Current Mood: elated
We were forced to behave while we sat
In rows like children
I crossed some standard state lines
I finally found myself so far away from home
~ “A Year on an Airplane” by Daphne Loves Derby
Monday morning, Girl Twin and I arrived at the airport before 7am. She was very excited to be heading to Omi-ha-ha and I was very excited to be escaping the Texas heat. Both of us were a tad apprehensive about the flight. Little did we know, the flight was not what we should have been worried about?
At 8:10am American Airlines announced that our flight was boarding. The best thing about early morning flights is that they tend to run on-time. As we boarded the plane, we were hit with a blast of very hot, very humid air. The flight attendant announced over the intercom that the pilots had not arrived to turn on the plane (and the ground cooling units). She apologized for the heat but assured everyone that it would be rapidly remedied.
By the time we reached our seats, 16E and 16F, we were sweating, As we sat down, the flight attendant announced that we needed to keep the shades closed, to prevent sunlight from making the situation less comfortable (as if that was possible). There we were, on a completely full plane, sitting in intense Texas heat, smelling the choice aromas of the people around us, and she was forbidding us to look outside, making the plane seem more like a tomb than a mode of transportation. People were fanning themselves with the in-flight magazines.
There were lots of mumbles and grumbles from the passengers. I found the situation so ridiculous that it was funny. I was laughing and making quiet comments to Girl Twin to make her giggle. The guy next to me, a hygienic person who believed in showers AND deodorant (thankfully) also found my comments amusing.
Around 20 minutes later, the pilot arrived, only to tell us that the cooling unit on the plane was broken and needed to be replaced. He again apologized for the heat, and threw the gate personnel under the bus by clearly stating:
“I would like to apologize that you were permitted to board a hot plane. The gate personnel should not have put you on this plane until we had arrived and turned on the cooling unit. Unfortunately, they also did not notify us of the gate change, meaning that the flight crew has spent the past 30 minutes fixing the broken cooling unit on a different plane. That plane is quite cool now.”
After another 25 minutes or so of unsuccessful repairs to the cooling unit, the pilot demanded that the gate be reopened so we could de-board the plane. He was not nearly as amused as I was - though he was as warm as we were, which helped with camaraderie for most of the passengers; NOT ALL – however. One guy got off the plane and started berating the pilot for the situation. He, apparently, had not been listening to the frequent announcements which blamed everything on the gate people. His tirade prompted the pilot to get back on the intercom to reiterate the apology and the blame.