by Mary Ellen Eagan
Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 1:30 PM
“Bring a book.” That was the sage advice given to me by Chris Oswald at ACI-NA last Friday when I told him I was flying from BOS to DCA (via LGA!) on Monday, and back again on Tuesday – just as sequester furloughs are beginning to impact FAA Air Traffic Control (ironically, the trip was to attend a meeting at RTCA on accelerating implementation of NextGen performance based navigation procedures at airports).
So here I sit, at the end of Taxiway A, waiting for clearance from FAA, for what the pilot warned me (last passenger on the plane) would be a three hour delay.
Taxiway A, DCA, April 23, 3013, 1:32PM
So far, the rest of my trip has looked like this:
- Monday, April 22, DL 5873 (BOS-LGA), scheduled departure: 8:00 am; actual departure: 9:30 am.
- Monday, April 22, DL 5911 (LGA-DCA), scheduled departure 10:59 am. CANCELED. Rebooked on DL 5907, which was originally scheduled for 9 am, ended up leaving at 12:30 pm.
- Tuesday, April 23, DL 5916, scheduled departure 2 pm; CANCELED. Rebooked on DL 5914 (1pm departure), which was assigned a 3-hour delay. Flight re-numbered to DL 5912 (previously scheduled for 11:59 am and CANCELED). Scheduled wheels up 2:40 pm.
I know this is only the first and most obvious impact of the sequester on the average voter. It makes me wonder what less visible – but certainly not less important – government services are being curtailed.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 3:32 PM
I thought I’d be able to wrap it up after that, but fate had other plans. Since I last checked in, DL 5914/5912 was CANCELED, I was rebooked on DL 5918 (3 pm LGA Shuttle); by the time I arrived at the gate, it had been delayed until 5 pm. Now rebooked on DL 2045 (through DTW), scheduled for 5 pm, but delayed to 5:40 pm (so far). Meanwhile, DL 5918 (the delayed 3 pm is back on at 4:30 pm – we’ll see!).
Hopefully, routing around NYC will be the end of this, even if it means getting home at midnight. I keep reminding myself that I should not be frustrated, but instead thankful for many things: I’m not rushing back for anything urgent, I’m not traveling with kids, did not check my bags, and have several credit cards in my wallet.