Delayed At O’Hare Airport

July 24, 2009

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

I was on my way back from a school-sponsored trip to Europe. The week was fantastic. The flight back into the US landed in O’Hare early in the morning, with a long layover before the flight home to Pittsburgh. Because there was not enough room for our entire group on one plane, four chaperones decided to take a later flight. The weather in Pittsburgh was terrible, and the first flight was delayed substantially. This didn’t irk me too much; I’m usually fairly understanding. By the end, both planes carrying members of the trip were scheduled to take off around the same time. We boarded and taxied out onto the runway, where we sat for several minutes. Something felt horribly wrong. The pilot announced that there was a leak in our hydraulic fluid, and the flight would be canceled. “Fine” I thought to myself “We’ll get the next one.”

There were no planes into Pittsburgh until the following week. Luckily, we were able to book a flight into Columbus the next day. Unluckily, I did not observe standard “flight rules” of packing an overnight bag as one’s carry-on. I lived a night in O’Hare Airport with a hoodie, a copy of Atlas Shrugged and a hairbrush. By the end, I had spent well over 72 hours in my clothes, and hadn’t washed my hair for probably twice as long. The chaperones that chose to take the later flight? They got home almost a full 24 hours before we did.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

SAW July 25, 2009 at 2:48 am

Hmmm… couple of things don't sound right here…

1) "There were no planes into Pittsburgh until the following week."

Out of OHARE? I find that hard to believe. And…

2 "I lived a night in O'Hare Airport with…"

If your flight was canceled because of a mechanical problem, the airline would have offered a hotel and transportation if it meant an overnight wait.

Not saying it's not a true story – but have a feeling not all of the story's here.


SAW July 25, 2009 at 8:50 am

was my point… more to the story


Anonymous July 25, 2009 at 12:25 pm

ORD-PIT service is about 1/5th what it was three or four years ago, and if the weather in Pittsburgh was bad, it’s conceivable that it was bad enough for one or two cancellations to fill up all the flights into PIT until the next week. (In the interest of drama, remember that Sunday morning is “the following week” after Saturday night.)

It’s also quite conceivable that the airline could have simply said, “Sorry, we’re cancelling this flight because of weather in Pittsburgh, so you get nothing.”


Annie Nominus July 26, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Nothing to read but Atlas Shrugged…this is a horror story!

Seriously, no one I knew in college has EVER liked Ayn Rand, we mostly slugged thru to get the passing grade. We figured is was the Prof's version of Hell Week.


KM September 14, 2009 at 9:42 am

Ayn Rand is actually a fantastic writer. I suggest everyone read her novels, especially the Fountainhead. It is well worth the effort (it is a rather long book).


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