Long night in Newark

A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” — John Steinbeck

I like to travel, and it’s most enjoyable when there are no major issues.  A tornado touched down in Baltimore-Washington late this afternoon, so we knew there would be plenty of flight delays.  How bizarre that all of the following happened to one flight!

  • Blackberry message:  Tampa flight delayed until 8:00 p.m. (originally 6:30 p.m.)
  • 7:30 p.m.  Blackberry message “ding”: Tampa flight delayed until 8:30 p.m.
  • 8:00 p.m.  Gate 180 banner changes from Tampa to West Palm Beach departing @ 8:35 p.m.
  • Customer Service desk Visit #1:  agent says Tampa flight is still scheduled to depart from Gate 180 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Ranting mother of two at Gate 180 demands to speak to the manager after confirming that West Palm Beach flight was leaving from Gate 180, not Tampa flight.
  • Customer Service desk Visit #2:  agent can’t find Tampa’s new gate assignment.  But she informs me that another Tampa flight is leaving in 30 minutes.  “Walk fast and try stand-by”.
  • Thankful for the aerobic activity, off I go to the next gate.  Unfortunately, the flight is full, and they aren’t taking any more stand-bys.
  • Customer Service desk visit #3:  agent confirms that Tampa flight is now departing @ 9:30 p.m. from Gate 184
  • By now it’s 9:00 p.m., so off to Gate 184 to speak to another agent.
  • Plane was diverted to Philadelphia due to the afternoon storms.  Good news, is that the plane is on the ground in Newark but in the International Terminal.  It was being towed to Gate 184 for a scheduled departure @ 9:30 p.m.  Really???
  • Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs had just started, so I passed the time waiting watching the play-by-play on my Blackberry.
  • Blackberry “ding”: Tampa flight now scheduled to depart at 10:00 p.m.
  • Heat and Spurs are tied at half-time and still no plane at the gate.
  • 10:15 p.m. cheers at the window of Gate 184 – “The plane!  The plane!” they shouted.
  • Blackberry “ding”: Tampa flight now scheduled to depart at 11:00 p.m.  Agent at Gate 184 explains the further delay is because our plane has a “flat tire”.  You’ve got to be kidding me???!!!
  • Finally start to board at 10:30 p.m.  DirecTV is on board, so I can watch the NBA Playoffs!
  • Flipping channels I hear someone behind me say “you’ve got to be kidding – no ABC”.  C’mon man!!!
  • Back to my Blackberry while watching “Bottom Line” on ESPN
  • 11:10 p.m. instrument panels are mal-functioning so maintenance has been called.  “Free drinks for everyone on the plane!”
  • ~12:00 p.m. HEAT beat the SPURS 109-93!!!
  • Waiting, waiting, waiting . . .
  • 1:00 a.m. our flight crew “times out” and our flight is cancelled.  “We are sorry for the inconvenience . . . yada, yada, yada. . .”  SERIOUSLY???!!!
  • Customer Service desk Visit #4:  re-booked on tomorrow’s 10:00 a.m. flight, get a hotel and meal voucher.
  • More aerobics to catch the tram to catch the hotel shuttle bus . . .
  • 2:15 a.m.  check in at the Wyndham Garden Hotel with a desk clerk singing along with Aretha Franklin’s “Freeway to Love”
  • 2:30 a.m.  in my room, too tired to cry, 5 hours until I head back to the airport

When flying for travel, you’re at the mercy of TSA, the airlines, and in this case, Mother Nature.  Another “life lesson” that no matter what life throws your way, it’s best to “Bea Positive” and remember “this too shall pass!”

Live to travel another day!

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