Southwest Apocolypse

After a great extended weekend in San Diego, SMS and I were sitting outside with his parents eating lunch. We knew our flight was slightly delayed, but were enjoying some extra sunshine. Until SMS looked down at his phone, looked up, and said, “Our flight’s cancelled.” Within the next 15 minutes or so, we figured out that Southwest had a massive spate of cancellations and that a simple rebook would not be the answer to our problems.

We briefly considered driving back, but SMS gave it a swift veto. I looked up ticket prices on other airlines, which were not cheap. SMS decided that he would stay in San Diego for a few more days. I “had” to get back to work so started to search for alternatives. I put “had” in quotes because I don’t think I’m the center of the universe. I wanted to fulfill my work obligations, but I felt I could figure out some colleague cross-coverage. But still, I had a shift at the hospital, a planned surgery, and a few days of clinic during a lightly staffed week.

I figured LAX would be my best bet and after a few false starts, I booked a 10p flight on United. Although Rip was super-generous in offering to drive me to LAX, I didn’t want him to suffer in post-holiday traffic due to my workaholic tendencies. I booked a ticket on FlixBus to LA.

The bus stop

Flixbus picked up a load of passengers in Old Town San Diego. I was a little worried that there were too many people for the bus, but we managed to all fit. It took about 20 minutes since people were throwing hissy fits about not having their assigned seat. The main problem was the bus we were on did not match the layout of the seat reservation diagram. But people had paid $1.99 for their reservation and weren’t backing down so the poor driver tried to get everyone off the bus and back on. I was in the back and a guy yelled out, “We’re fine back here” so several of us hung back while the troublemakers in the front shuffled seats.

We were on our way! Traffic moved well. I sat next to a woman with a small baby who, miraculously, slept the whole time. Angel! Union Station in LA is a very beautiful Art Deco-style building that was decorated for the holidays.

I had thought about going to Little Tokyo for dinner, but I decided that I could get similar food in the Bay Area. Plus, I wanted to see a new-to-me part of town. I went to the Arts District for dinner at Wurstküche. Although I have very good intentions for eating well in the New Year, it’s not 2023 yet! And I know, should good habits start today rather than some New Year? Obviously…not! So, I had a vegetarian Mexican Chipotle sausage, Belgian-style fries that were incredible, and a beer. So tasty!

Then, I took the LAFlyer to LAX. Man, buses are really a good deal! The traffic outside the airport was crazy, but inside the terminal wasn’t bad at all. I pretty much just walked up to the TSA Security officer and was behind the gates in no time. I tried to get on an earlier flight, but it was full. I only had an hour to wait and, in the interim, got bumped up to first class!

The flight was uneventful apart from some mild turbulence. My seat was right at the front, which was great for disembarking. I decided to continue the theme of Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. I took the BART to Caltrain on the last trains of the night. I walked home in the rain and was so happy to be in the our beautiful apartment building. I felt less at peace inside the apartment where it looks like a hoarder’s paradise. However, I have a pre-New Year’s resolution to make a significant dent in the clutter so hopefully, our apartment will be a serene oasis for 2023!

4 thoughts on “Southwest Apocolypse”

  1. Yay for a first class bump! It sounds like you were in a real ‘roll with the punches’ kind of mood, which is a good mood to be in when things go awry.


  2. First class! I am sorry the flight wasn’t longer 🙂 but I guess you deserved the bump after the little travel reorganization. You took the changes in stride!


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