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Sitting on a runway = hell

November 26, 2007

I’m convinced there’s almost no worse place to sit waiting for something than on an airplane waiting to take off (or waiting to dock after landing). Last night I had my first true taste of holiday travel. In a comedy of errors, my plane didn’t take off until approximately 2 hours after I boarded it.

Naturally the delays had nothing really to do with weather, or crowds, or anything other than straight up incompetence. Originally the pilot made an announcement that we’d have to de-ice our wings (apparently a light dusting of dry snow on a wing is a huge issue). And of course the de-icing truck couldn’t come to us, we had to drive over to it. Yes, we drove the plane about a half mile to this “de-icing station” so that a fucking TRUCK COULD DRIVE OUT OF A GARAGE AND SPRAY US WITH WARM WATER. I wish I was making this up and I hope that in reality I’m totally confused as to how this works, because it looked to me like we putted at about 5mph over to this station in a 737 only for an actual road vehicle to back out 100 feet and spray us. Ingenius.

Before we could even begin our long, slow trip on the Oregon Trial to be de-iced, we waited for about 40 minutes. The pilot eventually comes on and says “uh, ok folks, apparently we were waiting for luggage from a connecting flight”. So instead of using this 40 minutes of dead time to limp over to the de-icer, we just sat there, doing nothing. The connecting luggage did finally arrive and only at that point did we make it over (the de-icing station conveniently located on the other side of an overpass…seriously). I think the pilot did make some message about double frequent flier points or something, but the speakers on the airplane were so shitty I couldn’t hear a word he said.

And there were no peanuts or pretzels. Fuck. If there’s not free pretzels I might as well have just driven. I’m considering canceling my Christmas flight and just driving instead. It will take me 7 or 8 hours to get home, which is about the time it will take me to get to the airport 90 minutes early (only to sit around for 80 minutes at my gate), get on the flight, fly, get off the flight, and make it home from the airport. Plus I can actually scratch myself in my own car. I spent the entire 70 minute flight from Baltimore to Detroit last Tuesday with a really killer itch that I couldn’t take care of in close proximity with another person. So annoying.

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