Friday, February 12, 2010

Silly snow

I left the snow covered city of Dallas....for the snow covered city of Cleveland.

Getting out of Dallas wasn't easy. When I left the house Thursday at 6AM snow had been falling for 3 hours. I figured since my flight left at 7:25AM (one of the first 10 flights for my airline out of DFW airport) , there was a good chance of getting out quickly. Silly me.

We left the gate on time. Over the next 2 hours 20 minutes my plane was deiced 2 1/2 times. The snow was falling faster than the deicers could deice the plane. This wasn't helped by the fact that the deicers were working very slowly. Not all their fault....they don't deice planes often in Dallas.

The new Passenger Bill of Rights states we can only have passengers on board for 3 hours. After that the airline faces fines of $27,500 per passenger. My plane took off with 30 minutes to spare. Of course if we had gone back to the gate after three hours the flight would have simply cancelled and all the passengers would have been SOL. Why would it cancel? Well the flight is scheduled for 3 hours. We had already been out for 2 hours (once we back off the gate a clock starts which monitors my flying time...even if I never take off). If we had tried to leave again we would go to the back of the deice line that was at least 2 1/2 hours long. So 4 1/2 hours would be spent on the ground. Add the three hours in flight and that leaves 30 minutes to spare before I hit my 8 hour a day FLYING limit.

I made it to Cleveland. My flight back cancelled before we left Dallas. I was supposed to wait for 4 hours to deadhead (fly as a passenger) back to Dallas. Well the snow kept falling and all flights from Cleveland to Dallas cancelled. Off to the hotel.

There is a slight problem. My Captain and one of the flight attendants didn't bring any clothes....or a suitcase at all. Their schedule has them flying Dallas to Cleveland to Dallas 3 times a week. Ooops. I don't think I would ever be brave enough to not bring a suitcase.

My airline is in crisis mode as planes and crews are scattered around the midwest. I was called 5 times in 6 minutes by scheduling asking why I wasn't signed in for standby in Dallas. They apparently didn't know that I was in Cleveland. Took them a bit to figure it out. I never answered the phone as I am not required too.

As of now I fly the first flight out of Cleveland in over 24 hours leaving at 11:25AM. There are over 200 passengers and only 70 seats. The flight is already full of passenger who hold tickets for my flight. The other 130+ passengers are from cancelled flights.

Once I get back to Dallas...who knows. I wouldn't mind flying somewhere else. No desire to clear the snow off my car. Too bad my plane doesn't fly anywhere warm right now. Bleh.

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