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180/366: Delay [Uncertain Principles]

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 6:49
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(Before It's News)

I spent Tuesday flying to Champaign, Illinois, which was probably a big mistake. I should’ve booked a Southwest flight to Midway Airport in Chicago, and rented a car to drive down to Champaign, but I decided that might be annoying on the way home, so opted to fly the whole way. Which meant a United flight into O’Hare, followed by an American flight to Champaign, both in aircraft that felt like scale models of actual jetliners.

And, of course, there was this:

Snow removal trucks on the runway at O'Hare International Airport.

Snow removal trucks on the runway at O’Hare International Airport.

That’s from the plane as we taxied to the gate in Chicago, in a moderate bit of snow. The amount of snow wouldn’t’ve made much difference in a small airport, but O’Hare is so overcongested that the slightest issue triggers a massive set of cascading failures that ended up with my original flight to Chicago delayed over an hour, my original flight to Champaign canceled outright, and the later flight I was rebooked onto delayed by more than an hour. Charmingly, the last of the official delays was put into the system after we started boarding (I got an email notification on the plane), which I suspect is a sleazy bookkeeping dodge to maintain some “on-time” percentage.

I did finally make it, better than four hours late, having spent a long time sitting in an airport bar, but that’s one of the least pleasant air travel experiences I’ve ever had. And I get to do it in reverse tomorrow, with the Chicago forecast again calling for light snow. Joy.


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