Hey! Prior to Monday, I had never been on a plane that was forced to land because there was a hole in it, and then later saw a drunk chinbeard slow dancing with a one-legged lesbian, but I guess if you live long enough, everything that can happen eventually does.
Let me back up. The Wife, Baby Beyonce and me left SFO Monday morning at like 6 am to go see my extended family in Real America. First we flew to Denver, which was uneventful except for the guy who locked himself in the forward lavatory and was violently ill the whole time and was taken off the plane by paramedics when we got there. But hey, there but for the grace of God go I, etc., etc.
The real fun started when we left Denver. About 45 mins into it, a panicked-looking girl was reseated into the row in front of me and spent the rest of the flight looking back nervously. The captain came on the PA and said there was a mechanical problem and we'd be landing in Kansas City but NOTHING WAS WRONG and we weren't going to die or anything. This was alarming because (1) we were definitely not supposed to land in Kansas City and (2) we were probably going to die.
(We found out later that the pressure seal around the exit row door partially blew out during takeoff and there was a hole in the plane the panicked-looking girl could see daylight through and so they evacuated the exit row and decided we should land and instead proceed on a plane with no holes.)
So we landed in Kansas City. This was about 1:30 p.m. I don't know if you're familiar with the KC airport but it is a fucking mess. There's a security checkpoint for like every three gates, so we were trapped in this little area because we didn't have boarding passes that said Kansas City on them and so we would essentially be Ghost Passengers who couldn't get back into security and were Citizens of No Country and would probably be disappeared just to save Frontier Airlines any more hassle. They finally decided to let us out so we could get something to eat at the Budweiser Stadium Club instead of the little snack bar by Gate 78 that only sold yogurt and power bars.
Hours passed. People trickled back to our original gate slash waiting area. By now it's like 6 pm and we've been promised that a replacement part was arriving on a 6 pm flight. By this point, as happens whenever you throw a bunch of people into a crisis situation together, a sort of society had formed. Over here, the floppy haired kid with a skateboard was bonding with a Tumblr-looking chick with glasses. Another woman had spread out her collection of Essential Oils and was explaining their utility to a perfunctorily interested audience. Meanwhile, a loudmouthed know it all hypochondriac lesbian who had been sitting in front of us on the plane was still braying away to anyone within earshot ("ALLERGIES? I have so many allergies I take 20 milligrams of prednisone every day." "If I don't eat something I go into a semi-diabetic kind of shock.") I knew she was a lesbian because she had been braying about her girlfriend to the guy next to her in front of us and also because of her extremely short frosted tips hair.
Around 6:30, a late-30's early-40's chinbeard I had seen before approached the lesbian and wordlessly embraced her and started slow dancing with her. He was very, very, very drunk. She seemed only a little surprised by this. "I'm so sorry about your Mom," she said. She had to break it off when she got a phone call and he wandered away. Amazingly, the phone call was a fake girlfriend call from the Essential Oils lady who was SITTING RIGHT THERE and, unbelievably, already had gotten the lesbian's cell number. (Later we learned via the lesbian that Chinbeard was on his way home from his Mom's funeral and was very upset and drunk. She said he was very brave to start slow dancing with her.)
Right as some guy was in the middle of an excruciatingly boring story about how his bus broke down, we got word that Frontier was putting us up for the night in Kansas City and we would all leave tomorrow. We were told to go get our bags and get in line to rebook for tomorrow. This Bataan Death Line was endless and painfully slow.
Luckily I had dispatched The Wife and Baby Beyonce to get our luggage and got in line relatively early; we got to the front after about 45 minutes. I heard it took 2 1/2 hours to rebook everyone. I cannot fathom what took so long. Can't you just hand everybody their same seats they had today? Why was this harder than the math section of the SAT?
We were assigned to the Comfort Inn, which was fine, I guess. (The guy in front of us as about to get the Comfort Inn too when another guy appeared next to him and said to the Frontier person, "No, he wants to go to the La Quinta." Then he turned to the guy. "A bunch of us are going to the bar at the La Quinta. Come on!" I didn't know that La Quintas had bars. The guy smartly took Another Guy's suggestion and went to the La Quinta.)
That's about it. We finally made it to our destination the next day.
POSTSCRIPT ONE: How did I know the lesbian only had one leg? In the shuttle to the Comfort Inn, she had to have a special seat so she could accomodate her fake leg, which I guess doesn't bend or something.
POSTSCRIPT TWO: To make up for the hassle, Frontier issued $150 vouchers to everyone who bought a ticket on the Doomed Exploding Plane Flight. The Wife and I used our miles to book the ticket, so we got squat. Our 8-month-old daughter now has a $150 voucher. I wonder where she'll go!