Delayed flight to public transportation to radical generosity – Part 1

This is part 1 of a 3 part post simply because the story is too long to tell in one post.  I hope you enjoy.

Pam and I were headed back to Atlanta on Monday from several days of great connection and relationship building at the GENERIS team meetings in Keystone, Colorado.  We decided to stay and extra day with our good friends Kim and Brian and we had a blast with them just hanging out eating pizza, dairy queen, and watching Forest Gump on Sunday night after the NBA playoffs.  It was a good time.

Kim and Brian took us to the airport on Monday after lunch for our flight back to Atlanta.  This is where it gets interesting.  We zip through security after being greeted by two wonderful Airtran employees at the counter while we checked our luggage.  They were simply doing their jobs, but they did it with a smile and courtesy.  (This shouldn’t be such a big deal, but in this day and age it is.)  We navigate the trains and arrive at the gate in good shape.

 Pam looked out the window and noticed several emergency vehicles including two fire trucks, an ambulance, and many suv’s with many “official” looking people milling around and looking up at the sky.  After further investigation Pam noticed they were not looking up at the sky but rather at two Airtran workers working on the tip of one of the wings we were supposed to depart on.  Hmmm.

 The gate employees come on the intercom and tell us the pilot has called maintenance and we will be delayed at least an hour.  No big deal.  An hour later we are allowed to board the plane.  We are ready to go with the door closed and the pilot comes on and says “This is your pilot; not the pilot who landed this plane in Denver.  While taxiing to the gate this plane clipped another plane and caused damage to one of the wings.  The repairs have been made, but NTSB must inspect it.  We need you all to leave the plane as this may take quite some time.”  Great!!!!!

 So, we get off the plane and return to the terminal.  People with connecting flights in Atlanta are getting a little testy.  The gate workers for Airtran went into motion and they handled things incredibly; especially Jackie.  Jackie is a supervisor for Airtran and she got on the intercom and began to explain what happened and where we were going from here.  She let everyone know that every passenger would receive a free round trip to anywhere Airtran flies.  That eased the tension quite a bit right there.  Then she announced that Airtran is now flying to Jamaica as she literally did a little song and dance to make this announcement.  This received much laughter and the tension was lessened even further. 

 Because of the long delay Jackie began offering the choice to passengers to stay in Denver for the night at Aritran’s expense.  We would be arriving in Atlanta at 2:00 AM at this point and couldn’t get on MARTA so we decided to stay in Denver.  They hooked us up at Cambria Suites (a sweet hotel; pun intended) and our bag even was removed off of the plane as it was about to actually leave for Atlanta and made it to the baggage carousel and was waiting on us when we got there. 

 The driver of the shuttle was awesome and treated us like royalty.  He helped us with directions to various restaurants and even told us they had coupons for appetizers to several of the restaurants if we didn’t want to spend a lot of money; a man after my own heart.

 Pam, as many know, is a foodie (someone who likes to cook a lot, read cooking magazines, has a ton of cookbooks, talks about food a lot, and watches The Food Network A LOT!).  She always knows of the cool restaurants in the various cities we travel to.  This trip it was D Bar Desserts (  A restaurant owned by Keegan Gerhardt and his wife Lisa.  Pam really wanted to go but it looked like it wasn’t going to happen on this trip.  Until……

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