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long route home from the airport

Returning home from a good visit with my parents in Silver Spring, the flight (despite dire warnings about security in the wake of the pants-bomber incident) was completely routine. The airport shuttle was more interesting; we tried "Select Ride" (same company as Ann Arbor Yellow Cab), assuming that one previous mixed-up experience was a fluke. It wasn't. My rough memory of the time table:

  • 5:50pm: plane arrives on schedule, go to baggage return.
  • 6:10pm: baggage in hand, call Select Ride, as instructed. Wait on hold.
  • 6:20pm: Uh, 10 minutes on hold seems excessive; did I get the right number? Try dialing again. Proceed to level 4 of the parking structure, our best guess at where we should be.
  • 6:30pm: Another 10 minutes on hold, and finally somebody answers and tells us where to go--down to level 1 of the parking structure. Go there.
  • 6:45pm: Nobody there. Try calling again once or twice more. Supposedly the driver's on his way.
  • 7:00pm: Finally get a call from the driver. Tells us to go back to level 4.
  • 7:05pm: Uh, he's not here. Call him back. After searching around some more, we determine that he's at the wrong terminal, and that level 1 was right. OK, back to the elevator. He'll be here in "5 minutes".
  • 7:15pm: Driver shows. Get in the van. Oh, wait, he's got another passenger to pick up; wait while the driver does multiple calls and walks around the parking structure looking for the passenger. Meanwhile, commiserate with another couple who's been sitting in the van nearly an hour.
  • 7:40pm: Driver finally gives up trying to figure out where the last passenger is, leaves without them.
  • 8:30pm: Arrive home.

OK, so why didn't we give up on this a lot earlier?

Anyway. On with the new year! It's going to be busy.