I did my first mileage run of the year today. This was the big one that would give me enough miles to qualify for American Airlines Platinum status. With this, I will get double miles on all AA flights until February 2009!

My itinerary today was, as always, odd. This would be a pure mileage run with no time to leave the airport. Austin to Dallas to St. Louis to Tulsa to Chicago and back to Austin. Leave Austin at 8:35 a.m., get back in around midnight.

With this being an all-day trip, I planned to eat lunch in St. Louis and dinner in Chicago.

The Austin-DFW flight went okay until we landed. The plane taxied to the terminal but stopped a few hundred feet away. The pilot announced that another plane was sitting at our gate blocking us; once it finished loading and departed, we would pull up to the terminal. “We should be there in ten minutes or so.”

Thirty-five minutes later the other aircraft finally cleared the terminal and we were able to arrive. The bad news was that we had spent so long sitting there that I had no time to visit the Admiral’s Club for a while, I had to get to the other terminal as quickly as I could to connect to my St. Louis flight.

We arrived in St. Louis on time, I ate lunch, and went to the Admiral’s Club. I logged onto the American Airlines website and saw that my itinerary had changed, it showed me flying from St. Louis directly back to Austin. What happened to Tulsa and Chicago?

Then my cell phone rang. It was American Airlines operations in Tulsa calling to tell me that there was a problem with my trip. As the agent tried to explain the situation to me I was paged by the Admiral’s Club staff. The agent told me to speak to them, they could help me best.

The AC staff explained that Chicago was having bad weather that was causing problems throughout the system. As a result of this, they could get me to Tulsa, but with no guarantee that I could get to Chicago. If not, I would have to spend the night in Tulsa at my expense.

If they could get me to Chicago, there was no guarantee that they could get me back to Austin. I could spend the night at a hotel at my expense, or try to sleep at O’Hare. They knew they could get me home Sunday, but did not know what time.

It looked like I did not have many options in this situation. I agreed to head back to Austin.

An hour later I was on a direct flight back and was home by 6 p.m.

I was not able to complete my full agenda, but I did qualify for Platinum status, giving me double miles for all my future flights. When all was said and done I got home safely. Mission accomplished.