The Other Side of a Flight Delay

May 24, 2015

I’m sitting in O’Hare. My flight to London is leaving from the end of the K gates in Terminal 3. Our 4:40 pm departure has had two announced delays totaling three hours, and a third is surely imminent, since it’s now 7:20 and we have not yet started to board. You’d expect a fair amount of fist-shaking, threats never to fly American again, and promises to write letters of complaint. I’ll admit I’ve wondered how much of the $700 fare difference I might have paid out of my own pocket to have flown on Delta, my preferred airline.

But as I look around me, affairs remain surprisingly calm. Access to screens helps, of course (the young woman sitting across from me has just shifted from flying her thumbs over her iPhone to her iPad Mini … and back). A couple is watching a movie together. A group of twentysomethings is playing Head’s Up. But there are also kids playing with each other, and plenty of smiling faces sharing conversations. There are two orderly lines of passengers rebooking their connecting flights. Most of us appear to be dealing with this. Maybe the later departure will make it easier for us to sleep on the plane?

My TripIt app just buzzed my phone. We are delayed another hour. The automated American system has called with the same information. No announcement in the gatehouse yet. As long as the flight doesn’t get canceled, I think we’ll be all right. Not the reaction you might expect in the middle of a holiday weekend.


One comment

  1. So glad to know that you remain, as ever, the Zen traveller.

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