Flying on Thanksgiving

I’ve flown a dozen times in the last three years but until this weekend never experienced the delays you hear about, as in several hours long with travelers getting angry. I’ve just been lucky. That’s why I was calm this past Sunday when I set out to return to Rochester, from my daughter’s house in Atlanta. On line at 9:30 A.M. we discovered that my 2:45 PM flight was already going to be an hour late. The notice said all flights were delayed. By the time we left for the airport my flight was running two hours late.

In spite of the delay I got through security in under twenty minutes – no small feat in Atlanta where 84,00,000 passengers a year come through. Once through security, however, things weren’t too smooth. With all the flights delayed, there were thousands of extra people, many having to sit on the floor. Announcements of overbooked flights came overhead followed by requests for volunteers to give up their seats. The flight leaving my gate ahead of my own flight couldn’t leave because they were waiting for their flight attendants, held up somewhere else. They eventually came trotting through with their wheeled bags, zigging and zagging through the people sitting on the floor. One man was losing it over the holdup, expressing his frustration to the desk clerk. I wanted the clerk to tell him, “Dude, everyone here is being held up…” Then I heard the man speak and realized he probably didn’t speak English.

Once on board, our pilot made up a good bit of the lost time and, all in all, I was less than two hours late which, in the big picture, is unscathed.

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