Keys Disease

Keys Disease
Battling Keys Disease at the Futura Yacht Club in Islamorada, Fla. three years ago.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Another Adventure In Flying: Creative Flight Delays

I am convinced Delta employs an entire battalion of people who do nothing but lie awake at night dreaming up new and original ways to delay flights. My favorite was the nearly two-hour delay I had out of Greenville one morning because they had swapped equipment in Atlanta, and GSP didn't have the correct nozzle to refuel the replacement plane.

It's the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport -- named after the International House of Pancakes.

That set off a chain reaction of chuckleheaded goof ups. Before it was all over, a dozen passengers had walked off the plane.

I just had my second-favorite dumb-ass delay coming back from the Chicago Auto Show last week. It was a packed-to-the-gills-full flight -- but then what Delta flights aren't any more?

One of the flight attendants had gone above and beyond the call helping passengers stow carry-on bags. She packed the overheads like she had a numbered map showing where everything went. With everyone seated, the plane was ready for an on-time takeoff.

Ten minutes later the door was still open as was the door to the cockpit. Finally the pilot came on the PA system, announcing to the plane that there was a problem. Why whatever could it be?

A flat tire. A FLAT TIRE!

What, you are just noticing it now? The plane had been sitting there for an hour surrounded by baggage handlers and ground crew -- Hell, even the copilot had gone out and walked around the plane. Doesn't anyone ever bother to look down?

By the time the pilot made the announcement, help was supposedly on the way. In the meantime, the pilot ordered everyone off the plane with their carry-on bags. Yep, all that flight attendant's hard work went for not.

Here's the good news -- yes, hand me lemons and I'll squeeze them. A number of passengers were going to miss their connections in Atlanta; so they changed their arrangements out of Chicago. Why was this good news for me? Enough of them were in first class that I was upgraded.

It's only a 90-min flight from Chicago to Atlanta, but I'll take whatever I can get.

But a flat tire? Give me an effin' break.

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