Monday, February 26, 2007
I'm stranded .... on a jet plane
Getting back from Mongolia took a few more hours than the planned 24. I flew Mongolian's MIAT airline from UlaanBator to Beijing and United to O'Hare 5 hours later. I cleared customs and had 75 minutes to connect to my flight to Orlando; the people in line to check in for domestic flights filled the hall.
I was trying to hop onto an AirCanada flight to Toronto, but the agent was - I regret to say "the usual AirCanada type" - and uninspired to be much help offering only - "I doubt there are any seats left" - How's that for specific, timely, useful information?!
So I jumped the United line, while listening to the announcement: "We recommend you go home if you can, all flights after 7:00 pm are cancelled". Aha! My flight to Orlando was scheduled for 5:45 pm - still hope! I already had a boarding pass, and bags tagged to Orlando, so just dumped my bags onto the conveyor belt and headed to the gate.
The crew was there, the coming ice storm had not yet arrived, the plane was there and ... no gate agent to let anyone in!
The agent arrived and the crew boarded at 5:15 and we waited, seeing a delay until 6:00 posted, then we boarded ... and waited
A series of fortunate and unfortunate events then transpired including:
- Bad: ice pellets started to fall, we were informed we could not fly
- Good: crew said we could dash off for 10 minutes to buy food - I seized the chance - along with about 5 other people - and got a sub and muffin for later - turned out to be a good decision
- Bad: the pilot reported that he wasn't getting a lot of information
- Good: ice turned back into snow
- Bad: a passenger needed to deplane for an emergency which cost us our spot in line to de-ice
- Good: Crew started a film for us to watch
- ??: Crew handed out granola bars (bars not great but were food so not bad)
- Bad: the de-iced plan behind us just sat there for 45 minutes blocking us while our de-icers waited for us
- Good: Crew started a second film ("The Prestige") for us to watch
All in all United Airlines crew did a great job of keeping us informed and kept a courteous and cheerful attitude through our 6 hour runway sit, though they seemed to be getting sparse and innacurate info all through the evening.
check back and I'll post the link to a short video of the de-icing in case you have never seen that ...
Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]