I am on a flight headed to Chicago. We just found out the plane is delayed for 45 minutes. The flight attendants said we could get off the plane as long as we take all our stuff with us. What would you do?
Great question! For frequent travelers, this kind of thing seems like no big deal, but for inexperienced fliers I see how it could be vexing. My answer depends on several factors. Since this will be a relatively short flight, if you don’t need anything to eat or to use the loo, then I would sit tight. If you are hungry or need something, go do it quickly, then get back to the gate.
You don’t want to stray too far or be gone too long in case they get the issue wrapped up more quickly than expected. If you were on a longer flight, I would recommend to get off and stand in the gate area as long as possible.
However, if you do get off the plane make sure you take your belongings with you. A few years ago I was in a similar situation–a mechanical issue, 45 minute delay. I figured I was just going across the hall to grab some food, so no reason to take my suitcase with me. Well, that 45 minutes turned into two hours and I ended up being put on a different flight. I had to confess to the gate agent that I was “that passenger” who knew better than everyone and didn’t follow directions. Embarrassing, yes! But it could have been really bad if the plane had quickly taken off and my suitcase had flown off with it.
Readers, what do you do in situations like this? Do you usually stay on or get off the plane?