The NorthWest flight didn't leave Seattle until around 8:30 AM but with the advance checkin time, the fact that I'm not exactly a morning person and the Shuttle Express took some advance notice meant that I had to get up at 4:30 AM.

  Heck I'm going to Paris to hop a train and surprise my girlfriend, what do I care that I'm getting up at 4:30 AM?

  When I got to the airport it seems the plane that I was going to be on had arrived late the night before and according to FAA regulations the pilots hadn't had enough sleep.
 
  That was strange since I'd checked the flight status before the van picked me up. It would have been nice if the NorthWest had called or left a message with folks, but no. The woman I was talking to at the airport couldn't find me any other flights that would let me make my train connection. So I had two months of planning only to find a rude surprise at the ticket counter.

  She pointed me to another NorthWest counter with a guy who checked around and found me a connecting flight, he was nice enough to let me go behind into the office to leave a phone message for Elizabeth so I could tell her exactly which flight I'd be on since it'd changed at the last minute. Sure I was routed through Amsterdam but then he became a little excited when he found out that the flight leaving Detroit would be on the latest 747-400, which brings up one of the cardinal rules of air travel.
   
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