Star Log: Flight DL2282. The Epilogue.


I arrived at JFK at 6:00 am this morning for an 8am departure.  The details of the day can be found in Part 1 of Just Another Manic Monday.

And now as Paul Harvey would say, here is the rest of the story:

*4:00 pm. We are standing in queue for de-icing. Captain announces that he’ll give this another hour and a half before he makes a final call. He says he can’t give an estimate on departure time. (Eyebrows up. Crowd is wary but still believing.)

* 4:05 pm. We sit. 8 hours and counting and still not in the air. We sit. And we wait. (Twisting in our seats. Cannot get comfortable. Where’s the line between claustrophobia and panic?)

* 4:30 pm. Captain: “I’m very sorry to have to tell you this however we are timed out. FAA regulations require us to go back to the gate as the crew cannot be on duty for more than 15 hours.” (The cabin is silent. You are timed out my a**! Calm before shock sets in. He did NOT just say that!)

* 5:30 pm. Captain: “Sorry folks. All the gates are taken and we need an aircraft to vacate a gate.” (Crowd rumbling now. Insurrection on the cusp. Passengers ignoring calls to sit down while plane is in active taxi-way.)

* 5:50 pm. Passenger: “Do you think you can give these kids some cookies, or crackers, or chips or something. They are famished.” (One offering of water and juice for the entire painful show. Are we racing to the bottom in airline client experience here?)

* 6:00 pm. Captain: “Folks we’re heading to the gate now.” (What a coinkidinky! I arrived at JFK at 6 am. It’s now 6 pm. 12 hours. But who the hell is counting!  Round trip without leaving the ground! The plane is supersonic.  I didn’t even know that I went West and back again.)

* 6:30 pm. De-plane. The sorry looking pack is herded to the Service Desk to re-book and sort out luggage. (And, yet another interminable wait. I note the small basket at the front of the line: 15 bags of pretzels, 10 2-packs of short bread cookies and 3 Cokes – – all this goodness for 150 passengers. This is what they call a Peace Offering?)

* 7:00 pm. “Sir, it could take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours to find your luggage, or we can forward your luggage on to your destination.” (Is this a Saturday Night Live skit? 4 hours?! Am I on candid camera?  They are waiting for me to crack. I refuse to crack. I will not crack. I will not crack. I will not crack.  I stare at the Customer Service Rep who has taken her share of beatings this evening. I step feebly away from the desk mumbling “1 to 4 hours”.)

* 7:50 pm. Bag rolls down the conveyor. (I’m looking at it like it’s an oasis and I’m parched. Could it really be my bag? There is LIGHT.)

* 9:30 pm.  Home! Susan and Dog give the King wide berth.  Hostility has a pungent smell and they want no part of it.

* Epilogue. Bonus! Tomorrow we get to try it all over again…

Image Credit


  1. and happy you were able to handle it like spock, with just a bit of kirk thrown in. too bad you can’t just be ‘beamed up.’ happy you made it home safely to go out hunting for some airspace again tomorrow.


    • You should have received credit for the Star Log Flight title Beth. It was all you who put that into my head. Thanks for the good wishes.


      • no worries, just what your post reminded me of when i read it. a struggling captain, just trying to complete his mission, and documenting it, in real time. always happy to recognize the captain in you, no credit needed for that.


  2. Holy moly, David. I’m speechless.


  3. Yes, glad you made it home. As much as I love flying, I hate flying. 🙂


  4. OMG What a nightmare! I’d have trouble keeping my anger under control if I were “held hostage” in a plane for that long.


  5. Yes! you made it through the whole ordeal and still have a fantastic sense of humor! I love it David and tomorrow you will do a fantastic job…. no matter what you encounter! 😀


  6. I feel for you my friend. Flying has indeed become a truly miserable experience, but at least you were able to go home versus being stuck overnight at the airport. Good luck for tomorrow, and keep your pressure relief valve wide open.


  7. In 20 years of flying all over Western Canada, I too have had the agony and feel your pain, David. All that waiting and then to be cancelled, such a pain! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you tomorrow if you do the same for me, I also have the distinct joy of flying tomorrow and going west to east, so hopefully the weather doesn’t delay me as well … Travel safe tomorrow …


  8. You get a special prayer from me tonight. Love the image though! And since I don’t want to further escalate your indignation I won’t crack any jokes this time…..BE SAFE!


  9. Wow, David, this does take the biscuit! It puts all my little airline “incidents” into perspective. Are you the only one who didn’t crack, in which case this was some sort of miracle plane.

    Best of luck for Round 2. If they piss you around this time I hereby give you permission to crack. Do please write and tell us how that goes.


  10. Wow, pal, there are no words. Suffice it to say I’m wicked impressed that you could regale us with a humorous recap of the day’s activities AND refrain from unloading on the gate attendant (though that undoubtedly won you points in the karma box). Fingers crossed for a decidedly uneventful do-over today….


  11. Complete and utter sympathy for you, my friend. I would have been a wet spot on the seat by then.


  12. What fresh hell is this? You poor guy – yes, there are worse things – but being on a plane for eight hours while moving is hard. Not moving is impossible. I can’t believe you’re going again today. Good luck and may the force be with you (I know it’s the wrong movie). Btw, has anyone told you that you look a lot like Patrick Stewart?


    • Laughing. I could have used the phrase “What Fresh Hell Is This” every hour with each new low. Yes. As to the resemblance to Patrick Stewart, the receding hair line is clawing me closing to him.


  13. Good luck today!


  14. Speechless …


  15. Oh, so horrible… 😦


  16. It’s good to be home…


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