Sunday, June 28, 2009

Flight Delays

My daughter and I left North Bend at 10:00am on Monday, June 22 for the airport. The first leg of our flight (Seattle to Washington Dulles) didn't leave until 1:14pm, but we had to check her in for the flight, and because we were flying overseas we needed to get there a couple of hours early, so we decided to get there with plenty of time just in case there were delays at ticketing or security. As it turned out, check in was very fast, the security line was short, so we boarded the plane with expectations of an on-time departure.

Once we had settled in, the pilot got on the intercom to tell us that there was a "mechanical problem" with the aircraft. We found out that the "mechanical problem" was with the first class lavatory. Since this is also the toilet the pilots use, it was also a security issue to not have this toilet working.

We were first told that there would be a half hour delay. That turned into just under 2 hours. Our connection (as well as the connections for many others) was short - ours was about 45 minutes, so it looked like we would miss the connecting flight to London. We were also told that if we missed that connection, we couldn't even take the next day's flight, as this was all booked. This was pretty frustrating, but what could we do? We would have to figure that out when we arrived in Washington DC. The attendants said they would keep everyone updated on the status of the connecting flights.

As it turned out, everyone who had a connecting flight would not be able to make their connections, which was very frustrating - I was sitting next to a dentist from Brazil, and she not only had a connection in D.C., but also a connection in Sao Paolo, so her plans were altered significantly. Ours was a very, very slight maybe. Apparently the incoming flight that would take us to London was delayed in South America, and was anticipated to be an hour late. Since they have to clean the plane and change crews, we had a remote chance of making our flight. We were told our connecting gate information - more bad news, as we would have to run from one concourse to the next to make our connection.

As we were descending into D.C., one of the flight attendants gave us the good news that they decided to move our arrival gate to the gate right across from our connecting gate, and that the plane would wait for us (plus 8 others who needed to make that connecting flight). So, what was originally looking like a pretty hopeless situation turned out fine, and we made our connecting flight to London.

The flight to London was nice (I had enough miles to purchase business class tickets for the London flight), so we enjoyed a nice dinner, and even slept a little bit. My daughter loved being in business class.

We arrived in London just before noon on Tuesday, checked in to our hotel, and decided to get on a tour bus immediately, so we wouldn't be tempted to take a nap and lose a chance at getting in sync with London time. The bus tour is pretty expensive (about $45 per person), but it's for 24 hours, you can hop off/hop back on at any stop during that period, plus it includes a Thames River tour, so overall it's a pretty good way to see a lot of London.

Since I am posting from London, adding pictures long-distance seems to be a problem, so I will try to post them separately.


Danny said...

I had the same photo posting problem when we took our trip to Italy in 2006. I ended up saving most of them until we got back. Have a good trip and keep the stories coming.

John McClane said...

Looks like you've got good weather there. Enjoy your trip!

Baron's Life said...

Lance a great the end it all worked out with the flight delays and all...Long trip though...

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