Parade Of Delays

December 16, 2007

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

My husband and I were at Dulles, set to leave for London for a big, and expensive, Christmas break. Our flight was delayed for hours but no staff member bothered to mention it, or explain it, so the hundreds of passengers sat around looking confused. Finally, police showed up and the plane, which was sitting at the gate the entire time, went dark. Turns out, the pilot got drunk and wobbled his way into the cockpit, at which point he was cuffed and escorted off the plane.

Interesting enough experience for the passengers, but our blood went cold when the real drama was announced: there was no other pilot to take us to London, at all, that day. Not one. In the entire country.

So after a 5 hour delay we were ordered back to the registration area to all make new arrangements–all three hundred-plus of us. By 3:00 a.m. they managed to put most of us in hotels for the night. Not that it was worthwhile, as we had to immediately get up and get back to the airport: we’d been ordered to arrive three hours before our new flight to allow them time to process us. We did, hundreds of us, but the registration desk did not bother opening until ONE hour before our flight. Miraculously, we got to London a full DAY late, missing my husband’s reunion. Worse still, one woman missed her own wedding in India, as her connecting flights were now in havoc, 48 hours before Christmas, and she could not get to India in time for the wedding parties.

The best part is that our return flight was just as bad: we arrived the requisite three hours early, only to find our flight delayed three hours “for security reasons,” which we later found out meant something mechanical on the plane. So in order to be back in time for work, we forced them to put us on new flights—my husband flew ALONE to Washington DC and I flew ALONE to Miami–on a flight that was also three hours delayed.

The kicker was that when I arrived at 2:00 a.m. in Miami, I had to drive 5 hours north to Jacksonville to be at work by 8 a.m. The airline ticket agent arranging my car suggested that I share the car with the random man standing next to me who had to get to Georgia, who needed a ride!!!! I declined that idea.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Anon April 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Of course, everything these days is "for security reasons," just to shut us the hell up.


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