Stranded at the Airport
We were supposed to have departed CLE at 6:55 p.m. Yes, that was plan. Over six hours later we leave.
First, we had no plane. Seems there was a delay in Minneapolis, where our plane was connecting. Two hours later it arrives in Cleveland. If we left at 8:55 we could have still been at O’Hare at a decent hour, but no, we couldn’t leave yet.
Problem now? No pilot. Seems the airline, according to FAA regulations, release the pilot after so many hours to make sure he doesn’t spend too many hours on duty or something to that effect. I’m grateful for sober, alert pilots I am. But I also think they should be able to troubleshoot these things more effectively. Why do they not have pilots on call? When our plane was first delayed they could have been calling for back-up knowing how long the pilot had been in the air at that point. Shouldn’t there be a spreadsheet somewhere tracking these things?
So even though we could see our plane on the tarmac, it was a no go. We had no pilot. At this point I had been waiting for almost four hours to make the one hour flight to Chicago. It would have only taken me six hours to drive. I could almost be there by now.
People start to abandon hope and reschedule for the next day, but I’m not driving the 1.5 hours back to Canton just to come back the next day. I stubbornly stay put. Finally almost five hours after our scheduled departure the airline trucks out some complementary drinks and peanuts, since all the shops are now closed. With half the number of passengers we are hunkered down for the wait.
Finally they announce that they have found us a pilot to much delight in the gate area. We board at midnight and take off at 12:30 a.m. We don’t arrive until almost 2 a.m. Yikes. What a long night.
I’m glad to finally be in Chicago with Joey and ready for a great weekend. I feel like after this kind of beginning is an auspicious and ominous sign. We’ll see.