Fought Through Sandy & Delays to Fly the 787
Finally getting back into swing of things here. “Swing?” I sound like I’m 80. Doing a bunch of catching up with everything, not just tumblr but music, life, and work.
For those of you out there that do follow me, here’s what happened:
Many months back, I planned a vacation/business trip to the East Coast stopping in Baltimore, D.C. and NYC. On the way back home I was scheduled to fly on United’s Boeing 787 inaugural flight from EWR-IAH-SFO, but when I touched down in D.C. I was informed that Boeing had delayed delivery of their second aircraft that was to fly that route and that I no longer had a chance to fly on the inaugural flight. Then came Sandy from bikini bottom and made things even more challenging. While electricity flickered on and off and the ceiling tiles acted as if they were possessed while I spoke to different booking agents for hours (Only time AT&T had full bars, go figure) trying to find a solution to re-route or reschedule myself on a 787. Only to be then informed that the IAH-ORD inaugural on United’s 787 #1 plane was full and that I had no choice but to fly back home empty handed. I had almost given up when out of nowhere things changed, literally divine intervention, I swear. Thanks to a good friend and United they were able to overbook me into the inaugural flight from ORD-IAH plus also from IAH-LAX, which was so unexpected I almost didn’t believe it till I received my new booking information a few hours later.
Only challenge that remained ahead then was to get from D.C. to NYC in order to continue with the rest of my itinerary. At which point I was informed that Penn Station in NYC was closed due to the aftermath of Sandy. So again, another hurdle presented itself making it tough to get into NYC unless I rented a car or took a bus by forgoing my train ticket altogether without a refund option since it was a points booking. However, as luck would have it I was also informed that someone made a mistake on my ticket and I was booked on the train a full month later instead of the following day which was a blessing in disguise that I would only value later. Therefore, that presented a greater challenge on trying to leave D.C. as all the trains that were going into parts of New York were now full due to people using the train services to move about after Sandy had passed.
Eventually somehow, some way, my luck changed again and the good people at Amtrak were able to squeeze me into a train leaving early in the morning the following day, not leaving me much time to sleep or pack.
I finally got on the train at the last most possible minute as traffic in and around Baltimore/D.C. areas is a pain if you’re driving early in the morning. Their freeways aren’t like L.A.’s massive runways that keep expanding (405). Finally though I reached my hotel near the airport in NYC at which point I just hoped and prayed there would be no more challenges to face so that my inner child could finally realize his dream of flying on the 7E7 which we all know as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner today.
As a Pilot and aviation buff I had always wanted to be a part of an inaugural flight and closely followed the A380 and B7E7 developments. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the means to fly on the SQ A380 inaugural flight in 2007. It was a disappointment at the time but my love for aviation and Boeing came through five years later and I’m happy to report I was able to meet some great people at United, including the CEO himself, plus the seasoned professionals that fly these new and beautiful carbon composite jets at United.
Overall, the trip kept me on my toes and proved to be a very humbling and incredible experience that I’ll never forget. Thanks to Allah, Sandy, Tahsir A., Southwest, Amtrak, United Airlines & everyone else that made my trip possible.