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The Delay

April 19, 2018

 

 

“Oh, they are getting me to Dallas,” she says, white earphones plugged into a black Samsung.

 

Because seriously, a windshield wiper motor? Like they couldn’t have figured out that was broken last night? When the plane landed and taxied over to Gate A9?

 

Please watch your step. Moving walk is nearing its end. Thank you.

 

Caution! Moving walk is nearing its end. Please prepare to exit and watch your step. Thank you.

 

“It sat overnight,” says the other. “It was dry last night. They didn’t know it was broken until now, when they turned it on.”

 

When they turned it on, the plane, it was around 5:30 a.m. An hour before it was supposed to fly out of Pittsburgh to Dallas.

 

“Southwest is having a week,” she says.

 

“Yeah,” the other says. “But good thing it’s not an engine blowing up. I mean, my God.”

 

Caution! Moving walk is nearing its end. Please attend to children and watch your step. Thank you.

 

Please watch your step. Moving walk is nearing its end. Thank you.

 

“But why can’t they just get the parts from like, United? I mean, honestly,” she says. 

 

“Well,” the other says, “they have to fly the mechanics up. They’re coming up with the parts.”

 

“Oh,” she says. "The actual mechanics?”

 

“Yeah,” she says. “And then this weather. The snow. I mean, my God. But I’m just glad it’s a windshield wiper and not an engine. I mean, my God.”

 

Please watch your step. Moving walk is nearing its end. Thank you.

 

Caution! Moving walk is nearing its end. Please prepare to exit and watch your step. Thank you.

 

“It’s not just a windshield wiper that needs replaced, it's the motor, too,” says the ticketing agent to a woman in a white North Face jacket. “The parts have to come in from Baltimore and then it’s a two-hour fix for the mechanics under perfect conditions. Do you want to cancel? I can give you a two-hundred-dollar voucher, but I suggest you take a picture just in case it gets lost. And here’s a ten-dollar lunch voucher to use at any of the vendors here. No, I know. I do. I’m sorry…”

 

Please watch your step. Moving walk is nearing its end. Thank you.

 

Caution! Moving walk is nearing its end. Please prepare to exit and watch your step. Thank you.

 

“This isn’t going to work,” he says. “I have a one o’clock appointment in Dallas. I might be able to get out on American… or maybe they can meet me later. It’s hard to say. He’s a great customer, but everyone is busy, you know? And can you believe this snow?”

 

“No,” she says. “I can’t.”

 

“If anyone who is still here at the gate has not received their voucher, please form a line here so I can give it to you. It will take a minute or two, but I want to be sure you get your voucher,” the ticketing agent announces.

 

Caution! Moving walk is nearing its end. Please attend to children and watch your step. Thank you.

 

Please watch your step. Moving walk is nearing its end. Thank you.

 

“Wait, is that a bird?” she says, pointing to the carpet as something small and brown chirps its way past.

 

“I thought I seen something fly by,” he says.

 

“For those of you flying to Los Angeles, we are now going to route you through Atlanta,” the ticketing agent announces. “Any passengers en route to Los Angeles, please step over to the counter so we can get you routed through Atlanta.”

 

Welcome to Pittsburgh International Airport! As a reminder, ticketed passengers only are allowed past the ticketed passengers security checkpoint. Thank you.

 

“I had an appointment at one but I don’t think that’s happening,” he says. “Even if I fly out on American, that’s an 11:30 flight.”

 

“You won’t make your appointment,” she says. “American is the only direct flight to Dallas?”

 

“Yeah,” he says. “No way I’m making it. I’m going to wait it out, though. I mean, parts get here, probably like half an hour to fix. I mean, how long could it take? They’re saying one pm but that’s just an estimate. They always like to estimate it.”  

 

Please watch your step. Moving walk is nearing its end. Thank you.

 

Caution! Moving walk is nearing its end. Please prepare to exit and watch your step. Thank you.

 

“For those of you connecting through Dallas to San Antonio, please….” The ticketing agent pauses. “Wait, what?” she asks the other agent. “Oh. Yeah. That’s what I thought. For those of you connecting through Dallas to San Antonio, please come to the counter so we can get you on another flight. No, sorry; you’re on standby. You don’t get a voucher. Sorry.”

 

Caution! Moving walk is nearing its end. Please attend to children and watch your step. Thank you.

 

Please watch your step. Moving walk is nearing its end. Thank you.

 

“I don’t think I’m going to make the appointment. It’s already nine o’clock,” he says before picking up his white iPhone. “Cancel the car rental, the hotel, Southwest, and American,” he says into the receiver. “I’m coming home.”

The "Our Stories" series is an ongoing writing project by Kate Benz.

 

Capturing a moment in time in our everyday lives. 

Raw. Real. Honest. 

 

 

 

 

 

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