How's this for interesting? Last Christmas I had picked up about 10 hours, starting early in the morning, so that I could spend the rest of the evening with my family. All during the 24th and 25th I had been wearing a set of antlers with bells on them during boarding of all my flights. One of the last flights I was to have worked was a 2:30pm nonstop to LAS
. The problem was, no plane, no crew.
This was the day MSY
got all that snow and had no deicing fluid. Guess where the aircraft was? The planned routing for the day was MSY
, but the plane never made it out of MSY
. The pilots were stuck in JAX
, and the FAs were in BWI
. ANd with everything full, the pilots had a hard time getting out of there. They never made it to BDL
that day. The FAs were able to catch another flight out of BWI
, and somewhere around 8pm, it was decided to ferry in a plane from BWI
to get our pax outta here and on their way. Well, they forgot one thing - THE PILOTS! The crew they sent with the ferry was just for that, and they were overnighting. Nice of scheduling to tell us, and at that point I was just a bit hopping...
As the plane pulls into the gate, the rampers start loading, probably about 160 bags and all the airmail it can hold. The fueler gets pumping, putting in somewhere around 35-38 thousand lbs of fuel to send this plane to Vegas. At the same time, we're starting to get some of our terminators in, and luckily we have a crew that can take the flight... only as far as MDW
. So now I've started (just barely) boarding, taking down the 6 or so wheelchair pax, and the new captain comes up and says we need to defuel, the plane's going to be too heavy to land in MDW
. I call the fueler, no one is available to defuel for at least an hour, the only other option is to swap. And we did, grudgingly. I take off the pax I boarded and brought them back up into the gate area, only to tell them that no, sorry, this isn't your plane, and it's not going to LAS
Between dealing with majorly-pissed off passengers, having to move tons of bags and airmail, being shorthanded due to other terminators coming in, one broken jetway (which is nice when you only have 4), and getting the new crew situated, it was pretty... FUN. Yeah
What we told the passengers, the plan was to fly them into MDW
, swap out the pilots, and then they'd finally be on their was to LAS
. The flight finally left around 9:45pm, 5 hours late, after I even had to deny boarding to someone who wasn't sure if he might need emergency oxygen during the flight! (He picked after everyone was boarded to let us know.) Of course, he refused to deplane after all that, and it took a customer service supervisor, a very imposing ramp sup, and a state trooper to convince him.
And I thought that was the end of it, my pax were on their not-so-merry way to LAS
... Turns out, when they reached MDW
, *someone* decided to do and aircraft swap, delaying them a further 2 1/2 hours. They did not reach LAS
until about 4:30am local time.
And I may be crazy, but I'm working again this Christmas.