No Luck Getting To Ireland

August 14, 2009

in Luggage Stories

Two years ago, I flew from Boston to Philadelphia to get a connecting overnight flight to Ireland. Due to summer storms, we circled Philadelphia for about 90 minutes and then sat on the tarmac waiting to dock at a terminal. There were about six people trying to make the connecting flight to Ireland, and what had been plenty of time disappeared. I spoke with the flight attendant, who was cold and condescending. I asked her if she could ask passengers to stay in their seats so that others who were trying to make a connecting flight could get off first. She did not. Not sure it would have mattered anyway. It took over 20 minutes to deplane. One young man ran ahead to the gate for the flight to Ireland on behalf of the rest of us. He got there as they closed the door. Literally. We did not get on board.

On the one hand we had been told weather had delayed our landing, yet weather did not seem to delay the departure of this flight (it was still raining).

We stood in line for an hour to be scheduled on an alternate flight, which was 24 hours later, and by the way, that flight was pretty full so we would be taking our chances but come back two hours beforehand and see if there is room.

No help finding a hotel. Everything was full. No voucher because it was “weather related.” I ended up in one of the seediest places I have ever (not) slept in, sharing the room with another stranded passenger.

I did not know if I would get on the flight the next night until the last minute. I lost one full day with my family in Ireland during my already too short vacation, and arrived exhausted.

I have never taken a connecting flight since.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

david August 13, 2009 at 9:50 pm

most of the time the airports try and get international flights departed on the scheduled time, since there are less flights that go internationally compared to domestic and the airlines normally pay higher fees so they wanna get in and get out asap

theres more to it that i am too jetlagged to go over (20hr flight from nyc to singapore)


SAW August 14, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Also, if you book connecting flights, you should be using the same airline, not two different ones (which I'm guessing you were). If your connection is with the same airline, you're usually automatically re-booked if you miss the connection.

Never stand in line. CALL THE AIRLINE and get it done that way. Even if you're on the cell phone while standing in line – either way is gonna get the job done.

Sorry you had a bad experience, but that's what travel is like. S**t happens unfortunately.


Thi Halpern January 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm

You wrote: "On the one hand we had been told weather had delayed our landing, yet weather did not seem to delay the departure of this flight (it was still raining)."

This is totally different. Weather can delay the landing of an airplane because the runway is being used by other planes that had to take longer time to land, so your plane in the air is delayed for its landing. However, aircrafts on the ground can leave the gate on time and queue up for landing, meaning they're waiting on the tarmac but have already left the gate.


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