Can you tell me what is wrong with this picture. I’ll give you a hint – it is has something to do with the color yellow.
Yes you are reading that right – scheduled take-off time was 8:55a – but it was delayed to 3:00p. 6 hours.
We boarded on time but then they told us there was a problem with a bolt on the landing gear or landing gear door – either one sounds pretty important. We were told that they could not quickly fix it and we would need to leave the plane. Now I should state that I am thankful that they let us off the plane and that we did not have to sit on the plane for 6 hours – like all of the horror stories we read about.
Anyhoo – they said they were bringing the bolt down from San Francisco and we would be on our way soon. Turns out they did not have the correct part in San Francisco so they needed to fly the part up from San Diego and we would be leaving around 1p.
By this time a lot of folks were freaking out about making their connections. The gate agents were rescheduling folks, and others were calling American Airline directly to do the rebooking themselves. My connection was not leaving Dallas until 8p so I figured I had tons of time and was not stressing.
Then around 1p or so they tell us they had brought the wrong bolt from San Diego – it was too long. They were flying up the correct bolt and the departure time was changed to 3p.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when I am working on a job and there is a huge time penalty if I have the wrong part, I take extras with me that are different sizes – saves a trip back to the store, or where ever.
What were the maintenance guys thinking? Also, I would assume that for something as critical as aircraft parts they have specific part numbers for every part – hell we have that for Treo phones. I would have thought that they would look up the part in the Chilton manual and found the part number – and then tell the guys in San Diego what part to send up.
Anyhoo – with the 3p departure, we would not get to Dallas until after 8p. Now if you are paying attention you will recall what time my connection to Chihuahua was – yep, 8p. Now was my time to stress. I had 2 choices – 1) reschedule and go tomorrow; 2) go to Dallas and spend the night there and fly to Chihuahua the next day.
If I postponed until tomorrow I would not reach Chihuahua until after 9p Tuesday night – effectively killing all of Tuesday. If I got to Dallas I could take an earlier flight (one you can’t catch when coming from San Jose because you can’t get to Dallas early enough) to Chihuahua by 1p and at least have half a day.
Well, since I am typing this sitting in a room at the Grand Hyatt at DFW – you can probably figure out which option I took.
A silver-lining of this whole adventure was that because of the delay a lot of folks on the original flight were booked on other flights. So when we boarded at 3p, the flight was pretty empty. So much so that I noticed there were empty seats in First Class. Thinking quickly (yes, I can think quickly, but it does not happen often) I got off the plane and went back up the to ticket agent and asked if she could upgrade me to First – which she did – woo hoo. That means I got more leg room, a wider seat, and a real meal.
For all of my travels, this is the first time I have had this significant of a delay – guess I should be thankful that the weather was nice, there were rooms available, and there was nothing critical scheduled for Tuesday morning. Also Bluetooth Dial Up Networking with my Treo and MacBook Pro is a VERY good thing. Got a lot of work done sitting in the corner at SJC next to the power outlet.