Monday, January 3, 2022

Airline Follies

Frozen Northern Arizona from a United regional jet.

Delays, a canceled flight, a diverted flight, and an unplanned hotel stay characterized my recent trip to visit family in Tennessee. The cancelation was the result of a lack of a pilot. I assume this is a consequence of coronavirus, or at least a consequence of employee testing at United Airlines. The diversion seems less excusable. Granted, there was a winter storm upon Flagstaff at the time, but it was above freezing and other flights were operating from the airport. We ended up in Prescott, which I didn't even realize had commercial service. It does, but the airport is even smaller than Flagstaff. I rented a car and drove back to Flagstaff. The surface never froze. That's the second time I've ended up driving from one airport to another. The previous time I'd missed the connection at Phoenix.

I'd also experienced a delay on my outbound flight when the airline was already running a few minutes behind, and they wasted time until an approaching storm arrived, and by rules had to de-ice the plane, even though it was only a few flurries and any idiot could see the wings were not iced. I got to my connection in Denver in plenty of time, but of course that is the flight that was canceled. What followed was an unplanned night in a hotel near the Denver airport. And I lost a day that was meant to be spent with family. You think of an airline for flying but it kind of seems like United has an affinity for not flying.

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