I fought to get here. It started with a power outage at Ontario International Airport. Computers were down, counter staff was processing orders on their cell phones, and boarding passes were handwritten. What little electricity there was came from backup generators and extension cords. So we were told. I handed my passport to the airline representative at the exact instant that the terminal was evacuated. Because many of the airport security services were inoperable, K-9 units were being used to screen passenger luggage. Someone’s suitcase smelled suspicious and so everyone was corralled to a patch of grass adjacent to the terminal. There was no sense of urgency—it was too early in the morning to move with any urgency. By the time we were allowed back into the airport and I had cleared the screening process, it was about the time my originally scheduled flight should have been landing in Dallas. But that was ok—I didn’t even mind that my name was wrong on the handwritten manifest. I purchased a few rations from the foldable triage table and I was happy to be on my way. But I would not be on my way. The manifest was too wrong. People were in the wrong seats—some on the wrong plane even—and, of course, my name was spelled wrong. But a poorly prepared manifest is not what kept us. Other technology kept us. American Airlines grounded all flights at Dallas/Forth Worth and in Chicago O’Hare and Miami International due to a technological glitch in their computer system. We were connecting in Dallas en route to Miami and so we were grounded. I would end up leaving Ontario International Airport five hours after my originally scheduled departure and seven hours after I had first arrived. It was an improbable day. But all days must end and eventually my day ended in Miami as it was supposed to. It’s worth noting that the news reported few delays and no cancellations at Ontario International.
We would never learn what was in the suspicious luggage.