Monday, February 05, 2007

Northwest does its worst

We had a great weekend at Alice's birthday celebration (as written up on the other blogs). But air travel is really trying these days. Our DC-bound flight last Thursday was delayed half an hour. After boarding, the pilot discovered a mechanical problem. The mechanic showed up quickly and fixed it. However, yesterday didn't go quite that well. Here's the sequence:
  • 2:00 -- we arrive at the gate for our 4:15 plane. We are early because there was no wait for security. WOW. We think we are so lucky.
  • 2:30 -- the inbound plane is late because of de-icing problems in Detroit. Flight time changes to 4:30, then to 5:00.
  • 5:00 -- we board. Mechanical difficulties discovered. Mechanic can't be found. Passengers speculate that he has gone home to watch the Superbowl. We wonder why so many flights have delays for mechanical problems. The adjacent Minneapolis flight is cancelled for the same reason. As we sit on the ground, passengers from that flight continue to board the plane.
  • 5:50 -- the mechanic has finally shown up and determined that the problem will take a long time to fix. Per instructions, we de-board with all our carry-ons. In the waiting area long lines form to rebook people with connections or no patience.
  • 6:45 -- we make a backup morning reservation as the agents announce that the new part has finally been found and installed, but that a half-hour test period is required. We warn Evelyn that her guests may be showing up to sleep in her guest room again.
  • 8:00 -- we reboard, thinking that we could just be beginning the whole thing over again. This time, though, we take off.
  • 10:00 -- we land in Detroit, 4 hours late.

What can we learn? Lenny's answer: "Have patience." Well, ok, this isn't Northwest's worst! We know they can make you much more miserable than this. After all, we're home.

No comments: