Tag: Washington DC

A Crazy Day

A quick story about the struggles of air travel, from January 20, 2009


Crazy day. A tale that actually began and ended at Gate 2. The gate used by the flights going to and returning from Regan National.

I had to go to Louisville today for a couple days worth of work which I managed to finish in just less than 5 hours total time. So I turned myself around and grabbed a flight back home. Made for a nice 20 hour day with travel and all, but being at home and alone I guess is better than being in Kentucky, at all.

Almost didn’t get there though; this morning at Regan National, they couldn’t find our plane.

If you’ve never flown US Airways Express through Regan, consider yourself lucky, but then listen to how archaic this system is:

Flights all park out on the tarmac and the airport buses the passengers to and from the planes and the terminal. They have two gates from which all express flights depart, which basically just designates which bus you get on, but they release three flights for boarding at a time.

Fortunately this morning was a light traffic day, unlike the afternoon, and evening when Regan National turned into a zoo because of the inauguration ceremony tomorrow. There were only about 10 people on the flight to Louisville but we all got a tour of the departure area because they couldn’t decide which plane was actually ours. So the bus took us from the terminal, to a plane, and back… then back out to the planes, then back to the terminal… then back out to the planes…. Then back to the terminal.

In between each trip the driver had to have a face to face discussion or argument with crew, ground personnel and the gate dispatcher. He has a radio on the bus, so I still have no idea why he had to drive back and forth to discuss these things in person.

But eventually we found a plane they would let us use and imagine the surprised crew who had been there waiting for us for 20 minutes.

Ahhh… Monday mornings are the best.

And next week I start five straight weeks of work in Louisville…

I will need drinks. Lots of strong, strong drinks.