So I am at this moment sitting on a Southwest Airlines 737 at Dulles Airport in DC. I boarded the plane at 3 PM for a 3:15 departure. I've now been sitting on this plane for almost an hour. Not one to be a big complainer I still am starting to get a little antsy. The "captain" told us a little while ago that we were going to "sit and wait on the tarmac with our engines off" because of WEATHER between DC and Chicago. Could there be a more vague term than "weather?"
Here is a photo of the "weather" right now:
Update (3:50): Captain "Deep Voice" just told us "not to envy the planes driving past us and taking off." Ok - no problem. He said those were the planes going North, South, or East. Um, ok. At this rate I'm wondering if it would've been better to get back to KC with a layover in Miami or London. Cuz at least those planes are, ... you know . . . flying. But then he pointed out, rightly, the line of planes backed up next to us. These are the Western-bound flights. Given the geographic positioning of Washington DC you can imagine that this line is growing rapidly. He closed with the great consolation of saying: "we're not alone in this pain."
So I'm like Jack Johnson, just sitting, waiting, wishing . . .
Update(4:02): the stewardess just offered us water. Several folks gave them kinda nasty looks as they made the offer. Yeah, cuz the stewardesses are totally responsible for "weather."
Update(4:16): Whoa, here come the peanuts. That'll buy at least another hour of passivity from the crowd. Someone behind me just asked for pretzels. If the stewardess is wise, she'll hold off on distributing those until hour 3 starts up. I'm thinking about asking for some cajun stir-fry, just to liven things up.
Update(4:17): My two bags of peanuts are totally gone and I'm eying my neighbor's. (I'm hungry in case you can't tell) Sure wish they'd have offered the water after the peanuts . .
Update(4:19): We were just informed that if we're hot, closing the window shades will help cool things down. Instantly I saw at least a dozen windows shades close - making me question the collective intelligence of my now close friends here.
Update(4:20): Captain "Tarmac-Man" just told us that "we've been instructed to find an alternate route to Chicago." Really? All of us? Are we on our own in finding a route or with "the tower" help us out? Should we have a meeting or something?
Update(4:21): El Cappytan says we're leaving in about 5 minutes. There was a collective scoff of disbelief. For some strange reason that comment made all the "wise people" reopened their window shades. A moment later they turned to the stewardess and complained about being hot.
Update(4:36): The scoffing people are looking pretty smart right about now - it's been 15 minutes since the 5 minute declaration. I wonder what would happen if I declared "Nevermind" and asked to deboard (is that a word?) the plane. I'll bet I'd have some followers.
Update(4:45PM): When the captain came on the speaker his voice was kinda foreboding. The report was "were were about the pick up our clearance (nice phrase), but then everything was shut down. I guess there must've been some sudden weather that appeared. He then made the comforting statement, "we're just as confused as you are." I'm not the world's best communicator, but that was not the comforting phrase I would've used.
Then he confirmed, "you can still use the lavatories if you need too." Everyone stood up suddenly and ran for the bathrooms. j/k
The most ominous comment was "you can use your cell phones if you need to." There was something in his voice that implied something like, "you may never leave this plane, so you should probably bid farewell to your families."
Update (4:58): If we wait long enough, the "weather in the west" will make its way to us. Maybe that's the new crack FAA strategy.
Update (5:13): Hour #3 has begun. At this point the kids on the plane, and there are lots of them, are really starting to make the flight even more enjoyable for their parents.
Update (5:15): Captain "I have a more comfortable seat than you" Just gave us a great update: "We do have our clearance for our route, but the route is closed" "We'll be the first to depart when the route is opened." Is that kinda like give your teenager the keys to the car when the car has no engine?
Update (5:20): Captain Good News says "we've been released, please return to your seats and put your seatbelts on. (cuz most of us were out of our seats I guess) So they're now saying to turn off the electronic stuff. Looks like it's really gonna happen. I'll hide my skepticism!
What a great afternoon in DC!!