I didn't want to leave work tonight.
We had one of those spectacular meltdowns that can only happen in the transportation industry. One of our regulars, a delightful semi-retired historian/sociologist (she and I have had some lovely chats, and she always quizzes me on whatever history book I'm currently reading), was flying back from $CITYINTEXAS when there was a medical emergency on her plane. Emergency landing in New Mexico. She called to let us know about the delay.
Flight was supposed to arrive at 1738 local, pushed back to 2110. This was due to the need to refuel after the diversion and speed to get a critically ill man out of the sky and into an ambulance. Nothing to be done. I call the driver and advise him of the new ETA and go back to
watching season 9 of Hell's Kitchen
About an hour later I check the flight for an updated ETA. 0115
. That's when our passenger calls me. Evidently, while refueling the plane, the ground crew managed to puncture a tire, and since the airport wasn't a major destination for $AIRLINE, they needed to fly one in.
At this juncture, I will point out that the airplane involved is a Boeing 737-800
. The 737 series is, by far, is the most numerous in domestic US/Canadian service. I simply cannot believe there wasn't a spare tire lying around somewhere.
Anyway, after suggesting to my passenger that a stagecoach might be faster, I called my driver. We agreed that he was going to take a nap, and I'd set up a wake-up call with our answering service for midnight. If the arrival was going to be significantly earlier, I'd call the driver myself to let him know.
This is where the crazy sets in. To track arrivals, we usually use the airline's own website. As back-ups we use FlightView
. In extremis, we check the arriving airport's website.
As you can imagine, I was quite put out when I got three different arrival times covering a two-hour period when checking sites. The the $AIRLINE site decided it was already Tuesday and stopped believing in the flight completely. I had to call them three times to get a clear ETA.
Still, even as I left for the evening (the bosses dislike paying overtime unless an absolute necessity) I was reflexively checking the updates. I honestly wish I could have stayed until my driver reported he had the passenger and was on his way.
Just checked again, 0101 arrival. Guess I'll hear the whole story tomorrow.