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Thanksgiving in Rome  

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Sunday, November 19

I arrived at the airport at 5 p.m. for my 6 p.m. flight. I had packed the night before so I was able to enjoy church and go out to lunch with friends without any last minute headaches. Once arriving at the airport I found that my flight to Chicago would be late (no surprise - they are always late). We departed about 30 minutes after we were scheduled. I was a little concern about making my connection to Birmingham. At the worst I figured the airline would put me in a hotel for the night and fly me own down the next day. 

I will say that United (actually United Express operated by Air Wisconsin) has greatly improved their customer service. Before we boarded, we were kept well inform of the status of the plane (when it left Chicago, when it was close to Madison, when it landed, etc.). The gate attendants were also proactive in rescheduling those who would miss their connections. On board, we had the greatest flight attendant ever. At the end of our flight she actually got a round of applause from the passengers (many of whom were missing flights or having to go on rescheduled connections). She managed this by her wonderful sense of humor. I won't try to repeat her jokes here but can only say you will be fortunate if you ever find yourself on a flight crewed by Deann Braxton. I also wrote United commending her for her job performance.

We arrived at Chicago just minutes before my next flight was to depart. United Express uses the "B Terminal" at O'Hare. These are smaller jets that park away from the terminal and require you walk into the building. Realizing that my connection would be nearby I was hoping I could still make my flight. As soon as I got into the terminal I spotted the gate from which my connection would be leaving. The gate attendant informed my that my connection had just arrived and that they would begin boarding in the next few minutes. A few minutes later I found myself back on the exact same plane, the same seat, and the same flight crew including Deann. How fortunate could I be? We arrived in Birmingham only 30 minutes later than scheduled.

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