Leader Of The Pack

May 15, 2010

in Airport Stories

For several years, my family and I lived outside of London in the UK. Being Americans, each summer we’d always try to travel back to the States to see friends and family for a couple weeks. This time, my mom and I were flying from London Heathrow airport to Dallas-Ft. Worth by way of a stopover at Newark in New Jersey. It was all the same flight, so in Newark we didn’t have to de-plane, just sit and allow some people to get off the plane, and others to get on before we continued on to DFW.

Our flight was a little late leaving London, and thus was late arriving at Newark. It was delayed even further in Newark, so we got off the plane and waited in the terminal along with those who were only flying from Newark to DFW. An hour or two later, we reboarded the plane and were on our way.

We finally made it to Dallas where Mom and I met up with my brother and his friend who were there to pick us up. (Note – this was pre 9/11, so they were able to meet us at the gate and pretty much follow us along the whole way). Having already dealt with customs in Newark, we went to get our bags, and therein lay the problem. Because of our delays, there was a mix-up, and there weren’t enough baggage handlers or something who could get all our bags for us.

In a huff, a group of people who got on the flight in Newark pushed us aside and stormed up to the counter to begin berating the poor airline representative (at this time it was just past midnight local time). One man, the self-imposed leader of this little group, demanded that the airline make arrangements to send his bags to his local address. The airline was willing to do that, and the man continued to berate the woman, all while my mom and I were trying to say something to the lady, and being pushed back in the line by the angry people from New Jersey. I then just happened to say, in a voice above normal conversation level, but not yelling, just so I was heard by those around me: “Excuse me, but how many of you were on this flight where it originated?” I was met by blank looks and silence, so I continued: “In London.” Further blank looks and silence. The “leader” of the group from New Jersey responded “Oh wow… I’m sorry. Here, please take my spot in line.” Ahh… justice.

– Cameron

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Xiao Gou May 16, 2010 at 1:08 am

"Ring leaders" who take it upon themselves to speak for a group of customers, just stick in my craw. Sadly these poor people have only one chance at what Andy Warhol called their "fifteen minutes of fame." And they earn their 'fame' bitching at someone else. Go figure.


the logger May 17, 2010 at 12:50 am

Kinda like Sarah Palin. You betcha.


Rich October 21, 2010 at 3:48 am

You cleared customs in Newark, but were not supposed to have to leave the plane or the terminal?



Ilovefyling February 5, 2016 at 9:21 pm

They said they were going through newark but since it was late getting there, so they decided to get off!!! I don't get where you got you can't get off the airplane from this story. Maybe you need to reread it.They waited IN the terminal to reboard the plane. The luggage was still on the plane. again I don't get what your problem is but this is not fake. Even if it was who cares?


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