Usually I have pretty good luck with air travel. But not this time. It seems that Murphy has decided to tag along from the very beginning of the trip this time.

Missing Laptop

First, the friendly TSA morons folks nearly lost my laptop while going through the security checkpoint at SFO. Don't as me how, but even before my laptop went thru the x-ray machine, someone had decided that the tray it sat in was empty and put it back on the stack.

Of course, I was going thru the metal detector and didn't see what happened. Instead, I got to the other end and saw my jacket and computer bag come out. That was strange because I had purposely put my computer between those two items to minimize the chance of me missing it.

Needless to say, it took about 5-10 minutes and the combined brain power of 3 TSA employees to figure out what had happened. For a brief minute or two, I was convinced that someone either pulled it out for extra inspection or had walked off with it entirely--even though I couldn't fathom how that was possible given the physical layout.

Engine won't Start

We got to the gate about an hour early and found a spot located near a power outlet.

NOTE TO AIRPORT DESIGNERS: Put way more power outlets in terminal waiting areas. In the brand new international terminal at SFO, there's still only two outlets every 40 feet or so. What sort of genius came up with that ratio?

We boarded the plane and before long were watching the German/English "safety video" as we pulled away from the gate. (I'm flying Lufthansa.) Then we stopped. And heard some engine noises. Then the pilot comes on to inform us that engine #2 wouldn't start so we'd have to go back to the gate.

Two hours later a valve adjustment/repair/replacement was complete and we were ready to taxi and take off--two hours late. The astute reader has now realized that there was only one and a half hours between our scheduled arrival in Frankfurt and our departure for Bangalore.

More later...

Posted by jzawodn at November 30, 2003 12:41 AM

Reader Comments
# Manish Jethani said:

Ok, now I want to see what your face looks like when you're here in Bangalore :-)

on November 30, 2003 01:19 AM
# Jasmeet said:

2 every forty feet??? Oh geez, lets hope the wireless coverage is good.

on November 30, 2003 01:29 AM
# Mahmood Al-Yousif said:

You ain't seen nuffin yet! If you ever come to Bahrain, just prepair for the REAL attack of the morons!

enjoy your flight and arrive safely.

on November 30, 2003 01:51 AM
# BenM said:

Are you sure the outlets are there for your use or are they there for the cleaners to plugin in their vacums???

on November 30, 2003 01:55 AM
# tfr said:

Two every 40 feet is still a whole 2 every 40 feet better than the situation in Charles De Gaulle (the Paris airport). Extensive search during my last 1.5 hour wait there turned up zero power outlets.

on November 30, 2003 03:08 AM
# Mark Nottingham said:

Same thing happened to me a few months ago; my laptop mysteriously disappeared, only to be found about ten minutes later between two of the trays at the other end of the line.

I really don't see how this can happen unintentionally, and did think it was a scam for a little while, but do remember how astoundingly boring their jobs must be...

on December 1, 2003 09:20 AM
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