The Airline Horror Story
Uncategorized at October 27, 2017on
With ghosts and skeletons covering all front lawns, pumpkin spice filling up every corner of every cafe in the neighborhood, and the winds carrying just a bit more nip in them, we can’t help but feel the spirit of Halloween – and we found the perfect story to share to get you in the mood, too!
The Trek Through Hell
For Nate and his family, leaving Boston to visit Jackson Hole, WY meant vacation, relaxation, and reconnecting with friends and family. Well, it was supposed to, anyway. In late June of 2017, Nate packed his wife and 15 month old son up for a trip with some friends, but instead got a trip to hell and back. Their nightmare began as all nightmares do; with a happy, go-lucky excursion to the airport for a United flight.
The flight was supposed to leave in the morning so Nate’s family had only packed a few snacks for their young son. Morning turned to early afternoon and people were growing restless. Before long, the airline announced the flight would be delayed until afternoon. Not so bad, thought the young family. To keep their child from losing his patience altogether, Nate’s wife took the baby for a walk while Nate stayed with the luggage. Only a few minutes after they set out Nate heard his wife screaming – their son had gotten caught in a glass door! Thankfully, the scare only caused some light bruising, but their troubles had only just begun… their flight was now delayed until evening.
Stress, hunger, tiredness are all the perfect ingredients for misery and Nate, his wife, and his young son had more than enough to go around. Evening did come finally, and they boarded their flight. They’d been flying for a while when Nate started to notice they were hanging right and not even close to descending. Dread set in, and sure enough, moments later the announcement came: they’d been flying in circles due to bad weather in Denver, their layover. The pilot said they could not land and could no longer circle and were being forced to land in Lincoln, NE.
Little did the exhausted flight attendants and passengers know, Lincoln’s airport is so small it did not have the accommodations for a 757, which meant that there was no replacement crew available in Lincoln for Nate’s connecting flight… which meant they had to fly a crew in from Chicago, IL. Lincoln’s airport also only had one restaurant, and with the sudden influx of starving, plane-hungover people, there was no food left by the time the young family came off the plane. They did manage remnants of a chicken salad for their 15-month old son, but that was it. Three-and-a-half torturous hours later, a new crew landed in Lincoln to take the 757 back out to Denver.
But not so fast.
Since the airport was not equipped or prepared for the flight, they had to board all the passengers manually, checking IDs manually, and entering all passengers into a paper manifest. This took an additional hour-and-a-half. Finally, among applause, the United crew assured the desperate passengers there would be attendants waiting to greet them when they land to help them into complementary hotels and rooms.
Getting a taste for disappointment by now, the drained passengers were dismayed to find not attendants to greet them, but the weak and tired passengers of over forty other flights that had been diverted. Getting a room would have been impossible if not for their aggressive travel agent, so getting a few hours of sleep in a real bed was a treat Nate and his family got to enjoy before trudging back to the airport to see what new horrors await.