Monday, January 19, 2009

You know how you hear on the news about plane loads of people being stranded aboard waiting for weather, maintenance, or whatever and you think to yourself "Poor saps." or "Man, that has got to suck." Well, I can now say, "Been there. Done that."
And really it was not as bad as I thought. Although, I think for being stuck on a plane for six hours without going anywhere we had it pretty good. The staff was attentive and it was pretty empty. Everyone had two or three seats to themselves. Here's how it happened.
I had breakfast and took a four hour flight from Salt Lake to Newark. Nothing commendable about this flight. No food and a little water consumption. I struggled to stay awake. We had TV but nothing was really on mid-morning on Sunday. Well, we had some bowling and then women's basketball. The satelite kept going out too. I ended up watching the E! special on rock star wives. I know so much more than I could ever care to know about something that I cared very little about in the beginning. This flight seemed really l o n g! Maren and Racer hooked me up with an iPOD full of stuff but I was saving it for the long flights and/or when I grow tired of watching TV in a language I don't understand.
I had a quick two hour layover. It was the perfect amount of time because I had to switch airlines which meant in and out of security again. I had to catch a shuttle to another terminal--you know the drill.
This flight was supposed to leave at 6:30--that is 6:30 in Newark. I boarded right around 6 pm. We get all settled 6:30 comes and goes. The captain comes on and says some little part broke and they are fixing it. Be patient and we will be on our way. Another 30-40 minutes pass and Captain Cook comes back over the PA and says that did not do it. They are diagnosing it and will try to see what the real cause is. He mentions something electrical. My mind goes back to the last time I had a flight to Brussels, we had a delay then too. It was only an hour or so though. The captain a bit later comes back over the speakers and says they had to replace the "mother board" so we have to power down the plane. All lights will go off except for the emergency lights. This should just take a minute or so. Lights off; lights on. Still no moving. We wait, wait, wait. The flight crew is bringing snack, which I welcome, but I percieve this to mean we are still going to be awhile. My window is covered with snow. Captain Cook now does not know what they are doing. We wait, wait, wait, and wait some more. Captain Cook says we are fixed, but we lost our place in line for de-icing. That is going to be a two hour wait. He is going to make some call to see if we can get bumped up. No dice. So they opt to give us our meal before we take off. I was so grateful for that. The 50 calories of pretzels and 80 calories of peanuts was not cutting it. Although the orange juice they brought was the best OJ I think I have ever had--it was minute maid from the carton. I was hungry!
Around 11:45 pm on my watch which is still set for mountain time we are finally taking off. We landed around 6:10 am (MST). That is a long time to be on a plane. I think I felt muscle atrophy when I was finally allowed off. I was grateful for the mountain biking St. George the day before. More on that to come.


Brad Mullen said...

Sounds like Captain Cook was making you walk the plank. That amount of time, sitting in one place, sounds absolutely horrible. I bet the flight home will be smooth and your best flight ever - as a reward for your patience. Be safe and have fun riding.

ER Dog said...

Good thing for the Sat ride. Just think of the flight as recovery. Glad your safe even if stiff.