the return war story…Casey Londergan | February 27, 2010
It has been a couple of days since we actually made it back, and work and family have majorly intervened, but it is worth writing this down!
After a great conference (see final analysis post, to come shortly), we enjoyed Wed. afternoon by having lunch at the Embarcardero and an afternoon walk in Golden Gate Park. We were ready to board our red-eye flight at 9:00pm and everyone boarded on time for the 10:00pm departure. Due to many passengers’ pushing up their flights to Philly and points east due to impending (at the time) bad weather, the terminal 1 bar at SFO was packed and the plane was very full of jolly (to say the least) passengers.
So we were loaded in, and then… about 60 minutes later, the captain announced a fueling problem. about 45 minutes after that, it was announced that they were having trouble making weight calculations for the airplane and promised we would get going in fine minutes. About 45 minutes after that (now after midnight), it was announced that the plane could not be balanced due to a cargo door being broken and we would switch to another plane, which only had 26 rows instead of 33 and thus passengers in rows 26-33 were SOL and abandoned to the oncoming storm and resulting schedule changes over the next few days.
Fortunately, we have dealt with USAir before, so this was not a surprise and I was able to smile through the entire ordeal (it also helped that we were in rowns 11 and 14 and thus I inadvertently scored an exit row on the new plane). We were regaled throughout this experience by a woman from Atlantic City who had patronized the bar and taken several Xanax (or something she was calling “Scooby Snacks”) before the flight.
So in the end, we arrived about 4 hours late, and luckily the storm in Philly was not as bad as had been predicted, which was a big surprise given our recent run of getting nailed by big snowfalls. We struggled back to campus, I dealt with some paperwork associated with a paper under review, and then decided I should stay up until dark to avoid jetlag. and then the kids had a snow day on Friday as well! My coherent state has just returned in the last few minutes, so I am now able to tell our tale and to look back on our conference experience.