June 21, 2007
Aircraft: N552JB (Blue Jay)
Scheduled Departure: 7:20 PM
Blocked Out: 7:55 PM
Scheduled Arrival: 10:45 PM
Blocked In: 1:49 AM
Load Factor: 90%
Oh the joy of flying on a thursday night after a long week at work and a storm arriving. I do this flight approx. 5-8 times a year (going DL
every once in a while to mix things up) so I am accustomed to the evening departure rush. It really hit me this time though.
After sitting on the Van Wyck for the usual 30 minutes, we arrived at terminal 6 at 5:45. Since they rearranged the check in kiosks and baggage drop I feel that the wait has gotten longer. Kiosk check in took 2 minutes and we waited about 10 for drop our bags off by the counter. After waiting for the wife watching her follow the bags to make sure they went all the way down the conveyor (Ehh, it makes her happy) we went upstairs to head to security. Most people go to the right after check in so we in turn always go to the left. I find this line a little shorter every time, and the fact that we were departing from gate 2 didn't hurt as well. Security took about 5 minutes and we ventured off to Hudson News.
As many know the B6
terminal is old, dirty, and disgusting........guess what? Nothing has changed. Few stores is good and bad. The wife can't spend money, but then she ends up talking to me instead. The new terminal is coming along nicely though and it will be a welcomed addition when it is ready. We ventured to the gate and saw that it was not very crowded which was a bit of a relief. It can sometimes be an adventure to find a seat over there.
Boarding started a little early at 6:40 for passengers with assistance or those who have small children. Only a few of those so they started full boarding a few minutes later. by 6:55 we were on board and our long long long trek to Seattle would begin.
by 7:10 it looked as if passengers had stopped coming in and we would be ready for an on time departure. I was in the middle, my wife with the aisle and a spanish man had the window (he got on, promptly feel asleep and didn't really awake until we landed (I want whatever the hell he took). The first officer came out to give his little speech about a storm moving in, but we should be able to puck back on time and get out ahead of it. By 7:25, the door was closed and I thought we would just sit in line with the heavies going to Europe and be on our way...........well, I was wrong. At 7:35 we were still by the gate. The TVs were going to keep us occupied and the safety check had been completed so thankfully that was out of the way. The captain got on and said they were just loading some last minute bags and it would be 2 more minutes . "Cabin Crew prepare for arrival".....Excuse me flight attendant?? What did you say? Suddenly the door pops open and a gentleman in an orange shirt strolls on. He is nicknamed douche bag #1.
The captain explains that we were waiting for some late arriving passengers to go along with the late arriving bags (Can it be so hard to get your asses to the airport people?????). The captain originally said 4 would be coming but it was only the 1 guy and the door was closed again. "Cabin Crew prepare for departure" A welcomed saying after sitting in a hot plane. The flight attendant notified the us that according to FAA regulations, since a new passenger had come on, we must perform the safety presentation all over again. A moan from the crowd, TVs off and the presentation for the guy in the orange shirt (Who was sitting Bulkhead no less!!!!).
"Cabin Crew Prepare for Arrival"...........NO NO NO......what the hell is this. 7:50 rolls along and the door pops open to let in douche bags 2-4. I guess the captain was right, there were 4 passengers who were late. I only hope they sat next to someone with a cold and are feeling it this morning. Finally at 7:54 the door was closed, "Cabin Crew prepare for Departure" is heard and we can be on our way.......Oh not before the TVs were shut off again because guess what folks? New passengers = safety demonstration for the 3rd friggin time. A groan with a slight hint of "Enough with this crap" could be sensed in the air.
Push back at 7:55 and we sit in the alley for 10 minutes........then we move to an active taxiway right alongside the terminal. The weather is getting bad with lighting and rain about to come by, but I am watching all the arrivals on 31R rolling by. Suddenly the skies open and we are not going anywhere. The signal on the TV
is crapping out and it is real dark outside. The pilot gets on to inform us that ATC has closed 4 out of the 5 departure lanes and number 5 looks as if it will be closed soon.............I knew this was a get ready to sit and wait folks. We taxied to an active taxiway between the 22's and we took our place in line and just sat. We sat and waited. You can see the European heavies in one line, the domestic departures in another line, and our line which seemed like a fair mix. At about 8:50 the captain informed us that no one is leaving right now and we will be shutting the engines down to save some fuel. It was cool on board which did make a huge difference.
We were told by the flight attendants that we would be able to move about the cabin and they would be coming around with bottled water. If we had cell phones we would be able to use them. You really get to hear a lot of cursing when a flight is delayed (most by my wife actually.....thats right folks, she is taken) The pilots never ventured out of the cockpit during this time. The announcements were at a minimum from them with most talking from the flight attendants. Most the channels were not working because of the weather but they slowly started to come back every 20 minutes or so.
At one point after sitting there for about an hour the pilot came on to tell us that the eastern departures wold start leaving soon, but we were number 40 out of 80 for departure (Better than being 80 right?)
Finally at 10:45 the engines were powered on and we started our roll to 31L to be number 4 in line. At 111:14 we were on our takeoff roll and on our way. The climb was a little slower than usual but who cares, we were in the air.
The flight was uneventful for the most part. I slept my 45 minutes so I was "refreshed" and thankfully the cabin crew came around often with water and other drinks to keep us hydrated. The path took us along the Canadian border at FL
350 I believe (Don't hold me to that one). At 1:25 AM
we started our descent into SEA
. It was quite bumpy after a calm flight with a few ooooh's and ahhh's from the queasy passengers. We landed and taxied right over to A10 with no traffic ahead of us. Finally blocking in at 1:49 AM
. We strolled out to see the sad and tired faces of the JFK
bound passengers who were waiting for the aircraft to turn around. SEA
-TAC is a very nice airport but a bit too much walking. Waited for our luggage until 2:25 and were on our way to the "Out-Laws". The inbound journey was finally over.
The Cabin Crew did an outstanding job during the whole wait, coming around to talk to us and keep us updated with what they knew. The cockpit could have been a little more talkative but I guess thats just an Airliners member opinion.
THE ONLY THING I WANT TO
KNOW IS IF
THE LATE ARRIVING PASSENGERS HURT US FOR
Otherwise, we are heading back on the Sunday red eye....Hopefully on time!