Mission

MISSION:
To spend quality time in at least one area of every state. Quality time means exploring the area; rest stops, gas stations, airports or train stations do not count. The goal is to explore the natural and cultural environments of these regions. Each location visited has a story, pictures for my amateur hobby addiction, and maybe a piece of jewelry/art.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Aghhh... The Weather!

You gotta love traveling in the winter.  It is always unpredictable.  AND... it is never a good sign when you arrive in your connection city to see most flights to your final destination cancelled and delayed.

I arrived in Chicago yesterday, with a 2 1/2 hour lay-over.  In the winter, I expect delays, so quick turn-arounds are never smart!  Anyway, the weather in Chicago was nasty and the weather on the east coast was not helping anybody.   Flying into DC, all earlier flights were cancelled or delayed... and I was flying into National Airport (home of the short runway.) Ice, snow, wind and rain do not do any favors for the Capital City.  Plane overbooked already, we were told that we would take off.

While we boarded within a few minutes of your scheduled time, we sat on the runway; first for deicing and then because only one runway was in condition to use.  Once in the air, and almost home, the flight crew notified us that we were rerouted to Dulles International Airport.  Yes, that is an incredible inconvenience, but you do not want to slide off the runway and into the Potomac River.  It was reasonable until we were told that since the weather was bad and that we were not expected, there was no transportation from the airport, that the airline was working on it and a bus would be there in an hour to take us to National Airport.

My short trip home was turning into an affair.  And it only got better.

No taxis, no Super Shuttles... and more than a few planes of people in need of transportation...AGHHHHHH!  Even if the Metro system did have its act together and was available at Dulles, it would not have been running anyway since it was so late.  We were stuck.  And it wasn't fun.

The bus showed up after an hour and a half, only it was not a bus, but more of a shuttle that would seat 20+ people.   A bunch of us shoved onto the only transportation to be found and not until we were on the toll road did the driver ask if were were all going to National Airport; and amongst the yeses several no's were heard.  I initially thought they were kidding, but there were 5 people on that mini bus thinking that they were going to a hotel.  AGHHHH.  And to add to the fun, there was no guarantee of transportation from National - it was just closer to home.

Once we finally made it to National, the line for taxis at an airport supposedly shut down was mind-numbingly long (and it was freezing).  Luckily, they were allowing taxis that were not the "approved" cab company to take people.  The problem was that living so close the airport meant that no one wanted to take the cheap fare as opposed to DC or Maryland riders.  It took over an hour to get through that line.

I was supposed to land at 11:30 and be home by midnight.  I got home after 4am.

I have to give credit to the airline - United.  They at least tried to do something instead of stranding its passengers at Dulles.  I have no idea what happened to those hundreds of people stuck at Dulles.  You take taxi's for granted - they have always been there to get you home.  

1 comment:

  1. I love National for it's convenience and simplicity, but I agree with the trepidation of landing there in the winter. I was on the first plane to land at National after a plane crashed into the Potomac on January 13, 1982. As I looked out my window we could see recovery efforts going on in the river. Our plane actually slid down the icy runway only to stop a mere feet from the end of the pavement.

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