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Next Time, We’re DRIVING!

, , , | Working | August 26, 2021

We’ve planned an outing to visit my wife’s brother in another state. The night before, we stay with my in-laws in the hopes of getting to our early morning flight at 6:30 am. Just as we park the car at the hotel offering airport parking, I get this email.

Email: “Your upcoming flight has been delayed to 10:10 am. Apologies for the inconvenience.”

Okay, no problem. That gives us time to relax before the flight. We check in and go through security and find the gate at one end of the concourse and walk to get breakfast. While getting breakfast, we overhear the PA.

PA: “Flight rescheduled for 10:10, moved from gate 22 to gate 2.”

Okay, no big deal. It’s just a good walk from one end of the concourse to the next. So, after moving our carry-on, we settle down and wait for our flight. 

Then, I hear the gate agent say something about the flight. I check with the website and they have moved the gate again. We look at the flight information board but nothing has changed. I go to the gate agent and double-check, and yes, the gate has changed, so we move over and proceed to wait until boarding time. 

Around boarding time, we head to the gate because it is odd that they are not announcing anything. A few minutes later, they start boarding group A, and while it looks like we might be delayed some more due to boarding procedures, it is not that bad as we will still make it to our destination and be able to do activities while the day is young.

Suddenly, the boarding agent gets on the PA!

Boarding Agent: “Now that we’ve boarded group A, we have to pause the process because we are having issues related to the plane.”

Everyone is worried, but no problem; airports run into issues all the time and get things quickly resolved. An hour goes by, and we suddenly see the gate doors open and those that boarded are getting off. Those at the gate are worried, and we wonder about the fate of the flight before noticing that those getting off do not have luggage; they are just going to get snacks and drinks while they wait. Another hour goes by, and people are getting antsy with the non-response the boarding agent keeps announcing. Someone finally says:

Flyer #1: “Hey, man, everyone here is getting anxious, so could you please do your job and tell us what is going on?”

Boarding Agent: “I am sorry I have not announced everything, but the explanation is that the fueling truck overfilled the plane’s tanks, and the plane now weighs too much, and we waited for the defueling truck. The truck started defueling the plane, but then the battery died, so now they are trying to fix it, but if they cannot, we will need to call another fueling contractor to send another defueling truck.”

A few more minutes go by, and the boarding agent comes back and announces some news with his hands raised in fists.

Boarding Agent: “We fixed the problem, and now we can start boarding normally!”

Everyone cheered — sarcastically, of course.

The two-hour flight proceeds normally, and once we reach the destination, the flight attendant makes the usual announcement.

Flight Attendant: “Thank you for flying with us and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

Flyer #2: *Sarcastically* “As long as you are sorry, that makes everything all better.”

[Flyer #3] pulled out their phone and started playing “At Last” by Etta James.

And that’s how a two-hour flight ended in a nine-hour-long wait inside the airport due to an issue that’s definitely a first for me, and probably the last for that fueling contractor!

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