I'm sitting at the Grand Rapids airport, using the free Wi-Fi on my PDA, while waiting to see if Debbie's flight has left Memphis yet (they got everyone on board and backed away from the gate before realizing no one on the ground had done any of the safety checks), and wish I'd brought a laptop instead.
Northwest Has Done Okay For Us The Last Few Years... But Not Tonight
So it's amazing that I can walk into the airport, search out any of the numerous wide-screen Sony monitors and find out my wife's flight is running two hours late: Northwest flight 3444 was scheduled to arrive at 9:36pm, then 11:57pm. So I pulled out my cellphone, turned it on, hoping Mrs. Dr. Phil had hers on and connected immediately -- that's when I learned they'd boarded but were sitting there. Wherever Grand Rapids was getting their information, it didn't match what they had in Memphis and a flight attendant said to ignore GRR.
The estimated time updated to 11:15pm
So turn on the PDA and connect to the Wi-Fi flyGRR which worked tonight, as opposed to Christmas. Phone rang and it was Mrs. Dr. Phil saying this was too good to be true. After doing the safety checks, they did the maintenance checks and found the rear toilet wasn't working. That'd be okay, they can fly with only one working toilet, but the front one one was out of service, too. So... Wait for it... They can't take off because they're full of shit.
Well, at least she's laughing. Dr. Phil would be crabby and uncomfortable, knowing his limited time confined to a squinchy seat hadn't officially begun yet.
Now scheduled for 11:30pm arrival. It's 10:16pm and it's a 77 minute flight. Will they get in at all tonight?
Don't Go Through Memphis On Northwest
One data point and we're not impressed. Not being fair, you say? Hey, it's a blog being written in realtime -- whatja expect?
Bad news, Midnight is latest arrival time. Good news? Mrs. Dr. Phil's phone is offline. That means maybe they got moving.
Update In The Light Of Day
Mrs. Dr. Phil got here, at 12:09am. They figured out how to get one of the toilets cleared, though they had to shut off the water, so while they were handing out sodas and bottled water to all the passengers trapped in this aircraft, there was no coffee or tea.
The Worst Public Address Message In The World
These poor people had just made it to the terminal and were just in the process of getting off the plane at 12:09am, some 2-1/2 hours late, and they announced that "passengers needing Budget or Avis Rent-a-Car, or to get their car from valet parking needed to proceed immediately to the rent-a-car desks as we are closing in five minutes." Oh come on, Grand Rapids, you were doing so good in the face of the miscues in Memphis, and you pull this stunt? Can you imagine finding yourself stuck in the airport without your car or rental -- because someone couldn't wait while you hightailed it to the bathroom?
Public service -- you have to pay attention to the little things!