Getting from here (dinner in L.A with Fran) to...
....Coconut House in Waimanalo Oahu Hawaii.....
....definitely was not easy. We planned to stay overnight in Los Angeles so that we could personally meet Fran, a fellow member of an online list, whom I've known as a cyber friend since 1998. That part worked great. We had a wonderful meal and a delightful visit. We left the restaurant fairly early so that we could get enough sleep before catching a 5:30 a.m. shuttle to the airport for our flight to Honolulu.
The uncooperative weather in the midwest delayed flights into L.A. which resulted in an oversold situation on the next two flights to Honolulu. A friend sent me this prose poem by Naomi Shihab Nye and challenged me to put my own saga on paper.
This is what I wrote--with abject apologies to Naomi Shihab Nye:
Eleven hours in LAX,
March 1, 2007
Three flights of people, two scheduled for yesterday
And one for today,
All with tickets to Honolulu from L.A,
Waiting to see who and how many can board
This early-morning flight
And who must wait until 8 o’clock tonight.
While two agents processed tickets,
Another made an announcement:
“Any confirmed seat-holder who gives up a seat
Will receive $400, a ticket to San Francisco on American
And a seat on Delta’s San Fran flight to Honolulu.
They will arrive at 10:25 tonight--Hawaiian time.”
Twelve people volunteered.
“Today’s final flight from L.A. to Honolulu is now filled.
The next flight leaves tomorrow morning.”
Immediately the 10 or 12 stranded non-revs
gather to commiserate—and to plan.
With cell phones and lap-tops busy,
Information is exchanged.
We call Southwest, USAir, Alaska Air,
American and United.
Who flies to San Fran?
Does Delta still have space if we get there?
Dave, parent of a Delta employee, and his wife Pam tell us,
“We’re going to Maui and there’s room for 65 more
on the 5 o’clock flight, arriving at 9:30 Hawaii time.”
Al and Betty from Edmonton decide to stay
in L.A. another day.
The Pakistani couple tells Jeannene about a
Northwest flight from Maui to Honolulu ,
the last one of the day, leaving at 11:45,
But the news arrives just after she had hit “send”
on a non-refundable reservation for an overpriced room
almost an hour from Maui airport.
The family gathers, confers, and concurs:
we’ll take the Northwest flight
And cross our fingers that my lawyer son
In his most persuasive voice
Can convince the hotel manager
To refund the reservation.
He flashes “thumbs up.”
We are going to Maui!
I call the car rental company we’d gotten through Hotwire.
They say they can’t hold the car that long and, besides,
They close at 1:00 a.m. I call Hotwire.
They say, “No problem! The reservation was prepaid.
They’ll hold it for 24 hours,
but we have no control over their closing time.”
We arrived in Honolulu at 12:40 a.m. grateful
that our luggage arrived on the flight we missed.
Bob and Dane ran to get the car.
Jeannene, Clio and I ran to get the luggage.
We decided by cell-phone where to meet.
We loaded the car and got out directions
Hoping our memories from 20 years ago
Would get us over the Pali Highway at night.
We drove into the driveway of our vacation house at 2 a.m.
The owners, knowing our plight,
Left us Hawaiian Guava drinks,
And for breakfast:
Kona coffee, maple syrup
And Macadamia nut pancake mix.
--The Aloha Spirit in action--.
Written March 12, 2007
Needless to say, the next morning we were thrilled to see
this hot-tub in our back yard.