Archive | 9:15 pm

Come Fly With Me

19 Nov

It’s nice to be in New York today. Hell, it’s nice to be anywhere today.

Because I had a Bar Mitzvah today and have a wedding Wednesday night, both in New York, I decided to fly home this weekend instead of drive. And because Jet Blue was running a special on Boston to New York fares, I flew with them. In fact, Jet Blue is utilizing nice, brand new planes to go between Boston and New York.

So here’s what happened to me: My flight was supposed to leave Boston at 8:35 p.m. Shortly after that time, we pulled away from the gate, and just as we started to accelerate on the runway, the pilot hit the brakes and stopped. Uh oh. “It seems we have a computer glitch and need to return to the gate,” the pilot said. “Should only take about 20 minutes to fix this, so we should be able to be in the air not too long from now.”

About a half hour later, we learned the problem wouldn’t be fixed anytime soon and that we would have to change planes. So we all picked up our things and headed over to another gate and another plane. Because we had done whatever with our boarding passes, we had to show an ID and get checked off the manifest in order to be let on the new plane, and there was no semblance of order in getting people on, i.e.: how it usually is done, by row.

So now we’re all set on the second plane, and it’s more than an hour after we were supposed to have left. My parents, who were practically at the airport in New York to pick me up when I had called them from the first plane, tell me that they had called Jet Blue, and Jet Blue said the plane had taken off at 9:05.

We pull away from the gate, and as we’re turning toward the runway, the pilot comes back on the intercomm: “Folks, you’re not going to believe this. We have another computer glitch.” So we go back to the gate, but this time it’s fixed pretty quickly. Just some quick paperwork to fill out before we can go, we’re told. But we sit there. And sit there. And then we’re told that two passengers, who were en route to Syracuse via JFK, will miss their connection so they need to get off the plane with all their stuff, and they’ll be staying in Boston for the night.

Fifteen minutes or so later, we’re still sitting there, and these two passengers come back on the plane. A little while later, three other passengers are asked to leave for an unspecified reason. (Oh, and did I mention yet that the much heralded DirectTV system is not yet working on this brand new plane? And did I mention that the guy next to me, who is a 24-year old medical student from Long Island who had been traveling around all week going on residency interviews, has been on and off and on the phone with his parents almost the entire time complaining about the situation? Perhaps it’s also worth noting that Jet Blue does not have an inflight magazine, unlike some airlines.)

Finally, at around 11:30, we leave from the gate again. Third time’s the charm, and as we leave the ground, the passengers all erupt in applause. About 45 minutes later, we land in New York to the sound of more applause and the news that we’ll all be getting $50 vouchers for our troubles. And at about 1:30 a.m., my parents and I finally arrive home in White Plains. That’s five hours after the plane was supposed to leave, and amazingly, six hours after I left my office to head to the airport. I could have driven home to New York and back to Boston in that time.

Yes, it could have been worse. But suffice it to say, Wednesday morning I’ll be happy to be driving home for the wedding, even if it means I’ll be stuck in traffic for part of the way. And Monday morning when I head back to the airport, I’m just hoping all the glitches have been fixed.

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