North Carolina Trip Canceled :(

Fri 11/6/2015

I woke up at the crack of dawn yesterday to head out to the Santa Fe Airport to catch my flight to North Carolina. Inconveniently it was the first snow of the season for Santa Fe. As my father-in-law drove me to the outskirts of town, it began to snow harder and harder and I began to get nervous. He reassured me that the planes should be able to take off, and wished me luck as he dropped me off.

While I was waiting to get on my plane, the flight before mine was delayed and they kicked everyone out of the boarding area (it is a very small airport). We all boarded our plane and taxied out to the runway, where they began de-icing the plane. Unfortunately, the snow was falling as fast as the de-icer could spray, so the snow was still piling up on the plane. It was deemed unsafe to take off, so we were sent back to the terminal.

Quickly after our flight got back, the next flight after ours was delayed also. It was complete pandemonium in the airport, with a small staff trying to deal with hundreds of irate travelers. Everyone was scrambling to get on the next two flights, which filled up in about five minutes. Plus, it was still snowing outside, so there was no guarantee that those flights would even take off! It didn't seem like that much snow to me, but I guess it was enough to royally screw up this day of travel!

I checked the weather on my phone and saw that the snow was supposed to clear up by 3pm, so I called my airline and transferred my ticket to the 4:30pm flight, which would still get me into Charlotte by midnight, allowing me to rent a car and drive out to Appalachian State University in the morning, before I was needed there. I got in touch with Charlotte-based cartoonist Dustin Harbin, who graciously agreed to let me crash on his couch in the middle of the night. With everyone still screaming at each other, I grabbed an Uber and headed back home.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Liz Prince is in town, and she has a rental car, so she came over to work with Claire and me for a few hours before giving me another ride to the airport in the afternoon.

I had set up a text alert for updates on my flight, and as I sat at the airport I got a series of texts about five minutes apart. My flight was 30 minutes delayed, an hour delayed, an hour and a half, two hours... and then they canceled the flight. I guess there were horrible thunderstorms in Dallas (where my connecting flight was) and the plane that was supposed to leave there to come get us couldn't take off.

Once again, everyone waiting at the airport completely freaked out and started yelling at the small staff at the airport. It was very stressful. Eventually I found out that the one late flight to Charlotte from Albuquerque (an hour away via shuttle) was full, and the first flight in the morning from Santa Fe was also full. I might be able to get the first flight out of Albuquerque, but even if I did it would get me to Charlotte at 4pm, and after a two hour drive I would get to Boone by 6pm, having missed the screening of Cartoon College and the Q&A session.

I called my contact at ASU, Craig Fischer, who did all the hard work to set up all of these events, and we agreed that it was not worth it for me to fly out on Friday, teach one workshop and then fly back on Saturday. Obviously, this was very upsetting and disappointing for me, and probably for him as well.

Although I can rationally say that this cancelation is due to forces outside of my control (ie The Weather), I still feel horrible that I will not be able to see the exhibit, At The Junction of Words and Pictures: The Tenth Anniversary Celebration of The Center for Cartoon Studies and that I left Jen Vaughn high and dry, to handle our commitments alone. Jen is totally capable of handling this stuff by herself and will do just fine without me, but I'm bummed to miss an opportunity to work with her and hang out for a few days.

So anyway, now I'm back home and feeling a bit sick, and frustrated by the waste of time and money that this cancelation has caused. I'd like to publicly apologize to Professor Fischer, Jen Vaughn and CCS for not making it out to North Carolina this weekend!

1 comment on this entry

Absolutely nothing to apologize for, Alec! (The weather isn't your fault.) We'll try again sometime soon...

Craig Fischer Nov07

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