane which was to take us had never left Pasco....and don't feel bad if you've never heard of Pasco, because no one else had ever heard of it either. Apparently, it's a tri-city area in the state of Washington.
We waited. TBG stretched out over several empty seats and napped. I read The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas, my go-to on the Kindle when I have time to kill but no appetite for a story. We waited and ate and waited some more. We didn't have little kids to corral or an appointment to make, so we were relatively sanguine about the delay. But it kept getting longer and longer.
Finally, the plane arrived, passengers exited, we entered, and I turned off my phone. When we landed, safely, three hours later, I turned it on again to find that Allegiant had sent me two $50 vouchers via email. No explanation. No apology. Just $100 in my inbox.
All of a sudden, I didn't feel all that bad about the delay.