Lets start this by telling the premise of the story. This is going to be a huge thread, so no need to complain

A road-warrior by profession for the last 4 years, I fly from Memphis to Philadelphia every week, been doing that for the last 9 months and will continue to do so for another 9 it looks like. Since I check into the same hotel every week, I leave my bags with them, just to save me the hassle of traveling with anything more than my laptop bag. Now, some acronyms

MEM : Memphis Airport

RDU: Raleigh Durham Airport

CLT : Charlotte Airport

PHL : Philadelphia Airport

ORF : Norfolk Airport (Virginia)

ATL : Atlanta Airport

The story : My week, as is the case with every week, began on Monday when I took the 6am US Airways from MEM to CLT. While printing my boarding pass, it turns out I was booked to a pointless flight from CLT to RDU, to accommodate a cheaper price within the travel budget plans. I did not care, since it just meant a few more miles here and there, that I can use to get away from my life, despite having not managed to do so within the last 5 years. Upon arriving at CLT, I managed to get on the massive Airbus A320 that was needed to take folks from CLT to RDU, so far so good.

After delaying on the taxi, we eventually hit the runway and take off 25 mins behind schedule on a sodding 20 minute flight, we reached the cruising altitude of 28k feet, and amble along, the pilot mentions we are 10 mins away from landing at RDU. A minute later suddenly there is a loud noise and the pilot later announces that the plane has been struck by lightning and we need to return to CLT, after circling over RDU for more than 5 minutes.

"Feck it" I said, "this is how this week is gonna be" I told myself and prepared to return to CLT. Hoping to pick up a quick Americano at Starbucks, I walk along to realize it has a 5 mile serpentine queue. I walk to the kind fat lady at the US Air Customer Service and told her my story saying I just need to get to PHL, and me being a gold member on US, it should be an easy plug for her to make. I forgot that the goal of customer service is to make sure that the Customer is disserviced, and she managed to get me a seat on a semi empty plane, right next to the crapper. I just shook my head and walked away, snatching the boarding pass. She kept saying Sir, Sir, as I walked away and I just turned back once and glared at her and that was that.

At the gate, I managed to get an upgrade again to First Class, (which is a relief ...... sometimes) after chatting up the Gate Attendant chick, and was seated next to this man, who was chomping on Chilli Nachos from California Tortilla or something , which made the whole area smell, and suddenly my Cool-water was not working anymore. I stank of food. Who the feck eats Chilli Nachos at 10am in the morning?

I arrive at PHL, pick up my car from AVIS and move along, the week moves fine, till I begin my return travel to MEM on Thursday evening at 4.30pm. After dropping off my car at AVIS, I realize that the priority lane for security check-in is more full than the regular traveller lane (everyone is an elite these days, me included).

So I amble into the regular security lane, and manage to keep the bag on the tray. I panic, realizing I left my laptop in the conference room at work. A middle eastern looking guy panicking at security is generally not a good sight and obviously the TSA folks saw it wise to say " Sir, plz walk this way" and I was questioned about why I panicked at the gate. I eventually had to disclose who I work for, and show them, lets say a specific badge and then they fecked off, and I left the room angrily stamping thru the security and walked towards my gate on Terminal D at PHL, frantically calling everyone at work, to see if someone can pick up my laptop from the conference room. Thankfully someone did, which works. Now I need to take her out to dinner and make small talk. Feck!

On board to CLT after the customary 1 hour delay at PHL, suddenly the plane develops a snag (as it was announced), and lands at Norfolk airport (ORF) as an emergency landing. We are told that a second jet shall arrive and pick us up, and take us to CLT as planned, within the hour. The time then was 7.30, I was calm, because the last plane to MEM is at 10.35, and that should give me plenty of time to make my customary run across the length of CLT and catch my plane. Well the plane arrived 6 hours later, and I had missed my connection to MEM. So I was stranded at CLT, at 1.30am on Friday.

The kind fat customer service lady (feck, she remembered me), put me on the next plane out of CLT, which was 7.30am and gave me the complimentary upgrade, and a hotel ticket, for me to crash at a hotel for a few hours. "Holiday Inn? ffs! " I told myself and walked away, thanking her.

I checked into the hotel at 2.30am, only to checkout at 6 again, to get back home for what seems like 40 odd hours. "The missus will be happy atleast", I told myself and tried to catch some sleep in the process. At 4.30am I was awakened by what obviously seemed like a fire alarm, and we all had to evacuate and post that I could not sleep. I just stayed in the lobby downstairs after a quick shower and said, let me just be here so that I do not sleep again and miss this jet as well. So we arrived at CLT and after clearing security and boarding the plane, the pilot announces that we will have to deplane as CLT has a ground stop due to weather / fog concerns. Eventually the fog clears up and our plane leaves at 9.30am and I amble into my home in Memphis at 11am. The missus is obviously at work, and has been tracking my locations using the find my phone crap that she made me install, and is curious why I chose to stay back at CLT, and why was I walking around at 4.30am in the morning. After explaining the whole story to her, we finally get down to some lovin, late Friday night, after which her friend from CA decided its important for us to know why her first husband left her, and kept us awake till 3am CDT on Saturday.

I finally pop a couple of Xanax and get to sleep only to wake up and feeling all hungover at 10 am. The missus heads off to the gym, while I still sloth around in the bed, not realizing anything. When I finally woke up at 2pm, the missus had gotten back, and it was time for our weekly, "when are we getting married" discussion. Her parents sometimes make me want to put a bullet thru my own head!

After I manage that, and move on with my remaining weekend, I got on a jet last evening to return to PHL. Here comes the fun part. Some bloke at the hotel has apparently swapped bags with me and that means my workout clothes (all of it) and my portable gym (SPRI reistance bands ) are all gone and so is my Thunder and Lightning Stack and my tubs of Alpha-Vol


So now I have gotten into work, Monday 7 am, knowing I need to shop for clothes and gear ,but mostly my stack and mybands are gone, which means I have no workout equipment now. The Hampton Inn I am staying at, has a treadmill and some ellipticals and the bicycling thingy. The bands are all I have to workout.

So there it is, now I can take this either as Taken 2, or No Easy Day 2 , depending on what it eventually pans out. The Hampton Inn folks have said they will continue to look for the bag. Lets see what happens. It was a Samsonite 4 wheel roller board bag that I am really gonna miss. I travelled the whole of 2011 (175k miles) on it

Thanks for reading thru!