Missing flight connections and days of smooth travel
At 5:30 a.m. Thursday, a huge moon bounced like a gleaming ball against the windows of the hotel van. My nine companions and I were heading to Phoenix International Airport after a night at a nearby motel. US Airways had herded us there the night before after we’d all missed connecting flights.
I’d spent a week visiting Barbara, Mabel and Millie — wife, cat, cat — in Greenville, N.C., where they’re ensconced until Barbara can find a job in these parts. My flights to Greenville had gone off without a hitch, so I figured my number was up for the flights back.
A series of freak thunderstorms — I say freak because for months, eastern North Carolina has been dry as a hickory switch — delayed us in Raleigh long enough to befuddle other flight schedules. Thus the night in a Phoenix motel.
Technical problems delayed the morning flight.
Support Local Journalism
I imagine much of this sounds familiar to many of you. I could detail other commercial flight nightmares, but I’ll let you fill in the blanks with your own experiences.
But as I swayed from side to side on the bouncing motel van Thursday morning, I got to wondering about conversations between airplane pilots and control towers when things don’t go exactly as planned.
Tower: “Bad news, 81, inclement weather’s heading our way.”
Pilot: “What? Tornado? Hurricane? Blizzard?”
Tower: “Worse. Drought.”
Tower: “You’ll have to remain on the tarmac until further directed. It’s a real desert out there.”
Pilot: “We’re in Phoenix! Of course it’s a desert out there!”
Tower: “You don’t have to yell …”
Farfetched? Sure, but just think of the fun when 40 angry riders stare at you after you’d said these words: “Sorry, folks, the flight crew didn’t have time last night to service the aircraft, so we’ll wait while they get it done.”
That’s what I heard Thursday morning — a few minutes before the pilot asked us to deplane and go to another gate. The flight was due to take off at 7 a.m. It left at 9 a.m.
Yeah, yeah. I’m whining. I guess I’m grieving for the days when I enjoyed flying — when it was an adventure and not an ordeal. I don’t think I’ll feel that again.
Fortunately, Barbara and my daughter Alaina are visiting Tahoe for Christmas.
— Paul Dunn is editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He can be reached at (530) 542-8047 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User