Delay, Screams of Terror, and Free Booze

November 9, 2012

in Odds & Ends Stories

I was waiting to board my last flight from JFK to Orlando after a long journey home from Bangkok. I was tired and hungry, and just wanted to see my family after being away for three months. The Delta flight was delayed due to our aircraft’s late arrival. An hour went by. The plane arrived, but had to go through maintenance. They tried to find another plane for us, but couldn’t, so we were stuck waiting. The nice employees handed out free snacks and drinks. After another hour we finally started boarding.

The plane was one of those single aisle, two seats per side, two flight attendants deals. Not a big deal. I started watching a movie. We began to taxi down the runway and built up speed, nearly to take off when BAM! The pilot hit the brakes and we were screeching to a halt. There weren’t many people on the flight. Half of them screamed, the other half just gripped our armrests, eyes wide. There was silence for ten minutes, then the pilots announced that there had been an error in the system and they aborted takeoff to check it out, but after a thorough inspection found that nothing was wrong. We would try to take off again, but had to wait another twenty minutes for the engines to cool down. Lovely.

The flight attendant was super funny and friendly, comforting everyone. One passenger asked, “Can’t we get another plane? Why are we gonna take off again?” The FA explained that no other plane was available, and that he trusted the pilots.

We started to taxi again, and this time everyone was alert, silent, and holding their breath. We took off without a hitch. I settled in to enjoy my movie. To my delight the FA announced that our flight would have free drinks and food, anything we wanted, in order to apologize for the delay and the scare.

Thirty minutes into the flight we entered some turbulence as we passed through some dark clouds. After 18 hours of flying I didn’t care (usually I’m a nervous flyer), and just tried to watch my movie in peace. Soon the plane felt like it was riding on ocean waves. We shook back and forth. The first drop hit and there was plenty of screaming going on inside the cabin. There were a few more smaller drops, and I surprised myself by throwing my hands in the air and yelling, “Wheeeeee!” I don’t know where that came from; usually I’m the one crapping my pants. Anyway, we got through the bad air and got somewhat smoothed out.

When we landed and were taxing to our gate, the FA said, “Well folks, you’ll have quite a story to tell. Not only did you get an aborted takeoff, but you experienced some of the best turbulence we’ve had in a while. I know you’re probably tweeting and facebooking about it, but please tell your friends that Delta took care of you.” He was referencing the free food and drinks, and we all laughed.

One passenger was so shaken up that the FA said, “I’ve got something that will help you from being scared in any situation.” And he handed her a bundle of free booze.

As I was deplaning I also overheard another passenger say, “That was the first time I’ve experienced turbulence! I hope it doesn’t happen again!”

Yeah, good luck with that, lady. Ha!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

BS December 6, 2012 at 10:17 am

I don’t believe a word of this story. NO airline will hand out free food and drinks to people waiting inside the terminal – and especially not at JFK. Not sure why you would even go through JFK when coming from Thailand with a final destination of Orlando. Watching a movie before and during take-off – this post makes no sense at all and whomever wrote it may want to actually fly a time or two so that their made up story can at least sound plausible.


MikeH December 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I was at JFK a few months ago waiting for, coincidentally enough, a Delta flight to Orlando. The inbound was 2 hours late, so Delta brought out free snacks (the same bags of peanuts and pretzels that you get on the plane), and gave us meal vouchers for any restaurant in the terminal. And there are AV systems that are operable before and during takeoff, so his story seems entirely plausible.


FreqFlyer December 18, 2012 at 11:55 am

Im starting to think that every story on this site is made up.


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