At 7:51p I picked up a lady from the Four Seasons, headed to OGG. Her flight was scheduled to depart at 9:50p to El Lay. No worries. I'll have her there by 20 past 8. Right about the half-way point, her cell rings. Her girlfiend back at the Resort had just found my passenger's wallet under a pillow in the bedroom.
Right in rhe middle of the highway construction I found an area where I could put off the highway, turn around and then head back. Without her ID, she can't get past the TSA security checkpoint. Traffic was a bitch. I never went faster than 9 mph over the speed limit but with frequent lane changes I fought my way through the crowd.
Her girlfriend was waiting for us at the Four Seasons entrance. Wallet in hand.
HugShe wasn't sure how much time prior to departure was the cut-off for accepting checked baggage. She thought 50 minutes. She already had her boarding pass. I "kicked the mule' all the way north, through Kihei. The timing was going to be very tight.
Turned onto Mokulele Highway (SR-311) and, right about where I had made the earlier turn-around, I get behind the nemesis of drivers everywhere. A L.O.L. doing 20 mph in the 35 mph zone. Not only was it illegal to pass her, it was also impossible. Heavy on-coming traffic. As we transitioned off the detour and onto the old portion of the road she slowed to 15 mph. On this portion of the road she never exceeded 19 mph. 2 miles later, where you transition from the old road to the newly completed, freeway quality, highway, I was able to pass her. She had slowed to 9mph to make that transition. I glanced as I went past, accelerating to 55mph. An elderly Filipina. So tiny that she was looking through the steering wheel to see the road. Glanced in the rearview mirror. A bumper-to-bumper line of cars stretching at least 2 miles back.
By this point, the meter was approaching $100. My passenger told me that she only had $110 on her.
"Do you have a major credit card?"While I am filling out the charge slip, she hustles her check-in bag to the Dept of Ag screening, 10 feet away. Runs back and signs the charge slip. Runs to retrieve her bag and them a dash to her airline counter. It was 8:57p as I pulled away.
"Yes. Do you accept credit cards?"
"No worries, Miss. You keep you cash for necessities and we'll just put this ride on plastic. Okay?"
Gave me $22 on a $113 fare. Not half shabby.
The remainder of the shift was a very slow mix of bar runs (to/from).
About 3a, I get a call from US Air (who owns America West) Their flight #31, scheduled to depart at 11p, had been canceled. I had three runs pending, so I had to decline an immediate response. It would be impossible to get there in under 90 minutes. Then each of those pending runs were "10-13's". 3:45a I am called again. Could I please take 4 people from OGG to our local Best Western Inn. I accepted and beat feet across the island. Turns out the lying sob's at the airline had told three separate groups (about 9 passengers) that ROYAL was sending 3 cabs.
I had been given a name for my pickup. It wasn't 4 people but 6. 4 adults and 2 under-10 kids. The other 3 people were all adults. I gathered up the 6 and headed back south. Just before departing #5 (Wally checked in for the day and I dispatched him to get the remaining people. We get to the Best Western and the people are turned away. No rooms available. I acted on a gut feeling and called the Renaissance Hotel. Since they are closing in the very near future, their bookings have been declining. I was right, there were rooms available. My passengers thought that I could walk on water at that point. Made sure they got checked in and "Daddy" slipped me a $20 in his handshake.
Headed for the barn.
9 fares / 141 miles / 4th quarter $200 bracket
***I am going to be dispatching again tonight, from home. Maybe something interesting will happen.
THE PICTURE GALLERY
"Let's all be careful out there!"