Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Worst Day Ever...(Well, Except For the End)

Today we flew from Washington D.C. to Nashville Tennessee to start our Vanderbilt Summer Academy adventure. Our airport shuttle arrived at the hotel around 8:30, and we were soon at the airport. We were going to take an 11:00 AM flight to Charlotte, and then a 1:40 PM flight from Charlotte to Nashville. When we arrived at the airport, we went to one of the automated check-in kiosks. Unfortunately, it would not work. We had our boarding passes preprinted, but when we the machine scanned it, it ended up getting an error message. It turns out our flight to Charlotte was delayed, and we would miss our connecting flight to Nashville. It took about half an hour, but they finally got us on a direct flight to Nashville. The only problem was that flight did not leave until 3:24 PM, and it was only 9:30 AM. This is one of the reasons I hate flying. I don’t like being in a plane to begin with, but I really dislike the added stress of delayed flights or missing your flight. I also really dislike having to sit around and wait for the flight to board and for the flight to be over. The only reason I fly is for the destination. If there were some other time effective way to travel long distances, I would do it. Anyway, we went through security and waited the 6 hours for our flight. We got breakfast at one of the restaurants, and then sat down near our gate to wait for our flight. All the other ILCers and Mr. Mannix were so tired that they fell asleep.

At 3:00 PM we boarded our flight. Instead of using a regular gate, we were put on a bus to an aircraft a little ways away. It was a very small aircraft with the door that folded down into stairs. The plane was extremely cramped. There were only 4 seats to a row, and the aisle was half of the standard size. There were only 12 rows total, with no first class or business. The flight attendant’s (yes there was only one) seat folded out of the wall in front of the cockpit door. The overhead compartments were only 10 inches tall, and practically useless. In the case of emergency, there were no life jackets. You use your seat cushion instead. I understand this plane was designed to be small, and use space as efficiently as possible, but after being on much larger planes, I felt it was tiny and very cheap looking.

We taxied out and got to the runway. Then we did not receive clearance to take off, as there was a thunderstorm in between D.C. and Nashville. It is so big that we could not fly around it. We were told the delay would be at least an hour, so they took us back to the terminal. We got some lunch, and by 5:30 they announced we were boarding once more. We got loaded up, got the runway and again did not get clearance to take off. This time it was supposed to be for only a short while, so we waited it out on the aircraft, and the attendant passed out drinks. With the new route clearance, we had to get back in the queue to leave the airport. Before we took off, they changed our route again, back to the original route. By 7:30, we had wheels up!!! It felt great to be finally in the air. After waiting around for ten and a half hours, we were finally on our way to Nashville, Tennessee. Our plane landed in Nashville at 8:30 Central Time. We then had to get a rental car, go to Target, get dinner and go to Vanderbilt. We checked in at around 10:30, and I attended my first Proctor Group Meeting. I can already tell Vanderbilt is going to be fun!

1 comment:

  1. The worst day ever? And you've only been there for a few hours so already you're precluding the possibility that things could get worse? Good for you, Thomas. A good attitude.

    I'm sorry that your experience leaving DC was such a bummer. I'll have to put you together with the Cornell group from a couple of years ago that spent 25 hours in the airport in Chicago.

    At the very least you should all have some great stories to tell for years to come--as well as nightmares about airports and airplanes.