I was flying from Boston to Billings, MT via Detroit and Denver (the only way to get a decent fare was to have two stops). The Boston-Detroit leg was uneventful, and I wandered around the Detroit airport looking for a way to pass the time on my two-hour layover. I then heard an announcement over the PA system that Air Force One was in the area and no flights could take off or land at the airport until it left. Well, that ended up being a little over two hours before my Detroit to Denver flight could take off.
I was still holding out some hope that I’d make my connection but knew it was likely that I wouldn’t. Sure enough, we landed in Denver and despite practically sprinting to the gate I missed my flight. Did I mention that this was the last flight of the day to Billings?
After standing in a rather long line I was able to get a seat on the first plane the next day, which meant I got to camp out in the airport for the night (repeated announcements about unattended baggage are NOT conducive to a decent night’s sleep, even if one is lucky enough to find a spot to sleep out of the general flow of people) rather than get a hotel room and risk not getting back to the airport in time. It appears that the seat I got was literally the last one on the flight… it was the window seat (right next to the lav) in the very last row of a CRJ, next to a woman who was quite obese. At that point I was just so glad to be on my way that I didn’t mind the crappy seat as much as I normally would, and thankfully the lady next to me was pleasant (we chatted most of the trip).
Does anyone else think Air Force One needs to be a little more considerate than to screw up the travel plans of thousands of citizens?