Monday, December 17, 2007

Stranded in Detroit

Isn't this a lovely rendering of a metro airport? Yeah, sure it is. So what's with the oddball question? Like we care. I sure wouldn't have.


That was before I had 30 hours of wondering where Don was in this pretty picture all buried under snow and bad weather. Yes indeed, Don was stranded in Detroit. More precisely, he was stranded at this little airport for 30 hours.

The adventure started innocently enough at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening at the Sacramento Airport. A 90 minute hop later, and he was changing planes at LAX. Then it was on to Detroit Metro for one last change for another 90 minute hop to the airport at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Terrible how quickly things can go wrong and then proceed to go from bad to worse. Don arrived in Detroit at 5:15 a.m. Sunday morning and was greeted by a flight cancellation. Over the next 30 hours, he was re-ticketed and cancelled 4 more times. His original arrival time of 10 a.m. Monday ended up at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

The story in between will be something and since Don is really good at producing detailed trip reports, I'll leave that story to him (to be posted here later on after his return).

What I do know is that from start to finish, the carriers and airport did very little to assist people as they waited, and waited, and waited. The worst thing was that there weren't even announcements of gate changes when you finally DID get ticketed again. Off you would go to the appointed gate only to arrive and discover that it had been changed. Sure, the gate changes were noted on the boards but think about it. People are tired and stressed. Are they really looking? Often not. Then you finally get to the right gate and are greeted with another cancellation.

As it turned out though, there was one nice and spontaneous bit of help. Many of the passengers, after so many hours, took to sleeping in the seats in the gate areas and on the floor. Carrier personnel came out with blankets which was helpful.

But I have to question the entire disorganization of the event. It's winter in the Great Lakes and northeast. Weather is an issue. Crowds of people with nowhere to go are expected. It isn't a question of will there be delays, but, when will the delays happen. Why there isn't a plan in place to make assistance and comfort run more smoothly is beyond me.

By the time Don arrived in Fort Wayne, he was exhausted. Quanah greeted him with earmuffs, a watch cap, gloves and HOT Earl Gray tea. Soon he was warm inside and out. Lunch was in his immediate future and then bed for a well-earned sleep. Packing for moving starts tomorrow just a day behind schedule.

All photos from Google Images or Stock.xchang


AscenderRisesAbove said...

I am glad, at least, to read of his safe return!!

(that photo of the dolphin skipping over the snow gave me a chuckle)

also; I am passing you the 'true blue' award; for those on the net being true blue to others - through thick and thin. (ok I am paraphrasing). I bet that you already have a collection of these; but if not you can read more about it here:

Becca said...

The poor man! I wish I had known -I'm only 20 minutes from there, I could have rescued him!

Glad he finally made it to Fort Wayne. It was indeed terrible weather here on Sunday.

Naturegirl said...

There can't be anything more frustrating than airpot delays and so just wants to get home!!! So glad that Done is home safe and warm. hugs hop a long NG

Rositta said...

Glad he made it home. An awful lot of people were stranded in airports on the east coast of both Canada and the U.S. There's not much comfort in airports but here people couldn't even get cabs to get to a hotel on Sunday....ciao

Bimbimbie said...

I've spent 30 hours travelling on a plane but would hate to spend it at an airport! I am amazed the airport wasn't better organized with blankets and such. We see each year how travellers in the USA are stranded by snow storms so that is a bad mark for management or rather lack of it :(

Mary Timme said...

You know Annie, It is the same thing here. The big complaint when there are weather delays is that the airlines do nothing anymore. And DIA is out in the wilds of nowhere pretty much, so many times they are really cut off from even getting here, there are no roads open and not much of anywhere to stay out there. And if there is it is full and . . . well you know. I think the airline industry has a lot to answer for. Sometimes they even run out of food and TP for the bathrooms! Like you said it is winter, you goof balls, and they always say, "Oh we handled it pretty well," and what they've done is ignored it pretty well. Go figure.

paris parfait said...

Oh, my! What a mess. So glad he arrived safely. xo