Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Something Special in The Air

Dear American,

I was on your flight 2074 last night from LA to Chicago.  Actually, this flight was supposed to take off at 12:55 PM but was delayed til around 2 PM.  Not that I'm complaining--all your flights seem to be delayed these days.  If it's not weather it's mechanical.  Too bad we never seem to know about the delays til we get to the airport.  Oh, well.  Anyway.  The flight took off and should have landed around 8 PM.  The unsmiling flight attendants served us tiny little cups of soda and sold frighteningly large and unhealthy snack items.  We were told several times that because of weather we wouldn't be able to land in Chicago just yet.  The delays continued.  I put my headphones on around 8:30 or 9 and could barely hear the next announcement.  I took them off.  "Did he just say St. Louis?" I asked my seatmate.  "Yes," she said.  "It's a refueling stop."  I watched as a parade of people walked by to get to the bathroom or to request a drink from the flight attendants who were chatting each other up in the back.  I heard one woman ask for coffee.  The screaming babies made it hard to hear but, "No, we have no more water," said the flight attendant.  

We finally landed in Chicago around 11.  And then we sat on the runway in the plane for an hour watching sheets of rain hit the ground and lightning dance in the sky.  Several times the pilot announced that the "ramp" was closed and we were just gonna sit.  I asked one of the flight attendants what that meant.  "We lost a ground crew guy to lightning last year.  It's not safe for them to be out there right now."  Oh, OK, I understand that.  Why couldn't the pilot just speak English?  Oh, and the pilot kept thanking us for "our patience."  Ha ha.  Is it really "patience" when you have no choice?  I might have used another word, but that's just me.

Weather happens, American.  We all understand that.  I don't blame you for this big thunderstorm at all.  But don't you think someone who works on that plane should have had the brains and sensitivity to pull the beverage cart out a second time?  In 9 hours?  It's just common courtesy.  Just good manners.  And maybe you could have some teeny little pretzel packets available just in case a flight is.....let's say.....more than double its original flying time?  I don't know....I'm just asking.  And I guess the chance of getting the extra miles to St. Louis is out of the question.

9 hours on your plane, screaming babies, circling, delays, a refueling stop in St. Louis, unsmiling flight attendants, one round of the beverage cart.  What a night.  I could almost have gotten to London in that amount of time.  Next time I'm driving.




Anonymous said...

With gas prices the way they are, it would probably even out in cost, but the aggravation might be far less.

Anonymous said...

Just glad you are here! Your friend on Sumac

Steve said...

All this to see Millie?

Beth said...

Isn't air travel just a JOY these days?!

I'm so grateful that I don't have to travel as often as before for my job. I used to love flying. Now I dread it.