Last week I was scheduled to go to Raleigh for a meeting. It was a simple overnight trip, and I was slated to arrive around 930. I had a tight connection, so was a bit relieved when I checked my flight status on my phone and saw it was delayed by twenty minutes. Then I looked up from my phone and saw a plume of smoke. Not something you typically see at an airport, so I moved closer to the window to get a better look. Then I saw a plane parked off in the distance, with flames underneath. Holy crap! I couldn’t see what airline, and with all the water being sprayed on it the fire quickly died down. Still! It was crazy.
I should have known then, though, that the trip wasn’t going to go as planned. My earlier relief at a short delay soon turned to consternation as it was delayed another twenty, another twenty, and then yet another twenty minutes. We finally started boarding an hour after scheduled takeoff. I got comfortable in my exit row seat, setting out my water bottle and Kindle. After about twenty minutes of reading Sherlock Holmes I realized boarding had stopped, and the plane was still half empty. Just as I was thinking there was no possible way we were ready to go, the pilot announced that there was a maintenance issue and we had to de-plane. The whole plane trooped off to the new gate, heading in mass to the airtrain.
We waited close to an hour, then finally got on the new plane. (2.5 hours after scheduled departure.) We all get settled back in, the plane takes off, and we think we are good to go. I doze off a bit, glad to be on my way. Suddenly I hear a loud bang that shakes the aircraft, and I jerk up from sleep. Looking around, the other passengers are also clearly baffled. Immediately the plane starts turning, but it took about ten minutes for the explanation to come. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve had a bird strike and have to head back to DFW.” We all look at each other in amazement. Read more of this article »