So what happened was.

April 27, 2009

Just another day in the chaotic life of the airline industry. 

On my flight from middle of nowhere Iowa to Atlanta (worlds busiest airport) the captain informs us that we have to circle the airport due to thunderstorms in the area.  Not really a big deal, pretty typical for this time of year. Well after about an hour of circling, we are told that the airport is still closed and we are no running out of fuel and must divert to a nearby airport to refuel.  

Again, although inconvenient, still not that big of a deal, has happened before.  We land and then see three other of our aircraft also waiting at said airport.  This is now when I know it is indeed going to be a very long night. Once on the ground we proceed to hand out water to our thankfully not full flight, well we run out of water.  

For those of you wondering why we didn’t just get off the plane let me explain our situation. We are literally parked on the runway, we are not allowed up to a jet bridge nor the airport, we must sit for however long until we can resume our way back to Atlanta. We’ve now been on the ground for over an hour.

More good news, the Air Traffic Control Tower, those that control everything, has been struck by lighting, is filing up with smoke, and thus being evacuated.  We are still waiting on fuel.  

It gets better, two of the runways have also lost power, in addition to the entire north side of the airport, and the concourse that we normally use. Super.

Oh and by the way, those other three airplanes were here first, so we have to wait for them to leave before we can. Awesome.

We get fuel, airport opens, get clearance, plane one leaves, plane two, plane three, our turn…oh due to traffic, we get to wait. Finally we are able to take off and land. We are on the ground, oh but wait. We have to cross two runways of very backup traffic, and just for fun, there are 15 other aircraft ahead of us. So 30 minutes after landing we make our way to the gate.  

All that, and only 4 hours late.  

So how was your day?


2 Responses to “So what happened was.”

  1. Scott Says:

    Yeah, but you did get paid for the four hours, right? And you are trying to make as much money as you can, right? (please don’t hate me.)

  2. Charles Carter Says:

    That night we sat in Columbia, SC while all this was going on. We were actually scheduled into Columbia so we had to wait for all diversions to leave before we could (diversions get priority). I consider myself lucky that I timed out at 16 hours, because it wouldn’t have been much fun trying to get back into Atlanta… The fun part of my story is that we watched a Delta 757 that had diverted sit on the ramp in Columbia. They were inbound to Atlanta from Turks and Caicos, and Columbia doesn’t have customs. When we got there, they had been sitting on the ramp for 4 hours. The doors cannot be opened since it’s an international flight. 30 minutes later the cockpit window opened and toilet paper was thrown up into the plane. This was at 10pm. We found out that at 1am the passengers and crew were allowed off the plane and into the terminal where they were roped off with yellow tape and surrounded by the TSA. They finally cleared customs around 7am.

    Also, here’s one that’ll make you like your airline:

    Our flights routinely sit out on the ramp for up to 45 minutes after touchdown before we can get a gate in Atlanta. Delta ramp operations for it’s regional airlines has horrible problems. The average time to the gate is 10 minutes. These problems are so common that we don’t even notice it’s taking long until about 20-25 minutes.

    Sorry about your crappy night! Not trying to one-up you, just thought you might like that story.

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