American Airlines does open their ticket counter two hours before their first flight, so the logical contradiction I encountered on a previous trip has gone away.
The long leg of the flight (OAK-DFW) was nice and quiet. This is the first time I'd flown one of AA's DC-power-equipped airplanes. Alternate rows have 12VDC "cigarette lighter" outlets. As it happens, the power supply for my Inspiron can handle that as well as North American plugs and current. I dug out the 12V plug, ran it to the outlet under the seat in front of me (nobody was sitting there), and used it to charge my laptop. Nice when the tech works.
We arrived at DFW about 10 minutes early and then sat for about 25 minutes waiting for our gate to clear. And of course my connecting flight was in another terminal. This the first time I've been through DFW since they built the new inter-terminal train that replaces the old trAAin system. (I'm glad that, on my last trip, I did a complete tour of the airport on the old system, so I can say that I rode it at least once.)
Checking the departures board, I got a bit of a start when I saw "Chicago - Canceled" but then I realized it was the AA flight an hour before mine that had been canceled. Of course, refugees from that flight were piled up trying to get onto my flight, so we left with no empty seats for the flight to Chicago. I got to my departure gate less than ten minutes before they started boarding, so I had no time to hunt around for food and had to take what was on hand, which was a rib-joint where I got a hot link sandwich and a diet cola, inhaled them, and got on board my packed flight.
The woman in the middle seat next to me was one of the flight attendants from the canceled flight, being sent on to Chicago with the rest of that flight's crew so that the crew allocations would match up properly.
I met up with my co-worker at baggage claim (he'd come from Seattle, arriving shortly before me but having to come from another terminal). I got my bags and we made our way outside to the Avis shuttle bus. For a change, Avis Preferred worked for me. I gave my co-worker the directions and we headed out to Naperville. Google Maps let us down at our exit, and we got to drive around a while before we found a place we could legally reverse, but aside from that, we made it to our hotel without serious incident.
I signed up for Wyndham by Request a few years back when SMOFCon was at a Wyndham. I've never used it since, but as it includes free internet access (wired or wireless), I'm glad I have it. And they even had the place of cheese and crackers and a Diet Coke waiting in my room, just like my preference sheet requested. Nice when the system works.
Unfortunately, in about ten minutes or so we have to head off to the company-sponsored dinner gathering. Otherwise, I'd fall into bed right now. I don't expect to be out late carousing with my co-workers tonight, especially as we have to be in the office by 7:30 tomorrow morning for the Marathon Day of Meetings.