Posts Tagged ‘sequestration’

First World Problems, cont’d

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

by Mary Ellen Eagan,

For those of you wondering if I ever got home, here’s the exciting conclusion:

  • DL 2045 (DCA to DTW) scheduled departure 5:15 pm; actual departure 5:54 pm
  • DL 158 (DTW to BOS) scheduled departure 7:50 pm, actual departure 9:50 pm

Grand total for the trip:

  • 9 boarding passes
  • gate-to-gate Day 1: 6 hours
  • gate-to-gate Day 2: 11 hours
  • flight miles BOS-DCA: 393

People were remarkably patient with the situation. Sure they’re angry, but are placing the blame where it belongs: Congress.

I’d be tempted to call this a ‘Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day’, except I’m sure the air traffic situation will get worse before it gets better.  Also, after last week in Boston, it will be a long time before I really have a ‘Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’.

Alexander and the 'Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Vorst

Alexander and the ‘Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Vorst

If one of the main functions of society is to facilitate the movement of people and goods, I think we’re failing pretty spectacularly this week. First world, indeed.

First World Problems

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

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.

dcaTaxiway

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.