Sunday, December 14, 2008

From Dry Cleaning to Flight Delays

So I went to Tampa with only half my dry cleaning and now I can’t get home. We (four colleagues, two board members and I) were scheduled to leave Tampa on a 6:25 p.m. flight and to land at LaGuardia at about 9:15 p.m.

All was well when we boarded the plane, stowed our luggage in the overhead compartments and pulled away from the gate. Only when the pilot attempted to start the second engine -- and couldn’t -- when we were in line for take off did our troubles begin.

We returned to the gate, a maintenance crew checked out the plane and determined that a new starter was needed. Unfortunately, there isn’t one in stock here in Tampa. At that point, we unbuckled our seat belts, unstowed our luggage and returned to the terminal where we were given a choice: spend the night (on Delta’s nickel) and fly to LaGuardia in the morning or wait for one of two incoming flights (due to arrive near 11 p.m.), one of which will be reloaded with us and all our stuff for an 11:30 p.m. estimated departure.

We opted for the latter and here we sit at Casa Bicardi just beyond Gate 68 in Terminal E chatting, drinking and generally having a good time... Yes, of course I’d like to be home and unpacked, but all things considered, it could be a lot worse.