The Great Iron Bird And The Blood Moon

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Sometimes air travel can be stressful. Like, what is the deal with airline peanuts? And what about that pack of Bloodwolves that always chases you through the airport trying to get you to fight for your place of honor within their pack and claim your wolfbride? And why is there so little legroom? These are the questions be need to be asking.

Having missed my flight home from Emerald City Comicon, I was forced to stay an extra day in Seattle and thus, no regular comic update for today. My bad fortune ended up being David’s good fortune since his plane didn’t leave until 11pm Monday night. We were able to celebrate his birthday in style (and cuddle) and rejoice in the fact that his recent suicide attempt had failed.

My flight back to DFW was at 6am Tuesday morning, a time which I did not appreciate until later when I learned that Dallas and its surrounding suburbs were being destroyed by TORNADOGEDDON 2012 and all flights in or out of DFW would soon be grounded. We got plenty of rain, but no damage to our home or our frail human bodies.

I would like to reiterate that ECCC is THE BEST comic convention in North America. The Fancy Bastards I encountered in Seattle went above and beyond to make me feel welcomed and appreciated. And the cookies… oh sweet baby crocodile-faced Jesus monster clone, there were so many cookies. Also booze. There were so many tiny bottles of booze. We… did things with candy and booze… bad things. Also I danced with a meta-shirt-wearing-Ewok.

I bet there will be a fancy sketch comic tomorrow.

COMMENTERS: Hit me with your saddest airplane/airline related stories, or perhaps your greatest flying triumphs.

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  1. It was nice to meet both you and David face to face after reading both your strips for the past year. Offerings of nourishment and libation shall be brought next time.

  2. I spent 19 hours in a strange airport on my first trip alone because my connecting flight was 20 minutes late and the airline gave all our seats away. All night long they put me on new planes and then threw me off when the person who was supposed to be in that seat finally showed up. I had no money, no cell phone and no one would let me use their phone to call my family and let them know what happened. Worst time of my life!

  3. Not too bad, but on one flight home I fell asleep on the plane with out my head touching any thing, yes I slept completely up right, and yes my neck really hurt afterwards. Then on the same return trip my change over was delayed about 2 hours meaning I arrived the my final destination ariport at 12:00am instead of 10:00PM. Which of course meant a delay for the luggage since it was basically a skeleton crew there so I didn't leave the airport until about 1:30am. Like I said not that bad, it could have been far worse.

  4. Last October, I was flying home after visiting family in Hawaii and all felt well until I got to the airport at 10am and discovered that my flight was cancelled due to technical issues with the plane. After waiting in a ginormous line, my boyfriend and I finally got seats on another flight headed to another airport which was still relatively close to home.

    The flight was leaving soon so we fought through the crush of people, TSA, and the bloodwolves to get to the gate, where I was certain we'd missed the plane. Turns out that there was a technical issue with *that* plane and they had to make us wait until they'd fixed it. Which was fine, if not for one of our fellow passengers on the flight, a child in a stroller who was SCREAMING HIS DAMN FOOL HEAD OFF. Seriously, we could hear this poor kid from two gates over. I thought that perhaps something was wrong, but the parents (or guardians, I can't claim the adults with him were one or the other) didn't seem too worried, and when I caught a glimpse of the child's face, that was not the face of a child in absolute terror. It was a little bizarre to see a placid face make that kind of noise.

    The child would not stop screaming for the 4-5 hours we had to wait at the gate. Finally, the airline decided that they'd put everyone on yet another flight, rather than rush the repair of the second aircraft. So, they made us wait an extra 2 hours while that plane arrived.

    The gist of it is, my flight was supposed to arrive in San Francisco at 8:30pm and instead, we arrived at Oakland at 1:30am the following morning. Luckily, the airline offered free car service for everyone who lived within an hour's drive of the airport. So my boyfriend and I finally made it home and through the front door at 2:45am.

    I'll always remember this day because as we were waiting at the airport, news trickled through the terminal that Steve Jobs had died.

    It was a strange, strange day.

    • Oh hey, you were on the other side of the ocean waiting for the same plane that I was supposed to be getting on at SFO! I just wrote what happened on our side below…

  5. This is why I fly myself; albeit at a slower and lower pace, but I'm on my own schedule.
    So, I guess that would fit under the "Triumph" category.

  6. Mid 70s; I'm pregnant, our 12 yr old niece had died in the dentist's chair getting her braces removed so we had to fly from Wa to Co, with barely enough money for this emergency flight. None for food or anything while there.

    I stupidly put our return tickets in the 'pocket' for safe keeping while flying. On the ground again, we get halfway out to the airport and I remember the tickets! We run back, tell the desk what happened, board the plane and tickets are already gone! Cleaning crew had really 'cleaned up' this time.

    Then, you didn't need ID to fly, so no proof per say that we had tickets, and the airline said; oh so sad, too bad. We had to borrow $$ to get back home. I don't like flying too much. Next and last flight I took was the 'milk-stop' run from Wa to SoC. Took 18 hours, 4 transfers, and I got frisked three times. That was in 2004. I hope I never have to fly again. Unless it is a private jet. Do I look guilty to you? ;}

  7. My favorite TSA moment was flying from Australia into San Francisco with lace up boots to my knees because they didn't fit in my luggage, jeans with various metal accoutrements on the outside, and then shirt with metal buttons, going through the metal detectors without setting them off. Then proceeding onto the plane without getting searched beyond a perfunctory look into bag where they decided my crochet needles were totally dandy.

    I got more crap from the guards from trying to bring 100 dollars in quarters on a flight in my loose leather dice bag.. though to be fair it was one of the better home made saps I've ever had so I can kinda see those guards point about why they didn't want me to bring it on.

  8. This past September I was at long last flying back home to Toronto from Edmonton after working on an install there for two straight months. The line to get my boarding pass was remarkably short, I didn't get flagged for the random security inspection for once, the plane wasn't delayed, and my boss had booked me the aisle seat of the emergency exit row (which is a boon, seeing as I stand at six foot two). Furthermore, there was even an empty seat separating me from the other fellow in my row.
    Best. Flight. Ever.

  9. I once spent a full 24 hours in the Las Vegas airport because I let a friend convince me that it would be a good idea to fly stand-by, and I didn't have enough money for a hotel room.

    Since slot machines bore me to tears, the most interesting things I did was talk to a guy who got thrown off his flight for being too drunk, and watch Scott Caan hold court with a bunch of his rowdy friends in the food court.

  10. Glad your home was still in one piece when you returned! In Delaware a tornado path missed my house by a mile or so. I was returning from work, had to take a different route due to downed trees, then passed through the damage again on the alternate route. I was quite shaken and apprehensive when I got home, but I lucked out and all was OK.
    Also, isn't an attempted Hulk Out a TSA offense?

  11. aaah the bloodwolves, as a former military brat, and soon to be military serviceman, the bloodwolves and i have always had a fairly balanced understanding of eachother

    after every 5 flights i sacrifice unto them my most beloved of stow-away bags, the one filled with food and liquor
    in exchange they allow me an easy (albeit hungry) passage unto my next destination. also once i was accepted into their pack i took the name runs-for-pork and took howls-for-blood as my wolf wife……..they were good times

  12. Best/worst airplane story is from a few months ago, actually… arrived at the airport at 7AM, about a hour and a half before my five-hour flight. No security hassles, and I eat a leisurely breakfast in the terminal watching the sun rise, so I'm feeling good. We board the plane, I settle in and prepare to nap most of the way. Before I drift off, I smell something kind of car exhaust-ish but it's very faint and I assume it's nothing important.

    Fast forward about two hours into the flight, over the ocean. I wake up to a slightly stronger smell of exhaust than before, and the captain on the PA system announcing that we will be turning back to the airport because they don't know how the exhaust is venting into the cabin and they want to get it checked out, just to make sure it's not a precursor to a fiery doom. So we backtrack to the airport, and the flight attendant instructs us to remain seated as repair technicians board the plane to check things out. We wait. After an hour, they announce that they still don't know what's causing it, and they want everyone to offboard while they run more thorough checks. They tell us to come back in one and a half hours to see if the plane is ready for takeoff.

    One and a half hours later, the plane is not ready for takeoff. In fact, they have decided to ground the plane and get us a new one. The new one will be ready in… an hour. I eat lunch. No wait, there's some delay getting the new plane, make that three or four hours. And we will all have to be assigned new tickets. The PA system for the flight gate gets a little garbled as the ticketing agent explains how new tickets and seats will be assigned. People are as confused as I am. I end up standing in a line for an hour that turns out not to be a line at all, and then another half hour in the proper line for my new ticket. Thank goodness I wasn't on standby, those guys got royally fucked.

    More waiting happens. Finally, we board our plane as the sun is beginning to dip low in the sky. And after all that, it's still a five hour flight.

  13. We've flown Air France twice 1st was our honeymoon from the UK to the Caribbean, on the flight back the air crew were on strike so we only got fed a cold salad for the 11 or so hour flight.

    2nd was over a decade later, from UK to USA. We were forgetful and cheap. First thing, you fly an hour in the wrong direction because all long flights go via CDG, Paris.

    • The flight back is running late, we land at CDG as our gate for the Air France UK flight is due to open. It's their home airport but we taxi almost to Calais a coach eventually takes us back to the terminal. We join a very big queue at internal security to get to our gate. We should be boarding. We tell people, they put us in a special queue. We watch the queue we were in move faster than us. Finally we get to the front, we say we're 30 minutes late, assured it'll be waiting. A lot of people missed this flight (pretty much everyone on the plane was going on to the UK) so we believe them. We get to our gate. Nothing. Eventually we find someone who tells us we'll need to go back to the Air France desk, which is on the other side of Security. We trudge back past the queues to line up in a queue that contains most of our plane. Gallic shrugs at the counter, the idea of actually fixing their own problem seems too much work. Finally we get another flight and a chit for 10 Euros of food, we had no cash, we weren't going to be in CDG long enough. We queue back through Security and sit around eating baguettes until finally getting back in to the UK 6 hours late.

      • We didn't have it worst. Behind us in the queue was a guy who'd turned up at the gate with his wife & 2 toddlers. He'd left them to find out what was happening. At the desk he was told his new tickets couldn't be handed out unless all 4 were there. They offered no help to make this happen. As we got to the front of the security queue we saw him and her coming back carrying 2 comatose children and all their children crap.

        As we almost got to the front of security an American was ahead of us. He did the basic check, walked towards his gate, was called back to have his rucksack checked. Did that, now quite angry. As he left a second time the checker said 'enjoy your flight'. He replied 'shove your flight up your arse' (or words to that effect) two police suddenly pounced on him and dragged him through the special door. It being illegal to be at all abusive to even a sarcastic civil servant in France. I'm guessing he missed his second flight too…

  14. The first Christmas after I moved to Los Angeles, my roommate and I brought our cats back to Illinois with us. This was a terrible mistake. We didn't realize it at first because they were totally fine and quiet on the flight from LA to O'Hare, but later it became clear that they'd been saving up for the flight back.

    They cried in their carriers in the car, but settled down on the bus on the way to the airport and were quite good while we boarded. They were even all right during takeoff. It wasn't until we were well on our way that cat M went BERSERK. She started struggling like her carrier had caught fire, and actually managed to muscle the zipper open, even though we had *safety pinned it shut*. She broke the pins. Both of them! We tried to soothe her, and she finally seemed to settle down, but it was a ruse. Two minutes later she *lunged* up and actually managed to get three-quarters of the way out of her carrier before we caught her.

    Now you have to imagine two girls bent double in their seats, trying to channel Mr. Fantastic enough to reach the carrier in the miniscule footspace and get the poor cat back in without hurting her, while also not panicking cat C. We did eventually manage it, but didn't dare take our attention from that carrier for another second until we were safely on the ground. When we were, she finally did settle.

    Which meant it was finally cat C's turn. She barely fidgeted the whole flight, but as we were waiting for the shuttle, she suddenly did a little dance move in her carrier that caused the whole thing to fall off the suitcase it was perched on. I checked her and she seemed no worse for the tumble, and we made it the rest of the way without further incident.

    So we got home and got inside, and the first thing we did was let them out of their carriers. And cat C, I noticed immediately, was holding one front paw up by her chin and limping calmly along on three legs. You can imagine, I just about had a heart attack. I thought she'd broken something in that fall, even though she didn't seem to be in pain. And when I checked her, it turned out she'd just gotten her paw trapped under her collar. *eyeroll* Lord have mercy!

    Then I realized that I'd lost my wallet on the shuttle.

  15. I was going on holiday to Greece with my fiance on 31st August 1997. We'd gone through to the departure loungeat Gatwick at about 7.30pm and were waiting for our flight to be called when there's an announcement that it's delayed, and that it'll be a pretty long delay, but that, because a large number of flights had been delayed that night, there weren't any available hotel rooms for us. They handed out flimsy, smelly blankets & pillows and food vouchers and buggered off. We made ourselves as comfortable as possible for the night but at about 1.30am the news came on about a car crash in Paris. For 4 hours we listened to reports of increasing direness about the state of Princess Di's health; cuts & bruises, broken arm, coma. Finally, at about 5.45, just as the airport bar was opening for breakfast, they announced that she was dead. Rang out around the departure hall "Yes! I've won a score!" Someone had actually bet on whether she was dead or not. An hour and a half later we were finally on our flight. That guy was 2 rows ahead of us, still happy about his win.

  16. I've flown many many times, and never missed a flight, often to my own great astonishment.
    What happens, Joel? Did they make you shell out for a new ticket?

  17. Saddest? Okay….This is way late, but I spent a month in New Zealand with my fiancee, and from the second we entered the area I had to leave him, all the way through the entire first flight to get me into the US, I cried…and cried…and cried….I was a red faced, sniffling horror show….and noone even asked if I was okay. The flight attendants just looked at me like I was a psycho… Wrong kind of sad?

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