Murphy Dome Diaries

A journalist observes life in the far north.

Phantom Flight 84

We woke up this morning with a renewed sense of purpose, packed our final bags and went to the airport to plead our case. Our goal was to catch an earlier flight out of Alaska or at least be in the right place if an opportunity presented itself.

Redoubt erupted this morning and the rumor was that a flight to Anchorage was being diverted to Fairbanks, after which it would head to Seattle.

We waited but the flight never came. By afternoon, planes were safely landing in Anchorage. That’s when we heard about Flight 84.

This late afternoon flight was rumored to be leaving Fairbanks, bypassing a stop in Anchorage on its way to Seattle. Alec booked reservations by telephone. We went to check in. The ticket lady looked at her computer and wrinkled her eyebrows. She called over to another ticket agent.

We don’t have a Flight 84, do we?

The co-worker said no. The flight does not exist, they told us. How could we argue with that? Somehow, it seems we were booked on a phantom flight. So they changed back our reservations to the red eye tonight. We gave up our vigil and came home to wait for it to be time to go back to the airport.

Since coming home, we learned that Redoubt erupted two more times at 5:30pm and 7:30pm.

Our flight is still on but it’s hours away and anything can change. We have 42 hours to get to San Francisco in time to start traipsing around China, which was the best way we found to get to Kathmandu.

The good news is that Alec called the guiding service and they said not to sweat it. Assistant guides from Europe are having trouble also getting to Kathmandu.

I just checked Alaska Airlines’ Web site and saw that the plane we are schedule to fly out on tonight is on its way to Fairbanks. I returned to the flight status page, typed in our flight number and almost had a heart attack when it came up canceled.

Did you type in the right day? Alec asked.

I hadn’t. Whew.

I re-typed the flight number for the right day, pressed enter and raised my arms, my fingers crossed. We’re good—for now.


One comment on “Phantom Flight 84

  1. Jill
    March 27, 2009

    This sure is a cliffhanger. You guys are better than an episode of anyone’s favorite tv show. Wishing lots of love and safe journeys that do happen.

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This entry was posted on March 27, 2009 by .
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