Renee’s question a few days ago about things piling up made me think about YA and I heading off on our trip two weeks ago.
We got to the airport a little early; we were expecting the traffic to be much worse as it had started to snow. Check-in and security went pretty quickly. TSA has some new equipment so you don’t to take your laptop out any longer, but thanks to the shoe bomber (anybody remember that – I do as I was out of the country when it happened and security had seriously ramped up on my way home), I think we’ll always have to take our shoes off.
We loaded on time then sat for a bit on the tarmac waiting for our turn. Then the captain said we had to get de-iced and so we waited some more for that. Then we waited our turn again. Then the captain said we had sat around too long and needed gas. As we turned back to the gate we heard the news that the airport was closing down. Since we were now just one of many planes returning to their gates, the airport was short on snowplows, so we sat some more. By the time we actually got to the gate, it had been 3 hours since our initial departure. I had a sinking feeling but it was a direct flight and when they de-planed us, they said we could leave our stuff on the plane. I wasn’t too worried and now we had time for a decent lunch.
After another hour, the gate agent made an announcement that the airport was re-opening and they were going to board us soon and quickly so we could get ahead of the line. Another hour goes by (no rush boarding) and then the announcement is about how long the pilots are allowed to be on schedule; they have to either new pilots or perhaps get a new flight plane that shaves off some time. Another hour goes by and then suddenly an entirely new flight crew shows up at the gate and gets on the plane, followed by a quick departure of the original flight crew. Just the crews, no pilots.
Finally they put us back on the plane, but surprise surprise… by the time we pushed back from the gate, they said we had to be de-iced again. It seems as if just about everything but mechanical problems had happened and the cynic in me was expected an announcement about that as well. But we did eventually get de-iced (I’ve never been de-iced on the same plane twice in one day) and 7+ hours after our scheduled departure, we were wheels in the air. My inner cynic hadn’t quieted down yet so I was kind of expecting a turbulent fight, but it was very calm and uneventful, with no further surprise announcements from the cockpit. Instead of a 4:30 p.m. arrival in Honolulu, we were off the plane at 11:45 p.m.
Window or aisle? Pretzels or cookies?