Still in Chicago.
After storm one passed through, We were told that our flight was going to be an hour late. Things were looking all right as flights were pushing back and getting off the ground. I got on the Weather Channel site and saw another line of storms was headed towards Chicago and I'm saying to myself, this isn't going to be a hour this is going to be much longer.
Typically, when they she a flight late on the system at United you can count on it actually loading much later than what they say...except this time. I got to the gate and the plane is already loading. There is also big black clouds filling the sky. I got on the plane and after about 20 minutes the storm hits. Just about as bad as the first one. My seat made says, "I bet tornado's look at airplanes as gourmet dining after filling up on all those mobile homes." Hmmmmmm.
We sit on the plane for an hour and they tell us that the crew has timed out. That means that with the projected flight time they will have been in the air too long based on FAA rules. The announcement was, "We've timed out, this flight is cancelled, please get off the plane and get in line at customer service to get rebooked."
Of course there are a billion other flights (OK not a billion, 285 million, 315 thousand, and 20) canceled as well meaning scads of people doing the same thing (Jeepers Lakeview Coffee, this calls for Superman). If you've been through this drill, you know that you cover all your bases. So you get on the shortest line you can find or qualify for (the Red Carpet Club line in this case) and you get on the phone with the airline at the same time and whoever you get to first you use. I'm booked on a flight the next morning (now as I write this). I make use of United's automatic flight update messaging service, so I get a convenient message telling me my flight was canceled and the flight I was re-booked on...this morning.
Motherrocker and John the Armenian had called wondering if I had gotten out and offering their house if I hadn't. I gladly took them up. It is very nice to have a home like place to crash in this kind of situation. Thanks MR and JtA! I even got to see the Dukes again before she went to bed. And I finished up the evening on high note, sipping my private stash of cognac that I have at MR's and watching the Thursday night fights.