1996 I was supposed to spend Xmas with family in Chicago. However, I decided to take a day trip up to Madison to have lunch with some friends in Wisconsin on December 23. Flew out of ORD
at 8am on a United pass, but on approach to MSN
it started hailing and we had to go around. Circled for an hour or so before we diverted to DSM
for fuel. Back in the air but no chance of getting into MSN
, so we diverted to MKE
put us into buses there and shipped us off to MSN
and arrived there around 3pm. My flight back was due at 4pm, but the airport was now closed. So headed off with my friends to their place in Tomah, WI
about an hour north. The next morning, MSN
was still closed so we made our way to LaCrosse (LSE). I had a backup pass on AA
so I tried to get on the Eagle flight to ORD
, but due to w/x at ORD
that couldn't get out either. So I wandered over to NW
who managed to get me on the Mesaba flight up to MSP
. Sat in MSP
all afternoon playing NBA Jam while ORD
remained shut and finally got on the 7pm flight. Got to my hotel in Chicago at almost 10pm on December 24! Quite a memorable Christmas!
Another time I was trying to head from Hartford to Atlanta using a CO
pass. Left DL
), USA - Connecticut">BDL
without any hassles, but got bumped off all the EWR
flights remaining on both CO
. Finally spotted a heavily delayed HP
flight to CMH
that was leaving now at 230am. Got into CMH
around 345am and then caught the first COExpress flight to CLE
at around 515am. Then caught the 8am Delta flight down to Atlanta.
Another time was trying to get from JFK
using a UA
pass, but due to heavy snow the J31 to Dulles was not operating. The UA
agent offered to reroute me JFK
overnight that would allow me to pick up LHR
the next day, but luckily I was able to snag a seat on a Delta nonstop instead.
Yet another time I was trying to get out of Gatwick into Atlanta at the end of Spring Break. No luck on any of the early Delta flights, nor American, nor Continental. While waiting for the last LGW-ATL nonstop, I managed to find out that VS had seats going on LGW-MIA, so was about ready to pick that instead when the M11 captain took pity on me and decided to help me out. He wrote me up in the paperwork as an interline jumpseating pilot and installed me in the cabin crew rest seat for takeoff and landing. During the flight, I had to hang out in the rear galley with the crew. Never got the pilots name to thank him, but then again those kinda things are probably swept under the rug anyway.
Yet another time was trying to get out of LGA to ATL via CLE and had already cleared to the last seat on Continental. Suddenly one of their CLE base FAs appears at the gate with a must-ride - her daughter had been in an accident in CLE and she had to get home - they approved her for a cabin jumpseat but after we pushed back she was in tears and obviously in no shape to ride. Rather than return to the gate to offload someone, they asked me to swap seats with her so I wound up riding on the forward double jumpseat on the 737 into Cleveland.
Ah... the memories.
[Edited 2003-12-21 06:01:51]
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada