Airlines have made flying unpleasant. From the climbing ticket prices to the nickel-and-diming (Spirit is charging for carry-on luggage now), it all just makes you want to jump into your car and drive. I often have clients ask if a particular airline is “good”. Here is what I tell them: Any airline is good if your flight is on time, but you will be highly annoyed by even the best if you are delayed.
I have medallion status on Delta, and as such, try to fly them whenever possible. Last week, when making our way to suburban D.C. to see my in-laws for Passover, we hopped aboard a Delta flight to Atlanta. Although there were storms ravaging parts of the south and Midwest (including tornadoes) we arrived in Atlanta with no trouble. We had plenty of time to get dinner (a veggie burger and salad at Sweet Water Brewing Company) and then head to our gate. We arrived at B6 to find our flight delayed until 11:20PM (from 9:57PM). Then 11:50. Then 12:30AM. There seemed to be some type of power failure on the plane.
We finally boarded the plane about 1:00AM, had a pre-flight beverage and then were told that the power failure was not fixed. Have no fear – they have another airplane ready, at gate A1. We get off the plane, and march to the A terminal where we all waited. We waited for gate agents to arrive so we could board, and when they finally did, we overheard the agent saying to the crew “This flight came internationally, so we need to do a security check before we board”. A fellow passenger replied “No, it’s fine. We can board.” I’m not sure why she listened to this passenger, but aboard we went. Once we were all settled in the working aircraft, an announcement was made that we had to get off, with all of our carry-on bags, so they could do a security sweep as this plane had come from Nassau. We deplaned and sat at the gate for another hour. We had plenty of time to chat with our fellow delay-ees.
Once back on the plane, Delta issued us each a $100 voucher for our trouble and we were off. Our arrival at Dulles was at 3:55 AM. Kudos to Delta for having a friendly crew and managing to keep everyone in a reasonably good mood. Nonetheless, I hope to not see 4AM again anytime soon. As an added bonus, I seem to have escaped unscathed with my health intact, despite the best efforts of the man behind me to get me sick. He coughed the entire time we were on the plane (all three times).