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Planes, trains and automobiles: How I (eventually) made it to Omaha

Chris Graham
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How my day went yesterday trying to get to Omaha for the College World Series: yesterday bled several hours into today, if that tells you anything.

It started with us scheduling me to fly out of Charlottesville to connect in Charlotte to make my way out west.

That was back on Tuesday, actually.

It was going to be cutting it close to make the connecting flight, but I was going to have about a half-hour or so.

Mid-day yesterday, I get an email: the plane out of Charlottesville is going to be delayed.

A half-hour.


So we got on the phone with American Airlines, and after waiting on hold literally an hour (!), the agent figured out a solution: there was a flight out of Richmond heading to Charlotte at 6:23 p.m.

My connecting flight in Charlotte wasn’t leaving until 10:27.

Plenty of time.

We’d be cutting it close to get to Richmond in time, but it was doable.

So, we get in the car, get me to the airport.

I check in.

The agent on the phone hadn’t said anything about there being a bag-check deadline of 45 minutes before boarding.

I missed that by five minutes.

Meaning: the next flight out of Richmond left at 8:27.


I made it to Charlotte two minutes after the Charlottesville flight did, ran across the airport, made the connecting flight.

They held the connecting flight, incidentally, for 15 minutes, to make sure the people from the flights feeding in were able to get on board.


We drove an extra hour, and I ran across the airport, for what, exactly.

The flight from Charlotte to Omaha was, fortunately, uneventful.

Well, I asked the flight attendant for a Jack and Diet Coke, and he gave me all Jack.

Actually, that one worked out for me.

I coulda used a refill.

Landing in Omaha, then, I was supposed to be able to call the hotel to get a shuttle to pick me up.

The phone number for the hotel didn’t work, though.

Tried several times. Had my wife try several times from her end.

Even called the chain’s 800 number to get them to try.

Eventually, I got an Uber, got back to the hotel.

It’s well after midnight now, local time, which is well after 1 a.m., body time.

Then I get a call from the missus around 2 a.m.

I’m not sure if that was local time or body time.

The lights had gone out there, and she couldn’t figure out why.

Several calls back and forth, and it ended up that it was our house and two neighbor houses affected.

They didn’t figure this out until around noon.

I think that was noon Eastern.

Anyway, I’m working on a couple of hours of sleep, but I’m here, sitting on the front row in the press box in Omaha.

I’m pretty sure.

I could be asleep in an airport in Charlotte, having missed my connecting flight, and waiting for the next one to come around.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].