Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Blasted Sandstorms!

11 June 2008

All rested up and comfy here at the Crowne Plaza in Kuwait City. Yeah, yeah, I know. I was hoping to have hopped an earlier flight back to reality but THAT didn't happen! I called United from Ali Al Salem and they said that they couldn't change my flight but to go to the airport at 8:30 pm and they could get me on standby. He reassured me that they always have overbookings and I should probably have no probs getting on the Tues flight versus the Wed flight.

Get there and get put on the list and get told to come back at 10:20 once they have a better idea the number of seats available. Got to Starbucks for a coffee, get back and find that the flight has been cancelled. I wasn't as upset or worried at the guy with 15 suitcases and four kids was! But what can you say? Sandstorms for the past two days with wind gusts probably over 50 mph and a plane still stuck in Washington DC and there you go. Unless you're pooping out 777's, what are ya gonna do?

I was actually shocked that I even got out of Baghdad on Monday. You know you're in trouble when you look out your door at 5pm and the air is an amber color. Does air, per se, actually HAVE a color??? Sandstorms do funky and psychedelic things with the color spectrum of light! Anyway, BIAP had no flights in or out on Sat and Sun due to visibility caused by the sandstorms. Monday was better in the morning, but the haze and winds started kicking up by 10am. They were flying some helo ops, so I guess visibility was only restricted at the low altitudes. Still with so much sand and wind, the conditions were less than perfect. But we got out of there.

As soon as we heard that the flight was cancelled, we got down to the hotel counter to get a ride and room. As I've said before, the Crowne Plaza isn't as nice (location wise) as maybe the Hilton, but being only 5-10 minutes from the airport is pretty sweet. They also have two good restaurants and a nice pool and gym. Not a long stay, so it is very acceptable. Nothing makes you sleep like a brick like having 1/2 pound of medium rare dead cow in your stomach at 11:30pm before bed!

Good thing is that I've got a seat all paid for with my name on it on this flight tonight. United said that they were running our flight first at 10:45pm and then the flight from last night at 01:00am. The guy I am hanging with here at the Crowne Plaza is trying for standby again so he will have two opportunities to get out earlier than his Friday night flight.

All for now.
Don't give away too much information about yourself and your times

Take care Dear and have fun on leave
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