No A/C, 110 Degrees, And A Full Plane

February 17, 2009

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

Several years ago I was on a business trip from Ontario, CA to DFW. I arrived at the airport with time to spare and waited for my flight. We eventually boarded–a full flight. As we were getting buckled in, I heard the flight attendant talking to a gentleman seated across the aisle and behind me. I barely caught the conversation, but I did hear the word “delay.” When the flight attendant left I asked the gentleman what was going on. He explained that the flight attendant had told him that there was “weather” at DFW and that there would be a delay in our takeoff.

For those of you who are aware of “weather” in DFW, you know that it can cause significant delays. This was in the summer in California–the temperature in Ontario was around 110 degrees. We pulled out from the terminal and the captain announced that we were unable to take off due to the weather in Texas and that we’d sit on the tarmac until we could take off. Then he cut the engines (which also cut off the A/C). The flight attendants suggested we close the windows to suppress the midday sun from coming in and heating us more than we already were.

There we sat on the tarmac for 2 hours. We were given sips (seriously–less than 1/2 a cup at a time) of water and nothing more. No A/C, 110 degrees, full plane. We were sweating and it was getting rather smelly.

Finally after two hours it was announced that we were going back to the gate but that if you got off of the plane you couldn’t get back on. I’m okay with that–there’s no way I’m staying after those two grueling hours! I deplane (thank goodness I only had a carry on bag!) and call to cancel my hotel stay and get back to my car and drive home (another two hours in rush hour traffic).

Later that night, I got on the internet to check the status of the flight I was supposed to take. Originally it was to arrive in DFW at approximately 6 PM after taking off from Ontario around 2 PM. At 10 PM it was still in flight–circling DFW. It finally landed around 5 AM! Had I been on the flight, I would have probably been late to the business meeting and would have never seen the hotel as I was scheduled to return home that afternoon. That was one business meeting I was glad to have missed!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 5, 2008 at 6:03 pm

How do you know it was 110 degrees?

Why was the A/C off?

What about the Aux power unit that provides air?


Anonymous November 12, 2008 at 5:34 pm

It's always around 110 in the middle of the day in Southern California haha.

Great story!


Damned at Random November 24, 2008 at 2:37 pm

110 degrees is not unusual in Ontario. It is in Mojave desert.


Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 9:32 am

I call shenanigans. TFP says the plane was circling at 10PM and landed at 5AM There is no way a plane from KONT to KDFW would hold for 7 hours in the air.


Anonymous April 6, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I agree. I have been in weather situations at DFW. They will land you in OKC or AUS and bus you to DFW before they will circle for 7 hrs.


Paul April 8, 2009 at 9:59 am

ontario is not in the mojave desert


yesteraeon May 5, 2009 at 6:45 am

no way the plane even had enough fuel to hold for 7 hrs


Lovetofly September 13, 2015 at 5:02 pm

Maybe they stopped to refuel since the op didn't go.


Lovetofly September 13, 2015 at 5:04 pm

And he didn't know what happened after he came home


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