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Houston, We Have Lift Off

It took 24 hours after stepping foot in the Houston airport, but today at 4p, I was in a plane and wheels were up on our way to Salt Lake City. Unlike my 24hr stay at the Dallas airport, this was not weather related. Once I knew I'd miss my connection in Dallas, I opted for a Houston airport hotel stay and a direct flight that left at noon. The plan was to get some sleep, attend a 10a meeting, then fly home with an ETA of 2p.

I didn't sleep well, so after a couple hours I headed to the gym then had a decent breakfast at the hotel. I had to go to Terminal A early to set up for the meeting and made a beeline for a quiet area with limited seating.
Best Seats in Terminal A
After the meeting, I went to the gate by way of the food court to check out my lunch options. Just as I was ordering a sandwich, I got a text that the flight was delayed 2 hours! Using yesterday's strategy, I didn't order and proceeded to the gate. It was almost an hour before take-off and there was no plane nor an explanation for the delay. Since SLC was my final destination and still my best option, I found a suitable work station and dug in.

Stand-up desk with plenty of juice
At 1:30p, with 30 minutes to go (but still no plane), I ordered the sandwich and ate it at the gate as more delays were announced. There was a cryptic explanation about a plane diversion then another announcement that the plane was here but the gates were occupied. At 3p, the plane was at the gate but too hot for us to board. Then we boarded, left our carry-ons on the jet bridge, agreed to the Exit Row rules, and turned phones to airplane mode. We were that close and then... 

They asked us all to deplane so they could do a security sweep. We huddled around the gate for 5 minutes, then re-boarded, and pushed back. By now the crew was dangerously close to expiring and we sat on the tarmac for some time raising rumors about a return to the gate. Finally after a 4hr delay and for me, a 24hr airport stay, we were 3rd in line and ready for take-off. The passengers all started clapping and then everyone held their breath until we officially had lift off.

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