Traveler’s Journey Burdened by Bad Weather

May 23, 2013

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

In 2001 I went up to Boston with my family for a wedding on US Airways. Getting up there was no problem, but getting home to Washington DC was a nightmare.

It took 12 hours, which is longer than it would take to drive that distance. It had been snowing in Boston so we sat on the tarmac for at least an hour waiting to be deiced. After that everything went smoothly till we started the descent. We circled around Washington for quite a while because of bad weather. After a while the pilot announced that we could not land and we would be diverting to Norfolk, VA, which is about 180 miles south.

We landed in Norfolk after being in the air for 3 hours. When we got to the gate I just wanted to get off the plane and smoke, but they wouldn’t let me. We stayed on board for another half an hour or so until the pilot announced that we would refuel and head back up to DC. We were allowed to get off the plane for a few minutes to use the restrooms or smoke.

When we got back on the plane, we taxied out to the runway and stayed there for probably an hour until the pilot announced that we could not get ATC clearance and we had to go back to the gate because the pilots had already exceeded the maximum amount of time they’re allowed to fly in a day. By this time, a lot of other flights heading to the DC area had also been diverted to Norfolk so we had to wait a long time for a gate.

I spent a total of 6 or 7 hours on that plane. US Airways handed out food vouchers to everyone and was trying to arrange ground transportation to Washington. Luckily, I was with my family and my dad decided to rent a car and we would drive back. That day I got to Logan Airport around 11 am and did not get home till well after midnight. I know the airlines can’t control the weather, but since then I’ve always tried to avoid US Airways

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

FirstClass May 24, 2013 at 9:58 am

Dumb story.


Jobo May 24, 2013 at 11:18 am

You're boycotting an airline because of procedures it had to undertake due to inclement weather?


john August 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Haha good plan! Avoid USAirways! Because none of that sounded like the airlines fault. Good logic! At least you got a voucher for a weather related issue…..


Krista October 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm

The Pilots should have anticipated they would run into problems with them running out of allowed flight time! I know it happens, but they are wasting everybody’s time and money when they do it.


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