Just because the slide opens, doesn't mean you get to use it

IMG_0023.JPGOur trip to Chicago was wonderful and on Tuesday we rushed to the airport trying not to blame each other in front of the kids for why we were late. It turned out that we were able to meet the 45 minute baggage deadline for our flight, although we both promised to do things differently next time (travel with kids IS fun). We boarded our 747 and got the kids buckled into our full row of middle seats and ready for naps. We had food, our nasal aspirator (for ‘thaniel), and more books than we really wanted to carry (our luggage was 7 lbs overweight and we were asked to remove some of the books). The plane was hot but we knew that it would be cooler once we took off. Then the announcement came… “folks we apologize for the heat, we haven’t been hooked up to the air conditioning unit while we’re on the ground but once we take off it will be better, in the meantime we’re going to crack a few doors to cool things off”. As a Californian, all I could think was that it was a fabulous idea, with the humidity and all, but before I had finished smirking there was a strange noise followed by an announcement that a slide had been deployed and we were all going to have to exit the plane.

I waited until everyone was off to move ‘thaniel while Stephen took Benjamin. The plan was to run to another terminal at O’Hare and try to get on one of two flights. The likelihood of all four of us getting seats together on another plane after having waited for an entire 747 to deplane seemed unlikely so we let the kids sleep and waited through five announcements about departure time changes until we were told we could board again (four hours later). The flight on our very empty 747 was uneventful but we were disappointed that unlike several years ago, United did not try to compensate for the late take off by giving us food or free drinks.